MGM Remaking The Incredible Shrinking Man

The original writer, Richard Matheson, will return with his first new screenplay in twenty years.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

If you haven't seen The Incredible Shrinking Man, you owe it to yourself to fix that. Equal parts action, horror, adventure, visual effects spectacle and existential nightmare, the original film by director Jack Arnold (Creature from the Black Lagoon) still holds up today as one of the greatest science-fiction films of the 1950s. In the decades that followed, advancements in CGI have made many of its original special effects advancements seem quaint, but the story remains as powerful as ever. That's probably why MGM has decided to remake it.

Hollywood Reporter has announced that a new cinematic version of The Incredible Shrinking Man is in the works, written by Richard Matheson (who also penned the novel) and his son, Richard Matheson Jr. MGM has picked up the rights to the property from Universal, who had been planning a comedy remake starring Eddie Murphy. Those plans have been completely scrapped in favor of a new, serious take on the story – about a man who slowly shrinks to microscopic size, becoming an international sensation in the process and straining his relationship with his wife – that would mark the elder Matheson's first screenwriting work in 20 years. Richard Matheson's novels and short stories have previously been adapted, often by Matheson himself, into films ranging from I Am Legend to Real Steel to What Dreams May Come. He has also written multiple classic episodes of the original "Twilight Zone" television series.

"My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing," says Matheson. "That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing." Both Richard Matheson and his son, Richard Matheson, are working to update the film's themes and storyline to include new technological advancements, including nanotechnology.

No director has been attached to the new Incredible Shrinking Man just yet, nor has a release date been mentioned.

William Bibbiani is the editor of CraveOnline's Film Channel, the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and the co-star of The Trailer Hitch. Follow him on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.