Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Odd Things Happening at Clavius
This surprising piece of news ran in Variety earlier today and I'm genuinely astonished that it hasn't gotten more attention. Maybe people aren't as upset about such a possibility as I would have thought. Anyway, in case you missed it, here is the complete article.
Bay to embark on new ‘Odyssey’ for Warner
Platinum Dunes to produce Kubrick/Clarke redo
BY WILLIAM HARFORD
Michael Bay is in final negotiations to direct Warner Bros’ new version of “2001: A Space Odyssey”.
WB plans a reimagining of Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel, from his short story “The Sentinel”, which inspired the 1967 Stanley Kubrick sci-fier released by MGM.
Bay, Andrew Form and Brad Fuller will produce through their Platinum Dunes shingle, while Peter Guber and Cathy Schulman are producing for Mandalay Pictures.
Scott Rosenberg (“Con Air”, “October Road”) has completed a first draft and Jake Wade Wall, scribe on Platinum Dunes’ recent reimagining of “The Hitcher” is being brought aboard to begin a rewrite. Other new scribes may be brought aboard as well.
“We think we have a very contemporary take,” Schulman said. “In the original, the computer just begins acting crazy and it was kind of like, why is this happening? This time, there’s a reason why it occurs and (people) have had something to do with it. There’s an environmental slant to what could result in technology fighting back.” Schulman adds that at this point, unlike the original, the entire film is being designed to be set during the titular year, in order to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
The project has been underway for sometime, but was held up due to the hesitations of original author Clarke. His recent death has cleared up matters to the point that the project is allowed to safely proceed.
It is hoped that Bay will begin work on “Odyssey” as soon as he fulfills his commitments to “Transformers 2”. WB has planted its tentpole flag in the July 4, 2010 slot which means that there would be some overlapping on the two projects.
“I am thrilled at this opportunity to improve on this visionary look at the future,” says Bay in a statement. “It’s always been my opinion that (Kubrick) was forced into releasing the film before it was finished. For example, whole sequences don’t even have any sound. And I’m certain he meant to shoot a scene where everything gets explained so the audience can be clear on what is going on. These are fixes to the story I feel we can make while making the experience even more exciting for today’s audience to show what it will be like to live in the year 2001.”
Currently set to play the astronauts Bowman and Poole are Shia Labeouf, who was seen last summer in Bay’s “Transformers” and Zac Efron, who hopes to segue to the project after completing production on “High School Musical 3: Senior Year”. Added to the project is a new character, a female astronaut named Fisher. Jessica Alba is currently in talks for the role. To play the villainous computer HAL, Michael Clarke Duncan, who worked with Bay on “Armageddon” and “The Island”, is currently in the midst of talks. There is no word yet if any original cast members will be enlisted for cameos.
In anticipation of launching a new franchise, Warner has procured the rights to Clarke’s follow-ups to his novel, “2010: Odyssey Two” and “2061: Odyssey Three” to form a complete trilogy. “2010” was already produced by MGM in 1984 but it is expected little will remain other than the titles. Warner is so high on the potential series that the studio has already set a tentative July 4, 2012 release date for “2010”.
Deal comes as Bay, Fuller and Form ready an early May start for "Friday the 13th," New Line's relaunch of another iconic baddie, Jason Voorhees. Marcus Nispel will direct from a script by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift ("Freddy vs. Jason"). At Rogue Pictures, the Platinum Dunes team is prepping an exorcism thriller to be directed by David Goyer and a "Near Dark" remake to be directed by Samuel Bayer. Bay, Fuller and Form are also developing a Universal remake of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," with Martin Campbell directing Naomi Watts.