The days of Vin Diesel being Hollywood persona non grata are officially over. After the worldwide success of both “Fast and Furious” and “Fast Five” the industry wants to get back in business with Diesel and his first non-“Furious” project looks like it’s hitting the pavement. MGM announced today it will produce and finance “The Machine” alongside Diesel’s One Race Films.
“The Machine” is an original action comedy by Thomas Lennon and Ben Grant (“Night at the Museum,” “Reno 911!”) which will find Diesel playing a human-like machine (aka a robot, aka a Terminator) intended as an ultimate military weapon. In an ode to numerous 80’s films, the Machine is discovered and reactivated 20 years after it was decommissioned by a group of kids. When the government learns the Machine is back online, it finds itself having to protect the family that has provided him safe haven.
Diesel, Lennon and Grant previously collaborated on a similarly themed family film, 2005’s “The Pacifier.” That Adam Shankman directed comedy was a big hit for Walt Disney Studios grossing $118 million in the U.S. Diesl’s latest release, “Fast Five,” has amassed an astounding $458 million worldwide to date.
In a statement, MGM’s president Jonathan Glickman provided an appropriately bland qoute from the companys new regime saying, “We could not be happier to be partnering with Vin again, especially on a film with such classic themes that will appeal to his broad audience around the world.”
There is currently no director attached to the project. It is also unclear who will market and distribute the picture for MGM. However, the studio espects to begin production this fall.