When we spoke to megaproducer Frank Marshall last year we couldn’t help but ask if he had any plans to make more movies based on Michael Crichton novels. After all, Marshall is no stranger to the writer’s work. He’s not only a producer on the Jurassic Park franchise, but he directed Congo. At the time he told us he and Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks were in active development on Crichton’s Micro, which they planned to film in Hawaii.
Fast-forward just a few months and now Micro is moving forward with director Joachim Rønning, who will start doing some solo directing after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which he codirected with Espen Sandberg, hits theaters. And while the world has yet to see the new Pirates (those who saw it at CinemaCon loved it), based on the trailers alone, this will give Rønning another VFX-heavy, spectacle-driven blockbuster to sink his teeth into.
Completed by writer Richard Preston and published after Crichton’s death, the quick pitch for Micro is that it’s a far more sinister version of Honey I Shrunk the Kids. It’s about a group of graduate students who head to a mysterious biotech company located in an isolated compound in Hawaii. There they uncover something the company’s founder is trying to keep hidden, and so to cover it all up he shrinks them all to a microscopic scale and leaves them in the wilds of Hawaii to die. It’s kind of like Crichton’s Timeline mashed together with Innerspace and could definitely make for a thrilling big-screen adventure.
Micro does not currently have a release date, but it does have a script from Goosebumps and Turbo writer Darren Lemke. That leads us to believe they’ll be going with a slightly more family-friendly approach, which tends to happen to Crichton adaptations. His novels are often way more detailed in their violence and horror than what ends up on the big screen. But that’s okay–a lack of gore hasn’t exactly stopped the Jurassic Park series from having some of the most exciting set pieces ever filmed, and so we’re sure it won’t hurt Micro, which is essentially a high-concept creature feature packed with people barely surviving giant insect attacks.