EXCLUSIVE: Netflix has set Joseph Kosinski to direct Spiderhead, an adaptation of the George Saunders short story that has been scripted by Zombieland and Deadpool scribes Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. They just wrote the Michael Bay-directed Ryan Reynolds-starrer 6 Underground for Netflix.
Sources said that the project is fast tracked for Kosinski to direct after he finishes post on Top Gun: Maverick, the long awaited sequel that brings back Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer, with Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm and Miles Teller starring. He’ll begin casting the new film shortly.
Spiderhead is set in the near future, when convicts are offered the chance to volunteer as medical subjects in hopes of shortening their sentences. When one prisoner finds himself the test patient for a new pharmaceutical capable of generating feelings of love, he begins questioning the reality of his emotions and sets out to discover the truth.
The film will be produced by Jeremy Steckler for Condé Nast Entertainment, Eric Newman for Screen Arcade through his first-look Netflix deal, Reese and Wernick. Newman is show runner and exec producer of Narcos for Netflix and with partner Bryan Unkeless under Netflix deal, he has produced Bright, the upcoming PWR with Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon levitt, and has Bright 2 set to begin shooting this year.
The story is based on the Saunders short story that originally ran in the New Yorker and was later collected in his bestselling anthology, Tenth Of October.
Kosinski, who has directed Oblivion and TRON: Legacy, is repped by CAA and Hirsch Wallerstein; Reese & Wernick are WME.