It’s a good day to be one of our twisted robot overlords. With Steven Spielberg lining up “Robopocalypse” as his next directorial effort, a second adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson‘s work is apparently set to hit the screen. “How To Survive A Robot Uprising,” Wilson’s first book, was snapped up years ago for adaptation, first as a Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon script, then supposedly re-written by Mike Myers with intentions to star.
Now the property is reportedly in the arms of Jack Black and “Hot Tub Time Machine” director Steve Pink, having recently acquired it with the intention of Pink working on the screenplay. Black would most likely play the lead role, a layabout in an “Idiocracy“-like future totally dependent on robots, only to lose everything when the metal ones come for their fleshy counterparts, creating a machine-powered apocalypse. Finally, Wilson’s clear warning, also heard in his books “A Boy And His Bot” and “How To Build A Robot Army: Tips On Defending Planet Earth Against Alien Invaders, Ninjas And Zombies,” will be heard by millions.
We read the Lennon/Garant script a couple of years ago and, true to their sensibilities (“A Night At The Museum,” “The Pacifier“), it was pretty terrible, a lowbrow adventure film with a hip-hop spouting “good robot” who at one point raps “Baby Got Back.” The comedy was dismal, but the suspense sequences, particularly involving an entire house of murderous kitchen appliances, were actually pretty unsettling. We put it down wondering why it was a comedy, and knowing about “Robopocalypse,” we wonder why this needs to be a movie in the first place.
Pink is the first somewhat encouraging name to get involved so far, as he shared writing credits on “Grosse Point Blank” and “High Fidelity.” But Black? After the odious-looking “Gulliver’s Travels,” he has another turn in “Kung Fu Panda 2” as well as an ensemble role in the bird-watching dramedy “The Big Year” and Richard Linklater‘s “Bernie,” so it’s very likely ‘Robot Uprising’ could come at a time when Black would need a bonafide hit. Perhaps he should invest in some Old Glory insurance.