Writer-director Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) will take the long-awaited adaptation of the Arthur Herzog science fiction novel I.Q. 83 into his own hands with the help of Steve Carell (Get Smart), reports Deadline. The story follows geneticist Dr. James Healey (Carell) and his group of scientists, whose failed DNA experiments result in an airborne virus with the power to lower the I.Q. of the entire population, leading to zombie-esque behavior. This film has been twenty years in the making. Originally a Dreamworks property, Paramount recently took possession after it was dropped. With Kaufman and Carell on board, and Andrew Lazar (Jonah Hex) set to produce, the film finally has a solid team behind it.
Originally treated as serious science fiction in the Herzog novel, Kaufman intends to rewrite it as a scathing satire in the vein of Dr. Strangelove. Known for quirky dramas like Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kaufman just might have the perfect recipe of droll humor and dramatic subject matter needed to take the story in a satirical direction. He has recently finished scripts for two additional sci-fi adaptations, Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five.
As I.Q. 83 remains in pre-production, it has not been designated a release date, nor have any other roles been filled opposite Carell. Check back in the coming months, however, as Kaufman puts the finishing touches on the script, and the film locks in a director (or maybe Kaufman will decides to take on double duty.)