It’s been over a year since there was any word on Spiderhead, director Joseph Kosinski‘s post-Top Gun: Maverick project set up at Netflix. With that lack of news, there was worry the project was crumbling, but it turns out they were just prepping a great cast. Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, and Jurnee Smollett have all signed on to star in the film.
So, since an actual year ago feels like about twelve, what’s the project about again? The film will be adapted from George Saunders’ short story Escape From Spiderhead by Zombieland writing duo Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and it’s a sci-fi tale set in a near future where prisoners can shave time off their sentences by agreeing to play human guinea pigs and test out new, emotion-altering drugs.
Two prisoners participate in the testing of a drug that can artificially create feelings of love. Unfortunately we don’t know right now who anyone is playing, so that combo could be any of the aforementioned actors. What we do know is that this will be Hemsworth’s second Netflix Original after recently starring in the actioner Extraction.
Teller’s casting also makes sense as he’s got a role in Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick, which would have hit cinemas this year before coronavirus changed everything. Smollett is a bit of a burgeoning star herself, having had a good year in front of the camera thanks to starring in Birds Of Prey and HBO’s Lovecraft Country.
The Spiderland premise is pretty great. It will be interesting to see how Reese and Wernick adapt the original short story into something feature length without simply making it feel like padding. With Hemsworth, Teller and Smollett on board though, it might not matter so much. Netflix may have found the next movie to break all their frequently-broken records.