We just posted a story from Deadline about the Jason Rothenberg, the new writer of The Twilight Zone movie. If you read that article (and why haven't you?) then you also saw us make mention of the fact that Rothenberg is a relative newcomer to the screenwriting game, who has several high-profile projects on the horizon.
One of those projects is Universal and Imagine Entertainment's upcoming remake of Colossus: The Forbin Project, which Ron Howard is directing and Will Smith is reportedly attached to star in.
For those who are unaware, Colossus: The Forbin Project was a 1970s film directed by Joseph Sargent (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three). That film was based on the 1966 novel Colossus by Dennis Feltham Jones, about a supercomputer named "Colossus" which becomes self-aware and deems it necessary to seize control of the world. Reminds me of this little indie movie called The Terminator I once saw...
The main character of the story is Dr. Charles A. Forbin, a scientist whose team builds Colossus as a hub for all United States and Allied Nuclear systems inside a heavily armored mountain base. Upon going online, Colossus establishes a link with "Guardian," another supercomputer controlled by the Soviets, and the two machines trade binary code that quickly supersedes human comprehension.
Nervous about what is transpiring, the Presidents of both countries order the link to be severed, prompting both computers to threaten them with the doomsday scenario of mutual nuclear annihilation. By the end of the story, the computers have merged into one entity, which determines that its role is that of a protector of mankind through unquestioned control and authority. Yay!
Universal and Imagine Entertainment first pitched a Ron Howard remake of The Forbin Project as far back as 2007, but nothing ever really came of it. Will Smith is likely attached to play Dr. Forbin (just a guess), adding the necessary star-power to get the remake on a fast-track (and also because saving Earth is Will Smith's job). I would expect that the usual Big Willie swagger punctuated with smart-ass one-liners screamed at top volume will ensue - "Upload this to your data banks!" *Cue explosion.*
Of course, if this remake is going to be set in modern times, the focus will undoubtedly have to change; after all, The Cold War is over and threats from the Eastern Bloc are pretty much reserved for seasons of 24. No doubt that Rothenberg's script will focus on our ever-increasing reliance on technology, and just how helpless we would be (or not be) if that technology were to ever slip out of our control.
No word yet on when Colossus: The Forbin Project is aiming to hit theaters. But with Howard at the helm, Smith attached to star and a script by Rothenberg already in progress, I would expect for this project to pick up steam very soon.
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