MGM have acquired the rights to Richard Matheson’s classic 1956 sci-fi novel The Shrinking Man, and aim to adapt it for a modern audience, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The novel was previously adapted in 1957 for the film, The Incredible Shrinking Man.
Matheson is responsible for some of the best loved sci-fi novels of all time, including I Am Legend, which was adapted into the 2007 movie starring Will Smith and grossed $585 million worldwide.
The Shrinking Man was written when there was a widespread fear of the Atomic Bomb and the story focuses on a man who is exposed to both radiation and insecticide, which subsequently cause him to shrink. The screenplay will be written by Matheson and his son, Richard Matheson Jr, they intend to modernise the narrative to reflect major advancements in nanotechnology.
Describing the new iteration as “an existential action movie,” the elder Matheson says, “My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.”
Matheson’s novel has influenced several movies in recent decades such as 1981’s The Incredible Shrinking Woman, and 1989’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
“The themes of The Shrinking Man continue to be relevant,” says Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM’s motion picture group. “And the Mathesons’ cutting-edge ideas for the adaptation will make for a great film that will play all over the world.”
MGM’s Director of Development, Matt Dines, is currently overseeing the project.