Spielberg Options Wyndham’s Chocky

DreamWorks has extended their option on the film rights to John Wyndham’s 1968 science fiction novel “Chocky” that Spielberg is apparently keen to make his next directing project reports Reuters.

The story centers on a boy who has a mysterious imaginary friend with whom he frequently argues. As the boy’s father gets increasingly suspicious, it becomes clear that an alien entity has taken up residence in the boy’s consciousness.

Things with Spielberg remain up in the air as despite his Dreamworks company having split with Paramount, that studio claims it owns all DreamWorks-developed properties outright. Thus right now it’s still unsure what properties will make the crossover to the new independent Dreamworks and its likely new distributor Universal.

Amongt the projects on Spielberg’s to-do list are “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” an Abraham Lincoln biopic, “Cowboys and Aliens,” “The 39 Clues” and of course the “Tintin” trilogy.

“Tintin” has lately been a priority but hit the snag last week of losing half its financing. Paramount has offered to fully foot the bill, but to do so comes with certain undisclosed financial caveats that may be too strick – leaving Spielberg to opt instead on waiting to find another financier for the other half of the project.

There’s also talk that Spielberg might try to do “Tintin” and “Chocky” simultaneously due to the very different nature of the productions (ie. shoot “Chocky” during the extensive CG animation time on “Tintin”).

“Chocky” was previously translated into a 1984 UK TV series. Wyndham’s other and more famous sci-fi works include “The Midwich Cuckoos” which has been twice adapted on film as “Village of the Damned” in 1960 & 1995, the post-apocalyptic telepathy tale “The Chrysalids”, and of course one of the most famous books ever written – the killer plant saga “The Day of the Triffids”.