We know Steven Spielberg is partial to a little bit of battling robot misadventure because he was, quite publicly (read: wince inducingly), full of praise for Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Now he's getting in on the act himself and has signed on to make Robopocalypse his next directing gig.
The film will be an adaptation of Daniel Wilson's upcoming novel, as scripted by Buffy alum and Cloverfield creator Drew Goddard. What's particularly interesting here is that Wilson is actually a robotics engineer, so he's building his fantasy upwards and outwards from some genuine, real understanding of the field. Wilson's version of a robot uprising here (it's not his first) could at least pretend to possess some frightening echoes of reality. I hope he can also write a good plot and come up with some characters worth giving a hoot about.
According to Deadline, Spielberg started work on the film while Wilson was still hunched over his word processor:
Spielberg was so excited about it that it was already being storyboarded and designed as Wilson was turning in pages of the book and Goddard was translating them into the screenplay.
From that you'd probably think they were operating on a really tight schedule here, but no – Spielberg won't roll cameras until January 2012, 15 months from now. I guess he was just excited, or had been eating a lot of pixy stix.
Wilson's next project, incidentally, will be AMP. This novel, say Deadline, "is a near-future science fiction thriller set in a world where the technology to make the disabled whole, turns them into supermen". Sounds like a great kicking off point, and one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. It's due in mid-2012.