It’s Watchmen meets District 9 in Alex Proyas’ new project, where a group of disabled people are accidentally given superpowers.
Proyas, the Australian director whose work includes The Crow, I, Robot and Dark City, has paid an unspecified six-figure sum for the rights to Daniel H. Wilson’s upcoming book AMP, a techno-thriller filled with political allegory that will “explore and expand” what it means to be human.
Wilson’s as-yet unfinished novel is set in a future where cyber-engineering designed to help disabled people gives some of them superpowers instead. The plan is to hire a screenwriter who will redraft the novel pages into script form, much in the same way as the script for Robopocalypse – another one of Wilson’s books, which starts filming in early 2012 – was put together.
Proyas won the rights to AMP at an auction, which apparently also included Paramount and Working Title, the studio behind movies like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Wilson went with Proyas’ offer because he was impressed at Proyas’ plan to keep the budget low and use his own production company. Currently, Proyas is only confirmed as the movie’s producer, but it’s thought that he will probably direct it as well.
Superhero movies are all the rage at the moment – there is at least seven coming out in the next two years, including Green Lantern, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers – but it’s pretty unlikely that any of them will be using the idea of superhuman powers in quite the same way as AMP. Much of Proyas’ previous work has focused around dark settings and people with unusual abilities, and it will be interesting to see what he does when actual, full-on superpowers are on the cards.
The book version of AMP should hit shelves in either late 2011 or early 2012, with the movie version coming some time after that.