With a $2 billion box office boost with movies such as ‘Skyfall’ and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’, the prior bankrupt MGM studio is now looking to move forward to producing more films based on classic books. This time around, the studio has set their sights on ‘The Shrinking Man,’ for the big screen.
The rights to the novel have been with Universal for some years now but they were never able to get a remake off the ground. When those rights lapsed this past summer, MGM quietly picked it up with the aim to produce a more updated version of the story and have hired beloved sci-fi author Richard Matheson to adapt his own novel.
At 87, Matheson is an icon in the horror and fantasy world writing short stories and novels that have been adapted to the big screen such as ‘I am Legend’, ‘Duel’, ‘The Legend of Hell House’, ‘What Dreams May Come’ and ‘Real Steel’. He has even written an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Star Trek’!
For the upcoming ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’, Matheson will pen the screenplay with his son, Richard Matheson, Jr. with the intent to update it to more modern times.
The original novel centered on a man who was exposed to radiation and insecticide and finds himself beginning to shrink. With this MGM remake, the duo will modernize the tale to include advancements in technology such as the addition of nanotechnology.
The author describes this new iteration as “an existential action movie. My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing… It’s one of those fantasy concepts that does not age.”
With the abundance of movies that have been rebooted or remade lately (‘Total Recall,’ ‘The Thing,’ ‘Conan the Barbarian’ and the upcoming ‘Robocop’), ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’ actually has the possibility to be one of the better remakes that can appeal with today’s audiences. Unlike Disney’s ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ or Universal’s ‘The Incredible Shrinking Woman’, MGM actually plans on a non-comedic angle to their film. Having the actual author of the work the film will be based upon not only scribe the screenplay but also be a producer on the film, brings some reassurance that the tone of the novel will be kept true in the film. Also, with the advancement of visual and computer effects, the film would look very convincing as opposed to using oversized props as was done in the past.
So what do you think? Are you interested in seeing an updated version of ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’?