'Splice' Director Vincenzo Natali Digging New 'Tunnels' Next
by Alex Billington
February 18, 2010
Even though most of you probably haven't seen Splice yet, you're most likely very familiar with Vincenzo Natali anyway, as he directed Cube, Cypher, and Nothing before Splice. Relativity Media announced today that Natali would next be directing their adaptation of the best-selling children's books written by Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams titled Tunnels. Relative newcomers Simon Sandquist and Joel Bergvall (both of the Oscar nominated short Victor) wrote the screenplay adaptation. "This first installment of the Tunnels franchise will open up a whole new universe of excitement and adventure to audiences [around] the world."
Tunnels tells the story of Will, a 14-year-old boy driven by a fascination of his buried past, who is drawn into a subterranean world after his archaeologist father goes missing. The hidden civilization he finds, beautiful and unforgiving, is dominated by a sinister, vicious race called the Styx, who have ruled over generations of enslaved colonists. This actually kind of sounds like A Bug's Life but with a boy, not just bugs. The authors have already completed two sequels in the series - Deeper, published in '08, and Freefall, due out in spring.
Producer Mark Canton says that "[Tunnels] represents the next level in family entertainment, combining a science-based reality reminiscent of the classic fiction of Verne and Wells, but in a completely contemporary setting, with today's immersive cinematic technology to create a believable, yet unforgettable movie-going experience." Those are some choice words he uses and as much as I'd love to outright agree with him, we'll have to see. Given that Cube and Splice are two of my personal faves, I'm a big fan of Natali, but I don't like seeing him working in "family" territory. He needs to stay R-rated or he's going to lose his edge. Stay tuned!