Generally when I open my monthly copy of the Osage News, I expect a few pieces on cultural activities on the reservation, some business news, and the latest on the various legal battles the Osage Nation gets involved in against the federal government. I don’t expect to find news about upcoming movies. But the September issue carried with it the news that the Daniel H. Wilson novel Robopocalypse has been optioned by no less than Steven Spielberg, and will be hitting theatres in the summer of 2013.
Robopocalypse, as you might surmise by the title, tells the story of a robot uprising and the human counter-attack. This isn’t exactly untrodden ground, with franchises from Terminator to The Matrix touching on this theme, but it sounds like Wilson’s novel may be focusing on some unusual ideas for the genre, such as the notion that smaller governments may survive where larger ones collapse. Wilson chose the Osage Nation of Indians for the setting of his novel, particularly the village of Grayhorse, because of its balance between urban and rural areas.
Wilson acknowledges some inaccuracies about Osage culture in his writing, but states he tried to avoid it, and hopes to correct them should he write a sequel. Personally, while I would prefer no inaccuracies at all, it’s nice to see that at least some attention is being paid to getting it right for a change. Hopefully Drew Goddard, the screenwriter for the film, will fix some of the errors (though, admittedly, he could screw it up worse.) Frankly, as an Osage Indian myself, it’s just nice to see that for once there’s a major motion picture on the horizon that not only acknowledges our existence, but expects us to continue to exist into the future. The notion that we might excel in a robot uprising where others falter doesn’t hurt my ego either.
Spielberg seems to have great expectations for this film. Dreamworks optioned the story before Wilson had even gotten Robopocalypse published, and has secured financing from both Dreamworks and 20th Century Fox for the film. Spielberg will be directing it himself, and according to Wilson’s blog, has chosen arguably the biggest date of the year for its release: July 4, 2013.
If Spielberg is this enthused about it, then so am I. I’ll have to pick up the novel sometime soon to see just how good it is first-hand. Now here’s hoping they don’t go casting white guys in the Osage roles.