Enigmatic director Stanley Kubrick’s next project, the sci-fi epic “A.I.,” will be set up at Warner Bros. for production next year, the studio announced in a brief release Monday.

As with earlier projects, the filmmaker was reticent about producing, writing and other credit specifics, though it is assumed he will both helm and produce the pic.

The emergence of “A.I.” throws another Kubrick project, the World War II drama “Aryan Papers,” off the fast track (Daily Variety, March 29). The Holocaust story, based on Louis Begley’s novel “Wartime Lies,” is in the earliest stages of production. Its fate depends on whether Kubrick wraps “A.I” early enough to produce and direct it, or if he opts simply to produce “Aryan” during “A.I.’s” post-production phase early next year.

“A.I.,” an abbreviation for “Artificial Intelligence,” is set on a post-apocalyptic, newly carved New Jersey shore where the greenhouse effect has melted the Earth’s ice caps, drowning New York and other great coastal cities. At the same time, robotic intelligence has advanced dramatically.

According to the WB release, Kubrick had been developing the grim vision for two years until shutting it down in 1991, concerned that the special effects available were not quite up to speed for conveying a submerged cityscape.

The release said “Jurassic Park” and other recent pictures that relied on computer graphic imaging impressed Kubrick enough to move ahead on his Gotham tale.

The intensely private London-based director’s relationship with WB spans several decades, including 1971’s “A Clockwork Orange” and “Full Metal Jacket” in 1987.

Kubrick’s agent at Creative Artists Agency, Kevin Huvane, could not be reached.

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