Gore Verbinski To Direct Film Version Of George R.R. Martin Short Story 'Sandkings'

Gore Verbinski seems to have found his next directing gig.

According to the man himself, the Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker is attached to direct a movie adaptation of Sandkings, which is based on a novelette from A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin. This would be the first film for Verbinski since 2016's A Cure for Wellness, which made approximately $26 million worldwide on a reported $40 million budget. But this new project will be for Netflix, so Verbinski won't have to deal with the same level of scrutiny that typical box office numbers would generate.

Collider spoke with Verbinski recently about his upcoming projects, and the director revealed "one of the screenplays is based on a George R.R. Martin short story called Sandkings, which is this brilliant little twisted short story that I love. And I'm working with a great writer, Dennis Kelly, who wrote the original [Utopia]... The British original series is brilliant. And Dennis is doing the adaptation, so I'm kind of excited about that."

Sandkings is a futuristic story about Simon Kress, who collects exotic animals and buys four terrariums full of mysterious bug-like creatures called sandkings, who grow to fill whatever space they occupy. They carve likenesses of their human master into sandcastles they build to protect their sandking leader, but Kress, who is a giant a**hole, isn't satisfied. He begins starving his new pets out of boredom so he can be entertained watching them fight with each other over the scraps of food he provides. His mistreatment of the creatures continues to escalate, and things take a dark turn from there. A very loose adaptation of the story served as the first episode of 1995's Outer Limits reboot, which you can watch below:

It's been a busy year so far for George R.R. Martin. In late January, word came out that HBO was working on a possible prequel series based on his Dunk & Egg novellas, and then a week later, reports circulated that HBO Max was in early development on a Game of Thrones animated series; Martin would presumably executive produce both. Then, over the past few days, things picked up again: Martin will executive produce an adaptation of Roadmarks for HBO, and Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson is directing an adaptation of Martin's In the Lost Lands, which has Milla Jovovich and Dave Bautista on board to star.

Fingers crossed Martin will still have time to work on – and, dare we hope, finally finish? – The Winds of Winter. That Brienne cliffhanger is killing me!