I love the "salesman buys a random item and has no idea what he's getting into" plot. It's been a staple of the anthology sci-fi show since, well, anthology sci-fi shows began, though it's been a tad under-utilized on the big screen. Lionsgate is looking to change that, however, with a relatively under-wraps project called The Panopticon. Variety describes it as, "a salesman receives a pre-recorded message from himself that tells him the world is about to end and only he can save it."

Now one might assume that the title is the name of an object allows one to receive a pre-recordered message, presumably, from the future, but panopticon is actually the word for an architectural design first used in prisons that allows guards to observe inmates without inmates knowing they are being observed. So it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that the premise deals with a similar concept that stretches across space and time. The 'phone call from the future' hook has been utilized off and on recently (a particular episode of Supernatural used it, as well as the Takashi Miike J-horror movie One Missed Call), but never on a scale as grand as saving the world.

Writing duties are being left up to Craig Rosenberg, whose biggest credits to date are a brief stint as a story editor on season 3 of LOST and the Americanized screenplay for The Uninvited. Directing duties are going to Peter Cornwell, who made a nice chunk of money for Lionsgate with last year's PG-13 ghost loving The Haunting in Connecticut. That means Panopticon is likely to also go the PG-13 route, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Haunting in Connecticut may not have been one of my favorite horror movies of '09, but to its credit, it didn't pack the screen with a ton of nubile teachers. So when casting starts to come together in the next few months, hopefully they stick with their more adult formula of meeting the rating but now bowing to the target demographic.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi