We should have seen it coming, but the news that someone is going to make a VR series based on the divisive 90’s movie, The Lawnmower Man, is still surprising. Maybe it’s because it just seemed too obvious for anybody to even consider doing it but, wow, this is actually happening?
The news broke at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but few details have been provided other than the fact that VR production company, Jaunt, are behind the project. Jaunt are reportedly working with Jim Howell and Rupert Harvey, the current rights owners, to develop the series.
During the announcement, Howell called the series “a VR realization of the film,” which means we’re going to do a full ‘360’ and go right back to one of Hollywood’s first big screen looks at the world of virtual reality.
“The original movie was a film of unsurpassed imagination and creativity with its ground-breaking use of VR back in 1992,” said Jim Howell (via Variety). “Together with Jaunt we look forward to a contemporary team bringing to life a whole new world of VR; a world of immersive entertainment and communication. We are very excited to be working with Jaunt to create a VR realization of the film.”
Released in 1992, Lawnmower Man was a trippy sci-horror flick that divided critics and fans, not least because of its use of the title of Stephen King’s 1975 novel, to which it bore almost no resemblance. In fact, King went on to sue the makers of the film for attaching his name to it.
Controversies aside, Lawnmower Man’s depiction of VR hardware has rung surprisingly true. The VR headsets and haptic gloves are not a million miles away from their real-life counterparts, the latter of which will likely start hitting markets fairly soon now that headsets are commonplace. For that reason, there’s a nice symmetry to the idea of a modern Lawnmower Man VR series, just so long as they drop those awful VR sex scenes.
VR is a rapidly growing sector of the entertainment industry, and multiple big name directors such as Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg are embracing it and developing VR projects of their own. But, if Jaunt’s full-circle adaptation of Lawnmower Man is faithful to its movie source material, you can probably hand out the award for trippiest VR experience right now.
The Lawnmower Man VR series will go into production later this year. No release date has been set.