Abrams’s Bad Robot Goes Steampunk With ‘Boilerplate’.


The team behind 'Lost''s next project? Historical robots.

Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams’s Paramount-based production company’s newest project is one that will get lots of nerds’ hearts a-thumping: they’ve acquired the rights to the historical steampunk-inspired graphic novel, Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Novel, by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.

I’ve not read the graphic novel, but this A.V. Club article makes it sound pretty cool, and I’m excited to see what the creative team at Bad Robot (Lost, Star Trek) can do with the material, which Forrest Gump-ifies a fictional robot into 1890s history, having him meet Pancho Villa, et al.

The premise sounds like a great time at the movies, and one that further demonstrates Bad Robot’s — and, by extension, Abrams’s — evolution into Spielbergian filmmaking, chock full swashbuckling space opera (Star Trek) and Close Encounters/E.T.-esque adventures (at least that’s how Super 8s been described).

Could Boilerplate be the company’s foray into Indiana Jones-type of pulp storytelling?  I sure hope so, even though there isn’t much chance of Abrams himself directing the movie, with Super 8 going before cameras next month and Star Trek 2 reportedly beginning pre-production in January.  I can see regular Abrams collaborator Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, the upcoming Let Me In) taking this in an interesting/exciting direction.

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