According to The Hollywood Reporter, newcomer Matthew Lieberman has been signed to write the Short Circuit reboot going on over at Dimension Films. He’d previously written the not-at-all-liked Dr. Doolittle: Tail to the Chief which went straight to video on the coattails of the Eddie Murphy movies, but this project is an interesting way to get a foot in the door of the feature world.
What’s more important is that Tim Hill is set to be the director. Hill’s recent work includes Alvin and the Chipmunks, Hop and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (apparently everyone involved loves “tail” puns). All of that sounds awful, but once upon a time, Hill also directed Muppets From Space. How someone got from weird and wonderful to boringly broad and homogenous is anyone’s guess. Forget it, fans. It’s Chinatown.
That’s sad, but the most fascinating thing about bring back Johnny Five to life is that instead of appealing to a movie geek crowd, the production is attempting to take a character from a strange little 80s movie that’s been reduced to a catch phrase and make him a children’s entertainment icon. To do that, Hill and company will be able to sidestep the treacherous balance between old fans and new by completely disregarding old fans.
Of course, the bigger question will be whether a robot movie like this will fly in a time where actual robots are running our lives for us. Will Johnny look like an Erector Set that talks or will he look like that creepy Japanese lady-bot that scares everyone all the time?