When MGM announced that it was in the reboot/remake business after resurfacing a couple of years ago, it meant it. With updates of "Robocop," "Carrie," and "The Town that Dreaded Sundown" on the way, the studio has added a re-imagining of Richard Matheson's "The Incredible Shrinking Man."
Matheson, who will celebrate his 87th birthday this month, is actually on board to write the new screenplay alongside his son, Richard Matheson, Jr. The duo will reportedly "keep the tone of the original story but update it for modern times."
When "The Shrinking Man" was first released in 1956, it debuted in the shadow of atomic age paranoia and "served as a metaphor for how man's place in the world was diminishing," according to its author, who goes on to add that this "still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing."
One of those advancements is nanotechnology, which is said to feature in the new film, thus replacing the radiation and insecticide that caused the protagonist to shrink in the original film.
The elder Matheson also describes the new film as "an existential action story," whereas the original film would most aptly be described as an existential horror/sci-fi film. That first adaptation hit screens in 1957 and has gone on to become one of the more revered genre films from the 50s, so the new one will have big shoes to fill (despite the title).
While Universal originally acquired the rights to Matheson's novel and released the 1957 film, its rights lapsed last summer. The studio had spent decades attempting to update the story and even had Eddie Murphy attached to star in a comedic riff at one point.
Fans of the original can rest assured that this new version will be no comedy, and, with Matheson on board, this should be one reboot that's worth feeling optimistic about.