JJ Abrams’ production company may be called Bad Robot, but over the next year, the filmmaker and his team will be working with one of the good ones.
The Hollywood Reporter has first word that Abrams will produce an upcoming film based on “Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel” by husband and wife comics team of Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. The film will be produced and released by Paramount.
Cartoonist Guinan created the Boilerplate character over 11 years ago while working on the “Heartbreakers” comics series alongside his wife. In an effort to drum up interest in a proposed graphic novel for the steampunk robot, the pair created an intensely detailed website chronicling the character’s career as the world’s first robot, placing him within all sorts of historical events. The site was such a convincing piece of false history that many took the character to be a real life hoax perpetrated in the 19th Century, including actor-comedian Chris Elliot who used the character in his own 2005 novel “The Shroud of the Thwacker” without realizing it was a copyrighted fictional character.
Guinan and Bennett finally saw their version of Boilerplate hit last year in the form of the illustrated novel “Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel” which include prose passages and illustrations which incorporated the character into real historical events from the Boxer Rebellion to the Spanish-American War.