MTV.com reports that Sam Worthington – who hit big in two science fiction films last year, AVATAR and TERMINATOR SALVATION – will produce and star in QUATERMAIN, a sci-fi updating of H. Rider Haggard’s Victorian adventurer Allan Quatermain, who served as the inspiration for numerous cinematic action heroes (I’m looking at you, Indiana Jones!). According to Hollywood Reporter, the story has Quatermain returning to Earth from a mission in outer space, only to find that humanity is no more, leading to adventure on a “planetwide scale.”
The QUATERMAIN script is by Mark Verheiden (TIME COP). Worthington will produce, along with Miles Millar and Alfred Gough (SMALLVILLE) for DreamWorks.
Allan Quatermain was born in Haggard’s young-adult novel King Solomon’s Mines, helping an English lord search for his brother, who has disappeared in an uncharted section of Africa, searching for the titular treasure. The story was a hit that spawned sequels and influenced such films as 1933’s KING KONG (which also features an uncivilized modern tribe of dark-skinned savages living in the remnants of a lost civilization). Eventually, Quatermain met up with Haggard’s other famous literary creation, the immortal Ayesha, in She and Allan.
On screen, Quatermain has been played by actors as diverse as Stewart Granger, Richard Chamberlain, and Patrick Swayze. Even former James Bond Sean Connery had a go at the role, giving an impressive performance in the otherwise overblown THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN (2003).
If Worthington has anything going against him, it is his youth, as we first meet Quatermain as a somewhat world-weary man, who inevitably finds himself in life-or-death situations – not a gung-ho thrill-seeker looking for action. On the other hand, later Quatermain books were prequels, filling in the character’s early years, so perhaps Worthington is a good fit.