Crichton’s Last Novel ‘Micro’ to Get Hollywood Treatment

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that Joachim Rønning, co-director of the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, will be directing the latest Michael Crichton novel to be adapted to film. Rønning is co-directing the new Pirates film with childhood friend Espen Sandberg. Amblin Entertainment will be producing, as they acquired the rights to the novel a few years ago.

Director Joachim Rønning

Rønning taking Micro to big screens

Micro, Crichton’s last novel, was published posthumously in 2011, after Crichton’s 2008 death from lymphoma. It tells the story of a group of graduate students who travel to Hawaii to work for an up-and-coming biotech company. While there, they are miniaturized and left in the rain forest to fend for themselves, using only their knowledge of science and nature to survive. The plot sounds vaguely like 1966s Fantastic Voyage, where an injured scientist gets a crew injected into his bloodstream in order to remove a blood clot and save his life. The theme has also been used to comedic effect by the Honey I Shrunk the Kids films, starring Rick Moranis, and Innerspace, starring Martin Short and Dennis Quaid.

The novel was incomplete when Crichton died, so it was finished by author Richard Preston. The screenplay was written by Darren Lemke

Michael Crichton on set

Crichton behind the camera

Crichton’s novels have long been a go-to source for Hollywood, beginning with The Andromeda Strain in 1971. Thirteen of his novels have been turned into films, including one of the first he directed himself, 1973s Westworld starring Yul Brenner, which was recently revived by HBO to wide acclaim. The original was also the first film to use computer generated images to create special effects, paving the way for all the CGI heavy films of today. He was the screenwriter for eight films, including 1996s Twister. He also created and wrote the pilot episode of the hit TV series ER, which became one of TVs longest running dramas. Although the initial script was written in 1974, it wasn’t produced until twenty years later, and, due to its accurate portrayal of a hospital emergency room, changed the way modern series are made.

As yet, there is no casting news, but with filming expected to begin sometime in the fall, we can probably expect some news in that arena in the coming months.

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