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The earthquake thriller J.J. Abrams has been assembling for Universal just added a significant piece. Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar) will pen the screenplay for the disaster film, according to Deadline. The picture’s being financed by Abrams and Bryan Burk through their Bad Robot shingle.
Don’t expect a remake of the 1974 Charlton Heston thriller of the same name, made during a time when all-star ensembles gathered together on screen to survive the natural disaster flavor-of-the-week. Deadline says the title Earthquake and the use of the trembling ground will be all that the features have in common.
Abrams has contributed to a healthy amount of on-screen disaster, producing the monster movie Cloverfield, directing Super 8 and now potentially decimating a major metropolis for the benefit of Earthquake. I’m having a hard time understanding what the Bad Robot film will do differently from the 1974 effort. How will the storyline find a way to distance itself from this predecessor? Also, Abrams has to keep an eye on New Line’s 3D earthquake project, San Andreas 3D, which already is on development.
These are problems that will fall to Black, an Oscar winner for his work on Milk who also penned J. Edgar for Clint Eastwood. The writer’s currently scripting an adaptation of the Jon Krakauer novel Under the Banner of Heaven, which Ron Howard wants to direct for Warner Bros. Speaking of directing, Black’s also penning 3 Story, and adaptation of a Dark Horse graphic novel that he’d like to direct, himself. We’ll see if he has time now that Earthquake has rumbled on to his plate.