J.J. Abrams to Produce Paramount’s Robot Tale ‘Boilerplate’

Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett created the graphic novel/picture book about the world’s “first” robot

J.J. Abrams' production company is taking a cue from part of its own name.

Paramount has picked up the rights to "Boilerplate: History's Mechanical Marvel," a graphic novel/picture book about the world's "first" robot, and set Abrams to produce through his Bad Robot banner, the studio has confirmed to TheWrap.

Deb Newmeyer will also produce, having brought the project to Bad Robot.

Written by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, "Boilerplate" is set in the Victorian era, when the titular robot purportedly fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia and Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, journeyed to the South Pole and was involved in the silent movie business before disappearing during World War I.

The book, published last year by Abrams Image (no relation), tells the robot's story by inserting the character into pictures drawn in the style of the age.

It's a clever idea and if anyone can pull it off, it's the uber-talented Abrams, but for some reason I'm not nearly as excited by this project as I am the other high-concept projects Bad Robot has in development, which include an untitled diamond heist project based on a Wired magazine article, as well as "Mystery on Fifth Avenue," about a family in Manhattan whose apartment was designed as an interactive puzzle.

Bad Robot's next film will be the comedy "Morning Glory," which stars Harrison Ford and comes out in November. The genre label also has Abrams' "Super 8" due sometime next summer.

Guinan and Bennett previously created the comic book series "Heartbreakers." They are represented by Mosaic.

Abrams is represented by WME and David Lonner at Oasis Media Group.