Vin Diesel provided the voice for eponymous character in 1999’s The Iron Giant and he’s about go back to robotics. Heat Vision reports that Diesel will produce and star in the action comedy The Machine for MGM. Diesel will play “a human-like machine created in secrecy by the Pentagon as the world’s first true ultimate weapon. Twenty years after the project was buried and decommissioned for reasons unknown, The Machine is discovered by a kid who befriends him. When the government learns it has been reactivated, the Machine must protect the family harboring him.” So it’s kind of like The Iron Giant except without the charming animation.
Hit the jump for more details on the film and why I don’t think we’re getting anything close to the level of quality seen in The Iron Giant.
Also worrisome is that Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant. Lennon and Garant are both terrific comic actors and their work on The State and Reno 911! was terrific. But they seem to excel at writing awful comedies like the Night and the Museum movies, Taxi, Let’s Go to Prison, Balls of Fury, and the 2005 Vin Diesel flick The Pacifier. I like the premise for The Machine, but Lennon and Garant have consistently proven their willingness to write toothless comedies that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
The project is currently looking for a director but is looking towards a fall start. This raises the question of when Diesel, who is coming off the biggest hit of his career with Fast Five, will get to Riddick 3. Back in February 2010, we reported that Universal had greenlit the film and that Diesel would likely do it after shooting Fast Five. Well Fast Five has been in the can for months and there’s been no word on Riddick 3 since December. It looks like the franchise is going back into hypersleep so Diesel can do slapstick comedy and teaching families a valuable lesson about the importance of togetherness.