Steve Carell to Lead Comedic Adaptation of the Serious Sci-Fi 'I.Q. 83'
After starring in dumb comedies like Dinner for Schmucks, Evan Almighty and most recently Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Long Title, it sounds like Steve Carell has the potential to star in a smart comedy about getting dumber. Deadline reports Paramount Pictures has hired Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) to do a page one rewrite of I.Q. 83, an adaptation of the 1978 sci-fi novel of the same name by Arthur Herzog, being developed for Steve Carell to lead. While the sci-fi was written as a serious story, the film adaptation will be a satire like Dr. Strangelove.
The story would follow Carell as Dr. James Healey, a man who led a group of scientists to conduct a DNA experiment by unleashing an airborne virus that progressively lowers the IQ of those who have contracted it (you know, like reality television). Suddenly the scientists find the experiment getting away from them and they have to find a cure as they all find themselves getting dumber by the day and the rest of the population tears itself apart, slowly becoming more like animals. This sounds like the perfect films as our society slowly degrades into the predictions that Mike Judge's underrated comedy Idiocracy.
The project has been in the works for almost 20 years since DreamWorks picked it up to adapt, but never had a screenwriter who could crack the script. Now the project is set up at Paramount and Kaufman sounds like the perfect guy to craft a smart satire. Of course, the only downside could be is that Andrew Lazar is producing, and he allowed Steve Carell's forgettable action comedy Get Smart to get made. But at the same time, the producer also worked on Kaufman's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (directed by George Clooney), so this could work out pretty well after all. Sound good?