Gore Verbinski

Gore Verbinski may be best known for big, bombastic blockbusters, but every once in a while he surprises us with something smaller. Rango is a great example. His hit remake The Ring is another. And though the director hasn’t stepped behind the camera since the disaster of The Lone Ranger, the idea for his next movie comprises a bit of both impulses. It’s an original idea with blockbuster potential.

Verbinski is now attached to an untitled film that’s being called “the Driverless Car Race pic.” Written by Steve Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), it’s a cross-country race movie about cars that drive themselves, with a focus on how the passengers inside deal with that technology and loss of control. Sony Pictures will finance and distribute. Read more about the plot below.

Deadline broke the news of the Driverless Car Race pic and have a pretty interesting plot synopsis:

It’s a large scale action adventure comedy that’s best described as a transcontinental car race with autonomous vehicles. The race originates as a beta test to vet competing software companies that would take the lead on futuristic driver-less vehicles, but it all takes an It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-like comedic turn when the trial run devolves into major road race after the competitive nature of the start-ups trumps their altruistic intentions. The subjects, normal people who are passengers in these cars, eventually try to take control of the experiment. A simple trek from Paris to Beijing, goes awry as vehicles head off the road and off the grid, getting into all kinds of trouble.

Before this, Verbinski was working on the North Korea film starring Steve Carell that got cancelled when The Interview controversy blew up. Now, this movie is now on the “fast track” according to Deadline. Here’s why the director is exited about the idea:

Essentially, we are going to take the funniest comedic actors of this generation and slowly unleash them as we examine the very notion of ‘passengers’ who fundamentally cannot remain passive….At a time when we give more and more liberty away for the benefits of technology, there is nothing more primal and direct as this specific physical abdication of control: Removing a steering wheel from the grasp of human being. The driver-less car is coming,  It’s right around the bend, and it represents an immediate and relevant opportunity to explore the classic ‘Man against Machine’ genre spliced into a large scale Automotive Rally. Stating the obvious – Things are going to get out of control.

I love the fact this is a big, high concept idea with an interesting social dilemma at the center. With Verbinski directing and Conrad writing, this movie has got some big potential.

What do you think of Verbinski’s Driverless Car Race movie?

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