Mimic may not be one of the more widely-discussed titles in the ‘90s movies conversation these days, but the 1997 horror film—an early blockbuster attempt from a certain upstart director named Guillermo del Toro—is about to reenter said conversation on the back of a developing reboot television series.
Miramax Television is bringing the Mimic property back to the forefront with a small screen serial reboot, according to Deadline. The would-be series has been put under the creative auspices of action movie maker Paul W.S. Anderson, who is to direct the pilot and serve as executive producer, joined in the latter capacity by frequent partner Jeremy Bolt. However, the day-to-day duties will be handled by appointed showrunner and writer Jim Danger Gray (Hannibal, Orange is the New Black), who will also serve as an executive producer. There’s no word yet if del Toro will have any involvement.
The 1997 movie, Mimic, was an adaptation of Donald A. Wolheim’s 1942 short story of the same name, with Guillermo del Toro directing off a screenplay he co-wrote with Matthew Robbins (a collaboration that would be replicated with 2015’s Crimson Peak). The film centers on entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sorvino), who utilized a genetic-engineered method to eradicate disease-carrying subway cockroaches in Manhattan with a hybrid insect called the Judas breed, which bears an enzyme that manipulates the roaches’ metabolism to starve them into extinction. However, Tyler’s early success leads to the unforeseen circumstance of a rapid evolution for her size-grown species and its titular ability to mimic prey—which now happens to be humans. Thus, Tyler ventures underground to correct her mistake, joined by her CDC bigwig ex (Jeremy Northam), his assistant (Josh Brolin), an MTA officer (Charles S. Dutton) and a subway shoe-shiner looking for his missing ward (Giancarlo Giannini).
However, the film, which hit theaters on August 22, 1997, was a dud at the box office with a $25.48 million gross from its domestic-only release, rendering it a major financial loss against a $30 million budget. Moreover, under the umbrella of Miramax, it was a tumultuous early big studio experience—allegedly marred by constant interference by the Weinsteins—for the eventual The Shape of Water Oscar winner del Toro that nearly drove him out of the business, and occurred during the Miramax employment tenure of star Sorvino that eventually led to her accusations. Yet, the television arm of the now-restructured (Weinstein-less) studio is reportedly making the Mimic television project a high priority and a bellwether attempt to mine the Miramax library for television projects. As Marc Helwig, Head of Worldwide Television lauds of the project:
“Miramax TV couldn’t be more thrilled to be in business with Paul Anderson, Jeremy Bolt and Jim Danger Gray on Mimic. Paul is one of the leading filmmakers of his generation in the world of science fiction, and we are excited to bring a bold new take on this classic title to life in television that will make your skin crawl, scare the hell out of you and speak loudly to these strange times we all find ourselves in. I couldn’t think of a better writer to bring this world to life than Jim Danger Gray, whose work I’ve admired for a long time.”
Of course, the Mimic television project has veteran guidance with Paul W.S. Anderson at the helm, bringing vast genre-pertinent experience as the writer/director of the 2002-2016 video-game-adapting Resident Evil movie franchise (all of which starred his wife, Milla Jovovich), along with Pompeii, Three Musketeers, crossover Alien vs. Predator, cult space sci-fi outing Event Horizon, sci-fi actioner Soldier and the still-celebrated 1995 original Mortal Kombat movie. As Anderson chimes in on this television adaptation effort.
“The world of insects has been a long-term fascination of mine. So much strength and organization from such tiny creatures that have existed long before humankind and will survive long after our demise. It’s an exciting world that I’m thrilled to jump into, especially with such great partners as Jim and Miramax.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Mimic manifests in the realm of television. For now, though, the project is just getting off the ground, and will be shopped to networks and streamers soon. In the meantime, those who are unfamiliar with the original film can check out the trailer just below.