Screenwriter Alex Garland is poised to make his directorial debut with an indie robot thriller. THR reports that the writer behind 28 Days Later…, Never Let Me Go, and last year’s Dredd will direct Ex Machina for DNA Films and producers Scott Rudin (The Social Network) and Eli Bush (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Garland penned the script for the pic, which tells the story of a billionaire programmer who invites a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate, participating in a test involving an artificially intelligent female robot that he invented. The indie is budgeted at around $15 million and producers are hoping to begin production this summer or fall.
Garland’s other credits include Danny Boyle’s The Beach and Sunshine, as well as a draft of the script for the developing Logan’s Run remake and the scrapped Halo movie. This marks a major step up for the screenwriter, and I’m incredibly intrigued by anything described as an “indie robot thriller” so I look forward to seeing what Garland puts together. If you missed Steve’s extended interview with Garland last fall, check it out right here.
Ben Stiller and HBO clearly want to work together. Word of a David O. Selznick biopic Stiller wants to produce (and possibly star in) surfaced in October. That may still be in the early stages, but THR reported on a separate project that Stiller is more directly, more officially involved in. Stiller has signed on to executive produce, direct, and star in the comedy pilot All Talk, scripted by Jonathan Safran Foer, the writer behind the novel Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. The potential series is described as a “politically, religiously, culturally, intellectually, and sexually irreverent” look at a Jewish family in Washington DC. Alan Alda is in talks to co-star in what would be his first regular series role since M*A*S*H. My best guess says Alda and Stiller will play father and son—sounds fantastic on paper. The pair previously worked together on Tower Heist and Flirting with Disaster. Since Stiller is 46, there is room for at least one more generation in this family comedy. Given the pieces so far, I am really curious to see how they fill out the cast.
Extremely Loud producer Scott Rudin and Eli Bush will executive produce alongside Stiller and Foer. The pilot is tentatively scheduled to shoot this fall. Stiller will next be seen on the big screen in the July 27 release Neighborhood Watch.