Michael Crichton’s last bit of unfinished business is still finding its way to the big screen. DreamWorks Studios just picked up the feature film rights to the late author’s novel, Micro with Frank Marshall on board to produce. Micro was unfinished when Crichton passed away in 2008 and it was later completed by author Richard Preston and published by HarperCollins in 2011. It naturally ended up a New York Times bestseller and spent over 20 weeks combined on the list in hardcover and paperback.
The acquisition comes as Jurassic World is set to become the highest-grossing film of 2015 to date. Crichton, of course, penned the novel and subsequent screenplay (with David Koepp) Jurassic Park which spawned a multi-billion dollar franchise for Universal Pictures.
Micro is a high-concept thriller that follows a group of graduate students lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company—only to find themselves miniaturized and cast out into the rain forest, with nothing but their scientific expertise and wits to protect them.
The project will be executive produced by CrichtonSun LLC Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau. “Michael was exhilarated, passionate and invested in Micro, a story he spent years researching and developing,” said Sherri Crichton in a statement. “It was yet another opportunity for him to explore the clash between science and nature, as seen through the eyes of relatable characters. Michael also wrote in cinematic terms and would be so pleased to see Micro come to life on the big screen at DreamWorks.”
“We are so pleased to have this opportunity to develop Micro,” said Steven Spielberg in a statement. “For Michael, size did matter whether it was for ‘Jurassic’s huge dinosaurs or Micro‘s infinitely tiny humans.” In 2009, DreamWorks Studios also acquired the rights to another posthumously published Crichton novel, Pirate Latitudes.
“Michael Crichton’s vast body of work has thrilled audiences around the world for decades, and it feels particularly poignant to be bringing his last published novel to DreamWorks,” said DreamWorks’ CEO Michael Wright. “This is the perfect place to unite these two dynamic brands.”
Talk about leaving a legacy. Crichton’s works have been made into 15 feature films. Besides Jurassic Park, his novels include The Andromeda Strain, The Great Train Robbery, Eaters Of The Dead, Congo, Sphere, Rising Sun, Disclosure, The Lost World, Airframe, Timeline, Prey, Next, and State Of Fear.
He was also prolific as a writer, director and producer of film and television with such credits as ER, wrote and directed films including Westworld, The Great Train Robbery, and Coma and was the screenwriter, too, of Rising Sun.
Crichton is one of two creative artists in history to have works simultaneously chart at No. 1 in U.S. television, film and books sales. The other is Tim Allen, who in 1994 had a No. 1 television show with Home Improvement, a No. 1 movie at the box office in The Santa Clause and a No. 1 best-selling book with Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man. Thanks to a reader for remembering that.
ICM Partners and Michael S. Sherman of Reed Smith LLP represented CrichtonSun LLC in negotiating the deal.