Remember “Sphere?” Judging by the film’s tepid box office and it’s quiet legacy, probably not. However, back in 1998, when the film was set to be released, people were excited, as it was directed by Barry Levinson and starred Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. But as mentioned, the film was dead on arrival after reviews were harsh and audiences just didn’t show up. Well, now HBO believes there’s hope left for a new iteration of “Sphere.”
According to Variety, HBO is teaming up with Robert Downey, Jr.’s Team Downey and ‘Westworld’ creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. The series, as the name implies, is based on Michael Crichton’s 1987 novel and tells the story of a group of scientists that travel to the depths of the ocean to investigate a mysterious spacecraft. As you might imagine, it doesn’t go well.
Running the show on the new version of “Sphere” is Denise Thé, who is an executive producer on “Westworld” and will serve as a writer, producer, and showrunner for the new series. She also worked on the series “Person of Interest,” as well as “Medium,” “Cold Case,” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.”
Obviously, it’s still too early to tell who might star in the upcoming series. That being said, considering it has some powerhouse production companies behind it, and the sustained popularity of HBO, it’s likely we’ll hear about some big names becoming attached if “Sphere” gets picked up.
And if it does go before cameras, we can only hope that it’s a better Crichton adaptation than the previous film from the late-‘90s. Though the author is revered as a legend when it comes to sci-fi, the adaptations of his work vary greatly in quality. That being said, the folks involved seemed to have done pretty well with “Westworld,” which also hails from Crichton’s mind, so who knows?