Steven Spielberg has been known to follow in the footsteps of legendary director John Ford. The late John Ford was notorious to release three films a year, with all of the releases being quality movies. My favorite director with the trademark beard and spectacles is either hit or miss when it comes to multiple movie releases in a 12-month period. 1993 and 2002 were sensational years with Jurassic Park -Schindler’s List and Minority Report-Catch Me If You Can respectively. But 2005 was a hit with Munich and a slight miss with The War Of The Worlds. We hope that he will not be too burned out after the long delayed Lincoln (which is based on Team of Rivals) to direct the adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse.
Although Robopocalypse is the only work of Daniel H. Wilson’s that I have read, after about 30 pages I knew that I wanted more from this author and scientist. The number one aspect(s) of Robopocalypse that readers will appreciate is that it is never pretentious nor contains any characteristics that will make its audience feel disconnected. Wilson certainly has in own style but he is reminiscent of Michael Crichton. Wilson and the latter mentioned late novelist are able to convey a very human and fairly scientifically accurate story without being too diluted with technical jargon.
The story is set in the foreseeable future and unlike most science fiction stories, race relations is still an ongoing issue. Parts of the story takes place in the state of Oklahoma, and some of the characters treat Native American Indians as though they are the illegal immigrants. This remains true even after Archos (the main antagonist) launches an apocalyptic plan to annihilate mankind. This of course sounds cliché’ to modern audiences but the crucial factor that separates Archos from any other machine that becomes self-aware is that Archos plays off the human emotions. Archos does not believe that he is a creation; he believes that he is a divine being. Archos points out that he is doing mankind a favor for ending their existence sooner. For racism, bigotry and greed will ultimately end their existence anyway.
Spielberg and longtime cinematographer Janusz Kaminski’ will have ample choices to get some extraordinary shots of the human race putting aside their differences to battle foes ranging from micro-termites, man sized cyborgs, and airliners manipulated to emulate the great American tragedy: 9/11. The locations in Alaska, Oklahoma, Tokyo, and New York will give this very up close and personal story a very grand scale feeling. Just like with Minority Report, the film is receiving financing from 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks. This of course means a grand budget, but almost guarantees a PG-13 rating. This movie can be intense at PG-13, but the novel has a few moments that would place it in the Rated-R realm. No matter the content rating, we can expect a high rating on rottentomatoes.com.