Gore Verbinski, director of Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Ring is set to direct a new movie about a driverless car race from Europe to China, according to Deadline. The movie, to be produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment, will be written by Steve Conrad, who also wrote the criminally underrated The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
The movie, with the working title Driverless Car Race, is reportedly a large scale action adventure comedy that’s best described as a transcontinental car race with autonomous vehicles. The race originates as a beta test to vet competing software companies that would take the lead on futuristic driver-less vehicles, but it all takes an It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-like comedic turn when the trial run devolves into major road race after the competitive nature of the start-ups trumps their altruistic intentions. The subjects, normal people who are passengers in these cars, eventually try to take control of the experiment. A simple trek from Paris to Beijing, goes awry as vehicles head off the road and off the grid, getting into all kinds of trouble.
“The driverless car is coming. It’s right around the bend, and it represents an immediate and relevant opportunity to explore the classic ‘Man against Machine’ genre spliced into a large scale Automotive Rally. Stating the obvious – Things are going to get out of control,” Verbinski hyperbolically told Deadline. “Essentially, we are going to take the funniest comedic actors of this generation and slowly unleash them as we examine the very notion of ‘passengers’ who fundamentally cannot remain passive. At a time when we give more and more liberty away for the benefits of technology, there is nothing more primal and direct as this specific physical abdication of control: Removing a steering wheel from the grasp of human being.”
However, Driverless Car Race is not only about the hilarity of sitting perfectly still in an automobile that’s going the speed limit. Verbinski also sees it as a chance to explore “the classic ‘Man Against Machine’” conflict, as the passengers revolt, the “vehicles head off the road and off the grid.”
Going by his words, we are expecting a mad mash-up of previous road movies like It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Cannonball Run, Speed Zone, and Rat Race.