The 1986 movie Short Circuit is getting rebooted at Spyglass Media Group, imagining a new take on the classic sci-fi comedy. Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman have been hired by the company to “put a Latinx twist” on the screenplay for the family movie, although additional story details haven’t yet been revealed. It seems likely that the Short Circuit reboot will follow a similar story as the original, but with original characters.
Directed by John Badham and written by S. S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, the original Short Circuit stars Ally Sheedy, Steve Guttenberg, Fisher Stevens, Austin Pendleton, Tim Blaney, and G. W. Bailey. It focuses on an experimental military robot named Number 5 who gains human-like intelligence after it’s struck by lightning. Debuting in the No. 1 spot at the box office when it was released in 1986, the film is one of the most memorable sci-fi movies of its decade and is still remembered fondly by many fans.
A followup movie was released two years later, with Short Circuit 2 premiering in 1988. With Maddock and Wilson returning to write the script, the sequel was directed by Kenneth Johnson. Blaney also returns as the voice of Number 5 along with Stevens reprising the role of Ben, and Michael McKean, Cynthia Gibb, and Jack Weston also star. This time, Number 5 (having since been renamed Johnny 5) is kidnapped in New York City after Ben moves to the Big Apple to produce toy replicas of the lovable robot. Unfortunately, the movie tanked with disappointing box office numbers and bad reviews, killing early plans to develop a third installment.
Rumors of a Short Circuit remake date back several years. In 2008, it was reported that Dimension Films had required the rights to reboot the franchise. In the following years, David Foster and Steve Carr had gotten attached to helm the potential reboot at separate points with Dan Milano on board early on to write the screenplay. For whatever reason, the planned reboot wound up dying in development hell. Spyglass Media Group picking up the rights and moving forward with a new pair of writers further confirms that Dimension’s concept is dead in the water.
Cisneros and Shuman are also the writing team behind Half Brothers, the upcoming comedy due to release on Dec. 4. From Focus Features, the movie stars Luis Gerardo Méndez, Connor Del Rio, José Zúñiga, Vincent Spano, Pia Watson, and Juan Pablo Espinosa. Luke Greenfield directs. The story follows a Mexican aviation exec who’s shocked to learn he has an American half-brother he never knew about, and the two embark on a road trip together to trace the path their father took from Mexico the United States.
Project X Entertainment’s James Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein, and William Sherak will produce the new Short Circuit, and original executive producer John W. Hyde will return to exec produce under his Rehab Entertainment banner alongside Terissa Kelton. Production prexy Peter Oillataguerre and production VP Chris Stone will oversee the project for Spyglass. This news comes to us from Deadline.