EXCLUSIVE: Steven Spielberg has committed to next direct Robopocalypse, a Drew Goddard-scripted adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson epic novel about the human race’s attempt to survive an apocalyptic robot uprising. Deadline broke the story that Spielberg was eyeing the novel as a directing vehicle last March, before he instead chose War Horse as the first film he directed for DreamWorks since Spielberg and Stacey Snider left Paramount and made a deal with Reliance and a distribution deal at Disney. At that time, the novel wasn’t finished, but Spielberg was so excited about it that it was already being storyboarded and designed as Wilson was turning in pages of the book and Goddard was translating them into the screenplay. Spielberg will start shooting in January, 2012 and Disney’s Touchstone will distribute in 2013. It puts Spielberg back into the large scale terrain that is important in his relationship with Reliance, because it is the kind of movie that can succeed on a global tent pole scale. Spielberg has two pictures he directed that are in post-production, Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn will be distributed in the U.S. on December 28, 2011 with War Horse following 5 days later. This might seem like a lot of action for one director, but remember, this is Steven Spielberg, and he has multi-tasked successfully before. Like when he shot Jurassic Park and then moved directly into Schindler’s List. He turned out a summer blockbuster, followed later in 1993 by the film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
“Robopocalypse embodies an imaginative story of a robot rebellion unleashed against the human race,” said Mark Sourian, who’s announcing the project with his co-prexy Holly Bario. “This is a project we immediately sparked to and with Steven directing it we knew it was in the best possible hands to bring it to worldwide audiences.”
Doubleday will publish the book June, 2011. Wilson is hot stuff, in the kind of hi-tech scifi terrain that was the domain of Michael Crichton. His rep, Justin Manask, is preparing to shop his next book, AMP, which is a near-future science fiction thriller set in a world where the technology to make the disabled whole, turns them into supermen. That book will also be published by Doubleday, with 120 pages done so far. This one is being eyed for summer, 2012.