Considering how enduringly successful the first team-up between producer/director Steven Spielberg and technothriller author Michael Crichton has proven to be, it’s sort of surprising that Spielberg hasn’t dipped more often into the late author’s oeuvre. Although the pair collaborated on NBC’s hit medical drama ER, and Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment produced the Crichton-penned Twister, the director has never taken a second run at Crichton’s wide library of tales of technology gone awry.
The Wrap reports that that might be about to change, though, with news that Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios has acquired the rights to Crichton’s final novel, Micro. The unfinished story—which was completed by author Richard Preston and published in 2011—centers on a team of graduate students who are invited by shady billionaire Vin Drake (whose other possible names may have included Kurt Viper, Scorch Slyme, or Rich Badguy) to see his company Nanigen’s new shrinking device. As is inevitable in a Crichton novel, the students end up shrunk and betrayed, and are forced to survive in “the micro-world” of the Fern Gully rainforest, presumably while being menaced by early-’90s environmental safety messages and a pollution monster voiced by Tim Curry.
Published posthumously, Micro explores several of Crichton’s favorite themes, including the conflict between humanity and technology, the beauty and danger of the natural world, and the author’s long-held belief that companies with “Gen” in their names are up to no good.
Micro isn’t the only Crichton-based project currently in the works; HBO’s TV series adaptation of 1973’s Westworld, which the author wrote and directed, is expected to air later this year. DreamWorks also owns the rights to Crichton’s other posthumously published novel, 2009’s Pirate Latitudes, which we’re just going to assume is about a team of graduate students—nature’s protagonists!—being menaced by an evil CFO who rides around in a giant pirate ship made out of nanomachines with spliced-in frog DNA.