Okay, sci-fi buffs (and I know CHUD is riddled with you fuckers): it’s time to explain why D.F. Jones’s Colossus books are relevant in an age where the rampant proliferation of nuclear technology has supplanted the fear of U.S. and Russia going head-to-head in global thermonuclear war. As a child of the Cold War, I’m still susceptible to getting freaked out over the thought of an accidental missile launch (thanks, The Day After!), but, post-9/11, these worries are hopelessly outdated. Now, it’s all about suitcase nukes, biological terrorism, or some drunk high school kid breaking into your house and pouring quick cement in your toilet. Death, or, worse, astronomic plumbing bills, is coming at us from every angle.
Jones’s books have long been cited as one of the myriad inspirations for James Cameron’s Terminator movies. I’ve never read them, but I am quite fond of Joseph Sargent’s 1970 Colossus: The Forbin Project, which experienced a mild resurgence in the early 1990s thanks to the enormous success of T2. It’s extremely low-tech and very talky, but it manages to generate some crackling suspense as the U.S. and Soviet supercomputers link up to threaten their human creators with nuclear annihilation. Grazer has tapped hot young screenwriter Jason Rothenberg to write what is currently referred to as Colossus. Hopefully, he won’t get too ambitious re-imagining what already worked on a low budget in the past; with the right approach, this could be a fun, white-knuckler throwback to the days of WarGames.
Colossus is set up at Universal, and is probably a year away from production – that is, if it gets that far. These projects have a way of getting announced and promptly getting developed to death. Generally, I could give a shit, but I’d like to see this one come to fruition; smart sci-fi is in very short supply.