Floria Sigismondi Amblin project

Too often we refer to Amblin as a studio of yesteryear, but Steven Spielberg‘s production company is still pumping out movies today. And its latest movie acquisition sounds like it’s straight out of their classic catalogue. Amblin has acquired the rights to The Mother Code, based on the novel by Silicon Valley biochemist Carole Stivers. The story is centered on a child raised by an artificially intelligent robot who must fight to save his family after the government decides to destroy the machines.

Variety broke the news that Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Partners, has acquired the worldwide film rights for the science-fiction novel The Mother Code by Carole Stivers. The novel will be adapted into a screenplay by Nightflyers co-producer Amy Louise Johnson.

Per Variety, here is the very Spielbergian-sounding synopsis for The Mother Code:

“The Mother Code” is set in a world in which a biological weapon has nearly destroyed the planet, leading scientists and government officials working to save the human race by placing unborn children in the care of artificially intelligent mother robots. When the government decides the machines must be destroyed, one boy who was raised and nurtured by a robot must fight to save the only parent he has ever known.

The premise sounds straight out of a Spielberg movie: a child protagonist, evil government officials, sentimental themes of family. But there’s potential for that heartwarming formula to fail: just look at A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the 2001 sci-fi film that somehow was both sickeningly schmaltzy and oddly bleak. And let’s not forget that Spielberg’s last sci-fi movie was Ready Player One, which doesn’t exactly encourage high hopes. But Amblin is still a solid company, and whoever takes the helm for this film — since Spielberg is likely busy with his highly anticipated West Side Story remake — could steer this film to success.

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