Warner Bros. Adapting J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World

By Rudie Obias | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

Global warming and climate change are big hot-button issues for the world’s politicians and corporations these days. Considering there are so many documentaries about this polarizing issue, it seems almost fitting that Warner Bros. would option a novel about the melting of the polar ice caps, which completely floods the planet and changes the Earth’s landscape and ecosystem. But before you get worried that Warner Bros. is remaking Waterworld, rest assured that the movie studio is reaching for a loftier source material.


According to Deadline, producer David Heyman has been attached to the film adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s science fiction novel The Drowned World, which received a 50th anniversary reprint edition last year. The novel is critically acclaimed and based on an out-of-print novella of the same title, which was published in Science Fiction Adventures magazine in 1962.

At the moment, there is not much known about the film project itself, only that Harry Potter franchise producer David Heyman is attached. Heyman also produced 2007’s I Am Legend, starring Will Smith, and Alfonso Cuarón’s upcoming Gravity, which is due in theaters on October 4th.

Set in the year 2145, The Drowned World finds Europe overtaken by jungles and lagoons inhabited by giant lizards and insects. Much of the world’s landmass is underwater, including large portions of its big cities such as London, England, where the story takes place. The Drowned World follows biologist Dr. Robert Kerans, who lives on the 35th floor of a London high-rise…which is only two floors above the waterline. Dr. Kerans is obsessed with surveying the existing world’s plants and wildlife. During his excursions, he is confronted by a group of savage anarchists who torment the world’s survivors.

If Warner Bros. can find a good director for this film, (considering the producer and the studio, let’s say David Yates) maybe it will fare better than the likes of Waterworld.