Michael Bay is no stranger to robots, having helmed five Transformers films. He will stay in the sci-fi action realm for Robopocalypse, an adaptation of the 2011 novel of the same name by Daniel H. Wilson. In addition to being an author, Wilson is also a robotics engineer.
Robopocalypse is about a computer scientist whose creation, an A.I. construct named Archos R-14, gradually gains intelligence and plots to overthrow mankind by infecting internet-connected networks and devices with a virus. One of the systems infected by Archos is a robot named Mikko, who is in a romantic relationship with a Japanese repairman named Takeo. The format of the novel, which is told as an oral history compiled from interviews and testimonies, has been compared to World War Z.
Left: Robopocalypse cover Right: concept art for Spielberg's cancelled film by Patrick Janicke
Steven Spielberg signed on to direct a film adaptation of Robopocalypse in 2011, with Drew Goddard attached to pen the screenplay. Chris Hemsworth, Anne Hathaway and Ben Whishaw were cast. The film was set for a 2013 release, which was then delayed to 2014, before Spielberg put the project on hold indefinitely. Spielberg cited story and budget concerns, moving on to other projects.
Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg at the premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction
Spielberg will produce the Bay-directed Robopocalypse. Spielberg was an executive producer on the Transformers films, and hand-picked Bay to helm the first one in 2007.
Before Robopocalypse, Bay will direct 6 Underground, presumably a smaller film. The action thriller is written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Deadpool, Deapool 2, Life, Zombieland), and its plot is currently being kept under wraps. According to Variety reporter Justin Kroll, a source told him the film was “The Rock meets Suicide Squad”, so it’s safe to assume that there will be six renegade soldier or mercenary types pulling off a mission underground.