A new adaptation of The Shrinking Man in the works

News Ryan Lambie 13 Feb 2013 - 17:44

Richard Matheson's sci-fi classic The Shrinking Man is getting a new film adaptation courtesy of MGM...

A classic novel by one of the titans of science fiction, The Shrinking Man (1956) was first adapted as The Incredible Shrinking Man the year after its first publication. Directed by Jack Arnold, it was a brilliant retelling of Richard Matheson's novel, with some superb special effects for the time, a set-piece in which its dwindling hero fights a spider with a pin, and a bravely downbeat ending.

More than half a century later, MGM has announced that it's planning a new adaptation of the novel. This is potentially great news for two reasons: first, that Eddie Murphy's proposed retelling is now surely defunct, and second, that the screenplay will be co-written by both Matheson and his son, Richard Jr, meaning that the resulting film has a fighting chance of avoiding a Hollywood filleting.

It's said that the new Shrinking Man will modernise the details of the story (nanotechnology, the shifting role of the male in modern society, and so forth), but will retain its overarching plot about an ordinary chap dwindling in stature. Most excitingly, it's said that the movie will retain the tone of the book, with Matheson senior describing it as "an existential action movie". While the 'action' part of that sentence might sound worrying, the original adaptation could be described in the same way, as its hero fights for survival in a constantly-changing world of giant arachnids and hungry household pets.

More news on this as it comes in.

THR

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I hope they keep the original ending to the story, where (SPOILER WARNING) the protagonist shrinks to the point where he drops between the cracks of our universe and enters a whole new one.

Isnt the upcoming Marvel Edgar Wright Helmed Ant Man Movie basically the same idea?

At last a role for Tom Cruise.

That's more Stan Lee's fault than Richard Mathesons although if you were cynical you might decide that the studios interest in financing it now could have been influenced by Marvels upcoming projects. I guess we can perhaps expect a new version of Jekyll and Hyde when a Hulk film is coming too.I'm interested to see how Matheson is interested in updating his story for a contemporary audience though.

I found the ending sad, but not downbeat at all. He's going to become one with creation itself and looks forward to it. Made me shed a tear.

Sounds stupid.

I wonder, will the studios allow Matheson to have a spiritual/metaphysical ending monologue as in the first movie?

That was a stunning piece of writing (it's on Youtube): "To God, there is no zero. I still exist!".

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