JJ Abrams, Paramount Hammer Out Writers for <i>Boilerplate</i>

Goliath screenwriters JD Payne and Patrick McKay will adapt Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel for Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot, Deadline reports.

The 2009 book, by the husband and wife comics team of Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, was optioned last year by J.J. Abrams. Created in 2000 by Guinan, Boilerplate became the subject of an elaborate website detailing the history of robot built in 1893 to replace men in battle. Although designed only to drum up interest in a planned graphic novel, the site was so convincing in its depictions of Boilerplate interacting with historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Mark Twain and Poncho Villa that comedian Chris Elliott mistook the steampunk creation for a 19th-century spoof and used the copyrighted character in his 2005 novel The Shroud of the Thwacker. Elliott and Guinan quickly agreed to a financial settlement.

Payne and McKay penned Relativity Media's take on the Old Testament tale of David and Goliath, which is supposedly courting Taylor Lautner and Dwayne Johnson for the title roles.

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