Daily Variety reports that the SCI FI Channel has tapped acclaimed filmmakers Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Alien) and Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) to head up miniseries remakes of genre classics. Scott will exec produce and supervise a new, four-hour take on Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain and Darabont will oversee production on a third adaptation of John W. Campbell Jr.’s tale Who Goes There, which became the 1951 chiller, The Thing From Another World, and John Carpenter’s 1981 remake, The Thing.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter Robert Schenkkan (The Quiet American) is reportedly scripting Andromeda Strain, which has scientists in an underground facility working feverously to kill a deadly extraterrestrial virus. Ridley Scott and brother Tony Scott (director of Man on Fire, Spy Game) serve as exec producers.
David Johnson is penning The Thing for Darabont and co-exec producer David Foster, who was also a producer on Carpenter’s version. The pic, about a mind-controlling alien species that wreaks havoc on a military base in the South Pole, should hit the airwaves in December 2005 or early spring 2006.
SCI FI, which is riding a ratings wave thanks to original series like Star Gate SG1 and an endless parade of CG monster movies, has also signed Steven Spielberg to produce a telepic titled Nine Lives, and asked Martin Scorsese to tackle a project called The Twelve. Super producer Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator trilogy, Aeon Flux) will take a trip to Red Mars, Nicolas Cage will open Dresden Files and X-Men director Bryan Singer will team with Dean Devlin (Independence Day, Godzilla) to make The Triangle.