Over the weekend, Megan Ellison sent out a short and simple yet intriguing tweet that has led some to think that she and her Annapurna Pictures might be involved in some kind of Starship Troopers reboot.
Continue reading to see how it played out.
On Saturday the powerhouse film producer Ellison asked this of her Twitter followers:
In response Dave Trumbore, a writer for the website Collider, sent her this image:
To which Ellison replied:
Nothing has been confirmed, but for the moment it appears that the reboot/remake/re-whatever of Starship Troopers that was originally in development at Sony Pictures under the stewardship of Fast and the Furious series producer Neal H. Moritz is now in the hands of Ellison’s production and distribution company Annapurna Pictures. Films produced by Annapurna in recent years have included such critical and commercial hits as Zero Dark Thirty, American Hustle, The Master, Killing Them Softly, and Her (all great films, with the exception of Hustle).
Their 2014 Cannes prize winner Foxcatcher, directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and starring Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum, is set for release this November, just in time for Oscar season. Ellison has also produced the Coen Brothers’ 2010 remake of True Grit and last year’s surprise smash Spring Breakers and is serving in the same capacity on next summer’s Terminator: Genesis, which is currently filming with Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) at the helm, despite Annapurna relieving themselves of any financial investment in the big-budget franchise sequel back in January.
Starship Troopers, the classic sci-fi war novel by Robert Heinlein first published in 1959, was adapted into a film in 1997 by wild man Dutch director Paul Verhoeven with a cast that included future reality show star Denise Richards, legendary character actors Michael Ironside and Clancy Brown, and the priceless Neil Patrick Harris. Though it failed to make much of an impression at the box office, mostly due to the filmmakers’ satirical approach to the material, the movie eventually found an audience on home video and cable and spawned two live-action sequels that went direct to video and both a DTV sequel and television series that were animated through CGI.
The Moritz-produced Troopers had writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class) on scripting duties, but there has been little-to-no movement on the project since it was first announced. The mutual accord between the producer and studio to make the reboot with an eye towards a PG-13 rating might have been a factor in its stalling in the pre-production phase. Almost three years have passed and still Moritz and Sony were unable to sign a director or stars to keep the project going.
If the rumor of Ellison and Annapurna’s involvement with developing a new Starship Troopers adaptation turns out to be true then it gives me hope. As much as I loved Verhoven’s 17-year-old sci-fi comedy gore-fest, the original Heinlein novel still has a lot of untapped potential for amazing visuals and story opportunities, despite its fascistic overtones. A newer take on the novel would likely be dead serious and give more screen time to the interesting technological advancements depicted in Heinlein’s book that Verhoeven was not able to bring to his own film for budgetary reasons.
I hope there’s a lot of truth in this rumor. Starship Troopers should not be fodder for another mindless wannabe franchise, which is exactly what Moritz wants it to be. If you doubt me, go take a took at his IMDb page.