Over three years ago it was announced that Brian Grazer would be producing a remake of the ’70s film Colossus: The Forbin Project, which was in itself based on Dennis Feltham Jones’ novel Colossus from the ’60s. Grazer was setting up the project as a directing vehicle for Ron Howard, with Jason Rothenberg—who just yesterday was hired on to pen a draft of the new Twilight Zone movie—taking on writing duties for the film.

Until today, that announcement was the last we heard of the project.

Finally, some progress: Will Smith is attached to star in the remake, which is about a massive American defense computer, named Colossus, becoming sentient and deciding to assume control of the world. Learn more after the break.

Deadline reports the casting update, and describes the film as “a contemporary Frankenstein story about the world’s first sentient computer and the misunderstood genius who gains power over the world because of it”.

The original film was, along with 2001: A Space Odyssey, a precursor to films like The Terminator, Eagle Eye, and perhaps most important of all… WarGames. Its story is strong, but with the film featuring dated technology and archaic Cold War themes, the material is ripe for a modern-day update. Rothenberg’s script uses the premise of the ’70s picture as a springboard for its story, and also incorporates Jones’ two subsequent Colossus novels.

My primary concern for the time being is Ron Howard, who seems like an odd fit for the material. The only sci-fi film in his filmography is the warm-hearted, fantastical Cocoon, which hardly places him as an ideal front-runner to tackle a politically charged, hard sci-fi picture. And Will Smith’s involvement in the pic suggests Ron Howard plans to make this remake a broader, more mainstream affair. After all, Smith is no stranger to sci-fi novel adaptations of this sort, having previously starred as another brilliant-minded scientist in I Am Legend, and before that in the similarly themed technology-run-amok tale I, Robot. Considering the conventional, audience-friendly outings that resulted from those adaptations, it’s quite possible (if not a guarantee) that Colossus could receive similar treatment.

Rather than merely post the original film’s trailer, here’s something a little more interesting: director John Landis providing commentary for the original film’s trailer during an episode of Trailers From Hell.

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