Screenwriting team Al Gough and Miles Millar (“Smallville”) have signed on to adapt “I Am Number 4”. The film will be based on the unpublished science fiction novel written by Jobie Hughes and controversial “A Million Little Pieces” author James Frey. The story involves a group of teenage alien refugees assimilating to high school on Earth when they discover that their home planet’s enemy is now hunting them on their new turf. Michael Bay will be producing the project with a potential to direct. More after the jump:
DreamWorks’s co-president of production, Mark Sourian, is happy with this decision it seems. He is quoted in the THR report saying “Their body of work illustrates their expertise in this genre, and we look forward to them bringing their vision to this very unique property.” This does make sense since Cough and Millar have proven themselves to be some of the go to names when it comes to genre films and TV shows. They are probably best known for developing and writing TV’s “Smallville”, but they have also written such screenplays as “Shanghai Noon” and “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon”. They are also currently attached to another geek friendly project with “Robotech”.
THR mentions that genre fans have pointed out the concept’s similarity to the 1999-2002 UPN show “Roswell”, which explored the relationships of teenage alien-human hybrids on Earth. I’ve never seen episode of “Roswell” so I have no idea if this is true or not. I am just going to take The Hollywood Reporter’s word for now.
The Reporter also writes in their report that the film being put into production might be a result of Hollywood’s new found interest in the alien-refugee context. This is understandable after the success of “District 9”, which has grossed $77 million domestically so far. Will this film be as sophisticated, smart, and as great “District 9”? I’m going to be cynical and say no. Michael Bay producing it and maybe directing the film does make me lean more towards that direction. Yeah. I am one of those Michael Bay haters. I also don’t know if this will be Bay’s next film since the last time we heard Bay was thinking about taking a break from making robots pee to film a smaller film based on a 1999 Miami Herald article called “Pain & Gain” about felonious bodybuilders.
“I Am Number 4” is the first in a planned four-volume young-adult series to be published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in North America. So, it looks like Hollywood might be planning their next franchise with this one.