JJ Abrams Goes Steampunk

His Bad Robot production company set to adapt the tale of a Victorian robot

JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production company is to produce a big screen adaptation of Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, a graphic novel/picture book hybrid about the world’s first robot, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision Blog.

The book is a faux history of the mechanical man, built in the 1893, who interacted with historical figures such as Teddy Roosevelt, Lawrence of Arabia and Mark Twain, fought in the Spanish-American War, the Boxer Rebellion and World War I and even joined an expedition to the Antarctic. The book photoshops Boilerplate (actually a 12-inch articulated model) into real historical photos.

Although the actual book was only published last year, Boilerplate began life in 2000, when creator Paul Guinan online pitch for a graphic novel. It appeared so authentic some visitors to the site actually thought it was for real (good grief!).

Bad Robot will produce the movie for Paramount, with Deborah Newmyer (The Ugly Truth) as producer.