As the buzz around the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales continues to grow ahead of its May 26 release, co-director Joachim Rønning is already lining up his next job. He’s in talks with Amblin to direct Micro, the final novel written by Michael Crichton, and if all goes according to plan he’ll begin shooting this fall.
Micro follows a group of graduate students who are lured to Hawaii to work for a mysterious biotech company, but instead find themselves miniaturized and left in the rainforest, with only their scientific expertise and wits to help them survive. Think Land of the Giants only filtered through that high-tech, fast-paced Crichton style.
Crichton, of course, died in 2008 and Micro was famously found unfinished on his computer. His publisher hired Richard Preston (Crisis in the Hot Zone) to complete the book and released it in 2011, when it became the last of the late author and filmmaker’s many best sellers. Crichton’s work continues to find new audiences with the continuation of the massive Jurassic Park franchise as well as the HBO hit Westworld, which was based on the original 1973 film he wrote and directed.
Darren Lemke (Goosebumps) has written the screenplay for Micro, which Amblin hopes to turn into another franchise. Rønning, meanwhile, continues to go solo after helming Kon-Tiki and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales with Espen Sandberg. Rønning also just finished directing the ABC drama pilot Doomsday and will direct Methusaleh, a Biblical epic in which Tom Cruise will play a 900-year-old man (no jokes about age-appropriate roles please).
The fifth Pirates outing was screened recently at CinemaCon in Las Vegas and got a positive reaction, something both the series and star Johnny Depp could both use.