DreamWorks and Fox Co-Financing Steven Spielberg's 'Robopocalypse'
This film is big enough for the both of them! Deadline reports that DreamWorks and Fox will be sharing the duties on financing Steven Spielberg's Robopocalypse - an adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's novel with a script from Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield, "Lost"). Seems that the film was transforming into something bigger than DreamWorks could handle, which is what inspired the decision to bring Fox aboard to distribute the film internationally. Disney will distribute domestically as a part of their 30-picture distribution deal with DreamWorks dating back to 2009, which also includes Spielberg's War Horse and the similarly robo-centric Real Steel. And they've already got a 2013 release date set!
As reported by THR, we can expect Robopocalypse in theaters on July 3rd, 2013, meaning that Spielberg could possibly be jumping in the director's chair for that just as he's jumping out of the one for Lincoln… that is if he in fact finally decides to make the long-gestating presidential biopic with Daniel Day Lewis attached his next after this winter's War Horse/Adventures of Tintin double feature.
This time last year, it appeared as good as done that Robopocalypse would be the director's next, but things may have changed since then as they do in Hollywood. According to SlashFilm, rumor has it that location scouting is currently underway with a roll camera on Lincoln set for sometime in October, though that film doesn't have a release date yet, while Robopocalypse does. So, I wouldn't be surprised if he heads into Robopocalypse first and Lincoln second, as the latter seems much more like fall/winter, award season fare and the former as a summer popcorn flick. Maybe this is the new, mid-life crisis Steven; some guys go out and buy sports cars, Steven Spielberg directs an action movie and a drama simultaneously.
Regardless of which we get first, both films are perfect for Señor Spielbergo to wet his beak on. Especially Robopocalypse, which tells the story of a robot rebellion against the human race in a future where the machines do both our literal and figurative dirty work. That is until a sentient piece of artificial intelligence reprograms them to become self-aware and fight back. It's a little I, Robot meets Terminator, told in a more grounded and personal oral history style a la World War Z, which sounds like a different take on a few different classic sci-fi stories. I always thought there were some elements of I, Robot that went unexplored (almost a robot racism aspect) so there's definitely some room to make the old new.
It will be interesting to see if Spielberg and co. drop the retrospective style from the book just as the big screen adaptation of World War Z did or decide to kind of meld the two narrative styles together like District 9. What do you think about Robopocalypse? Have you read the novel? If so, do you think it lends itself to the big screen and Spielberg's style?