Paramount Pictures has acquired the rights to Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, a part graphic novel, part picture book by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. Developing the movie is Lost creator and Star Trek director J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions.
The movie will portray an alternate history in which a man builds a robot in 1893 in hopes of preventing the deaths of many men in various wars and conflicts. Boilerplate fought with the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia, and went on to lead something of a Forrest Gump life, traveling the world with the Navy and even taking part in the silent movie era among many other historical adventures. The character caught the attention of studios when many people began thinking that Boilerplate was an actual robot used in combat in the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Click over to the other side to read a synopsis and check out a trailer for Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel.
Meet Boilerplate, the world’s first robot soldier—not in a present-day military lab or a science-fiction movie, but in the past, during one of the most fascinating periods of U.S. history. Designed by Professor Archibald Campion in 1893 as a prototype for the self-proclaimed purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations,” Boilerplate charged into combat alongside such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia. Campion and his robot also circled the planet with the U.S. Navy, trekked to the South Pole, made silent movies, and hobnobbed with the likes of Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla.
You say you’ve never heard of Boilerplate before? That’s because this book is the fanciful creation of a husband and-wife team who have richly imagined these characters and inserted them into accurate re-tellings of history. This full-color chronicle is profusely illustrated with graphics mimicking period style, including photos, paintings, posters, cartoons, maps, and even stereoscope cards. Part Jules Verne and part Zelig, it’s a great volume for a broad range of fans of science fiction, history, and robots.
Here’s the trailer for the book. As you can see, Boilerplate looks a little like a cross between Bender from Futurama and Tic-Toc from Return to Oz. With Abrams behind it, this could be a very cool alternate history science fiction movie.