J.J. Abrams Picks Up 'Boilerplate' Adaptation

Boiler PlateBad Robot may have just picked up its first... good robot.

J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot have picked up the rights to “Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be produced at Paramount and is based upon the graphic novel of the same name by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. Outlaw Productions's Deborah Newmyer ("The Ugly Truth") brought the project to Bad Robot and will stay on board as a producer.

"Boilerplate" was created back in 2000 by Guinan as part of a online graphic novel pitch that featured a late 19th century Victorian era robot interacting with a number of historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt and Pancho Villa in convincingly photoshopped pictures that led some visitors to believe that Boilerplate was a real robot. The "Boilerplate" graphic novel was finally released last year by Abrams Image.

In the backstory put forth on the web and “Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel,” Boilerplate was built in the 1880s with the purpose of “preventing the deaths of men in the conflicts of nations.” Towards that end, Boilerplate sees combat in the Spanish-American War and the Boxer Rebellion before disappearing on the battlefields of World War I. Boilerplate also became a celebrity of sorts, meeting luminaries like Mark Twain while also starring in a series of silent movies.

Guinan's faux historical website was so convincing that in 2005, comedian and author Chris Elliot used Boilerplate in his novel "The Shroud of the Thwacker" because he believed that the character was in the public domain. After learning the truth, Elliot and Guinan reached a deal that allowed Boilerplate to remain in the book in exchange for credit and a percentage of Elliot's earnings from the book.

What are your thoughts on a potential "Boilerplate" movie? Should "Boilerplate" be played straight or should it be developed into a broad comedy? Wind up your engines and let us know what you're thinking in the comment section or on Twitter!