J Michael Straczynski, the driving force behind such genre fare as Babylon 5 and a raft of other projects, has said that he is close to finishing his script for the proposed remake of Fifties science-fiction classic Forbidden Planet.
Speaking to Collider, Straczynski, commonly referred to as simply JMS thanks to his prolific internet presence, said: “I think if you’re a fan of the original as I am and have always been, I think it’s very faithful to that. We’ve actually decided to show more of the first ship when it first arrived 20 years earlier to sort of counterpoint what’s happening in the present story. But Warner is very excited about it, thinks it’s a big franchise for them and a huge budget, so they’re very much oriented toward getting it done.”
The original film, released in 1957, is credited with being one of the first A-quality science-fiction theatrical releases alongside The Day The Earth Stood Still. Before that, sci-fi had mostly been relegated to the B-movie region of film. This remake will keep the core of the story – based loosely on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest – but will also focus on plot areas that the original covered fleetingly. “There’s a little more action but it’s still a strong character piece because it’s based on The Tempest and the idea of a father whose daughter is being courted by, in the original play, sailors that are washed up on shore,” said Straczynski. ” You need to have that dynamic still in place to respect the original and the source material. So there’s a fair amount of talking but there’s some really cool action pieces in it as well.”
No solid date has been set for the release of the film yet. The original starred Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis, and was directed by Fred M Wilcox. It’s notable not only for its standing within the science-fiction community, but also for being the first film to use an entirely electronic score, and for introducing the character of Robby The Robot, which would be reused in several other properties over the following years.