When Hollywood runs dry of sci-fi concepts to attach J.J. Abrams to, there’s really just one name to pursue for source material: renowned author Richard Matheson, who at the age of 87 leaves a trail of “I Am Legend,” “Real Steel,” “Duel,” “The Last Man On Earth” and countless other adaptations from his work. Luckily for MGM though, his son Richard Jr. is interested in the family business as well, and the studio has quickly put together a two-for-one deal.
MGM has just announced they’ve tapped the father/son duo to pen a modern-day update of Richard Sr.’s classic novel “The Shrinking Man,” which was written under atomic-bomb paranoia and followed a man slowly shrunk by radiation. Described as an “existential action movie,” the elder Matheson also noted the base reasons for remaking the film.
“My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing,” he said. “That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.” One of those advancements will be nanotechnology, an aspect of, but perhaps not the central reason for, the latest transformation.
Naturally, this isn’t the first time Matheson’s story has been told. Universal snapped up the rights decades ago and put out a film version in 1957, starring Grant Williams and featuring great work by “Creature from the Black Lagoon” director Jack Arnold. However, after a recent remake with Eddie Murphy crumbled, MGM was there this past summer to take the rights once released.
“Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” and “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” have used Matheson’s concept fully for its comedic potential, but with the author himself plotting out this latest version, and with his son also on board, the chances of its allegorical and narrative strength are definitely increased tenfold. [THR]