Universal Picks Up Skyscraper Disaster Movie Pitch

October 28, 2008

Skyscrapers from almiller

Is the big-budget disaster movie trend suddenly on the rise again? Universal has preemptively bought a pitch for a film called Skyscraper that is described as a "modern-day Towering Inferno." The spec script was written by Mike Sobel, a former lawyer turned writer who has just sold his first two big scripts, with Skyscraper being one of them. Neal Moritz (of I Am Legend, Vantage Point, and Made of Honor most recently) is producing the project. The story focuses on a Donald Trump-like developer who sets out to build a mile-high structure in Chicago. When the tower starts to falter, a crew must rescue the city from mayhem.

I'm not sure what to think about this yet. The whole concept seems like a sore thumb in the Hollywood line-up for the next five or so years, but I suppose it could be good. For those unaware of the reference, The Towering Inferno was a 1974 film that starred Steve McQueen and Paul Newman. In the film, a fire breaks out inside of a enormous new building on its opening night and threatens to destroy the entire thing. Skyscraper sounds like a similar idea, but I'm curious to see how it would play out in the post-9/11, modern era with today's CGI and cinematic technology and so on. Anyone think this could be good?

Beautiful skyscraper photo courtesy of Alisdair Miller on deviantArt.

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Reader Feedback - 13 Comments


I dont think this sounds good at all. I dont see how this could even become a movie, aparently for the second time.

TBone on Oct 28, 2008


Sounds like a good short film for the demo reel of someone trying to break into the digital effects world...but sounds like a boring story concept.

Peloquin on Oct 28, 2008


I'm always up for a good disaster movie. Except for "Disaster Movie", which was a disaster. This skyscraper movie doesn't sound any worse than "Poseidon". ...Although that was a terrible film.

kevjohn on Oct 28, 2008


All I see happening here are alot of big money special effects shots with no story to go behind it. I mean what can you do in a 528 story sky scraper that would be remotly interesting? I personally think this guy came up with the script idea in an effort to get some shock factor after 9/11. The only thing that he needs to do is run a plane into the side, and I think he will have accomplished that.

CK on Oct 28, 2008


sounds more like a terrible mini series.

Al on Oct 28, 2008


No, this is not 1974. He missed his chance. Maybe DTV or like someone else said a mini series.

tzarinna on Oct 28, 2008


Does anyone other than me want to see a big-budget mindless disaster flick?!?!

Ryan on Oct 28, 2008


What's the premise for the antagonist going to be? He makes a building that's "too high" for this world and it causes political uproar just like how in Titanic they didn't want to clutter the appearance of the ship by having *enough* lifeboats on board? Sounds lame! "Towering Inferno" was boss!

Conrad on Oct 28, 2008


I did a double take with this post since my first thought was, "why is blogging about Dubai?" LOLOL

Glacia on Oct 28, 2008


being an architect and working in the gulf - unfortunatly i'm waiting for this to come off for real within the next 10 years (towering inferno II) can't see much in a movieplot as we've seen the real deal with towers falling already and i'm not morbidly fascinated suffering atthe fault of others

dp on Oct 29, 2008


Hell yeah! This sounds like a great movie!

Adam on Mar 2, 2009


Just remake all of the Irwin Allen classics.

Bob on May 31, 2010


OH WOW!!! They could call this, like, The Towering Inferno 2.0 (Redux) or something and it could star Sam Worthington as everyone, including the tower.

Mitch on Sep 29, 2010

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