JMS Heads to ‘Forbidden Planet’
This year’s Halloween might be dominated by Heath Ledger Jokers, but a few years from now, expect Robby the Robot to be the costume to beat.
That’s right, sports fans, Fordbidden Planet is coming back to theaters with a fresh relaunch. The Hollywood Reporter says that fan-friendly scribe J. Michael Straczynski is writing the script for Warner Bros., with Joel Silver producing through Silver Pictures.
Released in 1956, Forbidden Planet features a space expedition to a far-off colony populated by scientists. When they arrive, they find only the troubled Dr. Morbius and his daughter. Morbius, now smarter due to alien technology, warns that there’s an invisible monster terrorizing the planet. Dubbed a "monster from the id," the scientist, his daughter and the expedition’s captain band together to fight the creature and survive the encounter. Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen starred in the picture. The longest lasting effect of the film on popular culture is Robby the Robot, a silly little android that has warmed hearts for many years. (Journalistic integrity, as you can see, has been checked at the door. I just love Robby the Robot!)
Plans for a Forbidden Planet remake have been in the works for a while. THR sums it up quite well:
"Warners picked up the project on the down-low earlier this year. As late as last year, it was set up at DreamWorks with David Twohy attached to direct. Prior to that, New Line had it. James Cameron, Nelson Gidding and Stirling Silliphant have been associated with the remake over the years."
J. Michael Straczynski is famous to fandom for his comics work on The Amazing Spider-Man and his current run on Thor. He’s also the mastermind behind beloved sci-fi television series Babylon 5. In the film world, JMS worked on Ninja Assassin for the Wachowski Brothers, and has long been attached to a Silver Surfer adaptation for Fox. Soon, he’ll take over The Brave and the Bold for DC Comics, integrating classic 1940s era "Red Circle heroes" into the DC Universe.
If anyone can pull off a Forbidden Planet remake, it’s JMS. Despite being outdated by modern technology, any sci-fi lover that watches Planet can see just how easily the film would translate in a contemporary audience. It’s premise, that we ourselves are our greatest weakness, is a timeless motif that can resonate with audiences of any generation. As far as inevitable Hollywood remakes go, this is one that might actually be quite good.