Sony has suspended pre-production on Roland Emmerich’s $175 million sci-fi epic “Singularity,” canceling several scheduled screen tests to give the helmer time to develop the screenplay with co-writer Harald Kloser.
What’s more, Ray Kurzweil, who coined the term “singularity” — the notion that artificial intelligence will surpass our own — is in the process of joining the project to help Emmerich with revisions.
Insiders close to the project cautioned that “Singularity” has not been put in turnaround and is in no danger of missing its targeted release date of May 17, 2013, but said that production will likely be pushed back from March to late spring or early summer. Sony is willing to give Emmerich the time he needs, and for good reason: he’s been a major moneymaker for the studio, with pics like “2012” and “Godzilla.”
“Roland has been traveling the world promoting ‘Anonymous’ so it was a little bit of a mistake to think he could dive in to his next project without taking a breath,” explained Kloser. “With Roland traveling, we had trouble sitting down with Ray, but we finally met and liked each other. It’s a very fortunate development. He’s the eminent authority on singularity so he’ll be a great asset to have on the team.”
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Sources close to Emmerich say the director was disappointed in the box office performance of his Sony latest project, “Anonymous,” which has failed to find a wide audience despite positive reviews, particularly for star Rhys Ifans — but that’s not behind the “Singularity” decision. The nearly $30 million “Anonymous” has grossed only $3 million domestically since the studio scrapped plans to unspool it wide.
Set 50 years in the future, “Singularity” follows a nanotechnology pioneer who uses a dangerous new procedure to save his badly injured son, Adam, whose consciousness is transferred into a swarm of nanobots that take his physical form, giving him all sorts of powers. Protag ends up on the run from an evil corporation that developed the technology.
Emmerich was set to read several actors including Luke Grimes, Logan Marshall Green and Thomas McDonnell for the coveted lead, while Ben Barnes was also said to be in the mix. Those actors will no longer be reading for Emmerich, who will go back to the drawing board as he continues to develop the screenplay.