Exclusive: Netflix Rebooting Dreamscape With Spike Jonze

By Michileen Martin | Updated

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Dennis Quaid in Dreamscape (1984)

Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow) made a lot of sci-fi movies in the 1980s that are far too often overlooked, and one of them is about to get a new lease on life. Our trusted and proven sources tell us a reboot series of the 1984 film Dreamscape is being developed by Netflix. Helming the new series is Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), who plans to introduce a virtual reality spin to the original concept.

Spike Jonze is helming a Dreamscape reboot series, in development at Netflix.

Our sources tell us the rebooted series will be about a shared virtual reality realm which people can enter during their sleep. This is similar, but not quite the same as the original concept, with the common denominator being shared dreams.

In the Dreamscape film that precedes the series currently in development at Netflix, Dennis Quaid plays psychic Alex Gardner, who subjects himself to government sponsored experiments. Gardner’s mentor Dr. Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow) develops a technique that allows the psychic to enter others’ minds as they dream.

Considering his body of work, it’s no mystery why Spike Jonze would be interested in bringing a Dreamscape reboot to Netflix.

While Novotny’s intent is therapeutic, government agent Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer) wants to use the technique to assassinate.

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A monstrous Snake Man appearing in a young boy’s nightmares in Dreamscape (1984)

Technically, virtual reality was invented in 1968, but by the time Dreamscape hit theaters, VR wasn’t as well known as it is today or even as well as it became known in the early 1990s. The original Dreamscape could very well have gone in the same direction as Netflix’s reboot otherwise.

Considering his body of work, it’s no mystery why Spike Jonze would be interested in bringing a Dreamscape reboot to Netflix. Jonze hasn’t directed a feature film since 2013’s Her, but the movies he has directed — e.g. Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are — are known for their surreal, dreamlike qualities.

We don’t yet know, however, if Jonze will serve as director for the Dreamscape series coming to Netflix, or if he will only produce. His last credited work as a director was for the 2020 documentary Beastie Boys Story; an early Apple TV+ original.

dreamscape netflix
David Patrick Kelly in Dreamscape (1984)

Dreamscape did relatively well long before Netflix existed, and it boasted an impressive cast. Along with Quaid, Von Sydow, and Plummer; Eddie Albert (The Longest Yard) plays the American president, George Wendt (Cheers) plays a novelist investigating the government project, and David Patrick Kelly (Commando) plays a twisted psychic only too happy to kill for the government.

Quaid’s love interest Jane DeVries was played by Kate Capshaw, who starred the same year in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Where Can You Watch The Original Dreamscape?

Once we know more about the Dreamscape reboot coming to Netflix, we’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you want to check out the original, it’s streaming on quite a few platforms, including Peacock, Tubi, Vudu, The Roku Channel, and Freevee.