Daniel H. Wilson

Robopocalypse No More

The idea of the world’s biggest director tackling a film that would feature man vs robot action on a large scale was an exciting one to be sure, but some things just aren’t meant to be apparently. Get ready to taste some conspicuously salty robot tears. Steven Spielberg knows his way around a science fiction film, and no one would argue that he lacks action chops too, but according to the man himself (in a recent 60 Minutes interview) action films no longer appeal to him. That lack of interest may be at least part of the reason why Spielberg has announced that he’s stepping away from what was expected to be his next directorial effort… an adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson‘s bestselling novel, “Robopocalypse.”

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Hathaway and Hemsworth

If you’re looking for a movie about cyborgs that has a creative team with a good amount of solid, robot-related sci-fi experience under their belt, then Amped might be the project for you. THR has word that this is going to be the next film for director Alex Proyas, who first captured film fans’ attentions with things like The Crow and Dark City, and later went on to make his robot bones with 2004’s I, Robot. Proyas isn’t the only robot-friendly name with a hand in the creation of this project, either. Amped comes from a Daniel H. Wilson novel of the same name; and if you don’t know who Wilson is, he’s a contributor to “Popular Mechanics” as their “resident roboticist,” and he wrote the novels “How to Survive a Robot Uprising,” “How to Build a Robot Army,” and “Robopocalypse,” which is serving as the source material for Steven Spielberg’s next film. The guy knows his robots. But what, exactly, is the story that Proyas’ eye for sci-fi visuals will be bringing to the big screen? Let’s let the original novel’s Amazon description fill us in:

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Somewhere out there, other science fiction writers are tilting their heads, raising their eyebrows, and attempting to figure out how Daniel H. Wilson keeps getting his books optioned for films. Of course, it’s not like those options actually mean much considering that Paramount never did anything with “How To Survive a Robot Uprising.” On the other hand, with “Robopocalypse” going to Spielberg for a 2012 shooting date, and now his “AMP” picked up by Summit for director Alex Proyas (a great, great pick) to take the lead on,  it seems as though Wilson might be entering the film world in earnest soon enough. AMP will focus on a short time in the future where robotics are used to help the disabled but end up essentially giving them super powers over the puny able-bodied masses. Deadline Tulsa describes the book as being like District 9 with its political and scientific implications. If you’re a struggling sci-fi writer out there and want to be even more frustrated, neither of those optioned books even exist yet as books. So, actually, maybe there’s still hope for you too.

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From the title alone, it seems like a brilliant idea. Or at least an idea that will see some large-scale destruction at the cold, metal hands of old-people’s-medicine fueled machines. After Tin Tin and Warhorse hit screens a little over a year from now, Steven Spielberg will dive in to production on Robopocalypse, based on the forthcoming novel from Daniel H. Wilson. Spielberg was excited about the project from before the book was even finished – watching as the author turned in pages to his editor and to screenwriter Drew Goddard for screenwrite-ification. That begs the question: how is this robot movie different than any other? Like, say, Terminator or A.I. for example. [Deadline Mansfield]

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