Stranger Things director Shawn Levy has been tapped to helm the coming-of-age sci-fi movie Crater for 20th Century Fox. John J. Griffin's spec script, based on an idea originally developed by special effects supervisor Rpin Suwannath, was #5 on the 2015 Black List survey of unproduced screenplays.
Set on a lunar mining colony, Crater follows the adventures of a teenage boy named Caleb and his various misfit friends as they embark on a Stand By Me-like road trip to a mysterious crater, spurred on by a wish from Caleb's recently-deceased father. It's a last chance to bond for Caleb and his crew, as the 14-year-old is about to be relocated to Omega, a Utopian planet normally reserved for the rich that opens its doors for the children of miners who lose their lives. Caleb's group of friends includes the usual assortment of coming-of-age character types, including the brainy girl, the wimp, the rebel, and the slow kid.
As reported by Variety, Levy has been assigned the task of directing Crater for 20th Century Fox. Levy will also produce along with Dan Levine of 21 Laps, the banner responsible for Stranger Things.
Once known as a director of Steve Martin comedy vehicles, Levy graduated to light, family-friendly action fare with Night at the Museum and its two sequels, and the Hugh Jackman vehicle Real Steel. Levy has worked extensively in television, directing everything from Animorphs to The Famous Jett Jackson to The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Levy has directed four episodes of Stranger Things, including the season 2 eps "The Pollywog," which introduced Dustin's new friend from the Upside Down, and "Will the Wise" in which Will Byers showed off his magical ability to scribble out huge, elaborate jigsaw-puzzle maps that can only be deciphered by guys who work at Radio Shack. Levy also reportedly will re-team with Real Steel studio Amblin for the sci-fi movie The Fall.
Levy's signature middle-of-the-road directorial touch should guarantee that Crater will turn out to be a very family-friendly, agreeable, slightly action-skewed trip into light sci-fi territory, with echoes of Stand By Me and (inevitably, since it's now become its own cultural reference point, as well as a thing that indulges in endless reference) Stranger Things itself. It's always possible that Levy will decide to take his own trip to the Upside Down and make Crater unusually dark and intense (at least by his own standards), but that remains to be seen.