HBO is heading to the depths of the ocean for a big-budget adaptation of Michael Crichton's bestselling book Sphere. HBO is no stranger to turning the work of Michael Crichton into award-winning drama after three hit seasons of Westworld, and a fourth in development. Westworld executive producer Denise Thé will oversee the Sphere series, which finds a team of scientists discover a spaceship a thousand feet under the ocean that appears to have been there for hundreds of years.
Deadline describes the new take on the book as "Sphere plunges us one thousand feet into the ocean, where a group of scientists confronts the surreal, beautiful, and deadly mysteries of the universe, only to find the people closest to us may prove to be the most alien." If any of this sounds familiar that's because Sphere was turned into a movie back in 1998 starring Dustin Hoffman, Sharon Stone, and Samuel L. Jackson. While it was lavishing shot by director Barry Levinson, Sphere was a highly cerebral project with a complex story that despite the talent involved, struggled to make a compelling movie.
Sphere tanked at the box office grossing just over $70 million worldwide against an $80 million production budget, and it's remained dormant for more than 20 years. If you've ever read the book, you know the material is long overdue an update. Fellow Westworld producers (and creators) Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan will executive produce the series alongside Robert Downey Jr & Susan Downey.
Currently, there are no details on when we can expect the series, HBO is famed for their high-standards and allowing filmmakers the time they need to make the best possible show. That's before we take into account the new restrictions for filming under strict COVID-19 guidelines. At this stage, late 2021 or sometime in 2022 seems like a safe bet.