When most people hear the name Waterworld, their mind instantly conjures up a massive box office bomb and an all-round terrible movie, but that’s not entirely true. It was definitely the most expensive production in history at the time with a troubled shoot seeing the budget balloon to a massive $175 million.
Once the film was released, it scored tepid reviews from critics and audiences alike, ultimately pulling in $264 million at the box office, which wasn’t a great return for such an ambitious post-apocalyptic epic. However, Waterworld actually turned out to be profitable in the long run thanks to strong home video sales and the string of theme park attractions based on the film, which are all still running today.
One thing it never seemed to possess is franchise potential, though, but that’s about to change with the news that 10 Cloverfield Lane and Predator reboot Skull director Dan Trachtenberg is attached to helm an episodic sequel series set two decades after the events of Waterworld, with producer John Fox offering up the first details on the project.
“We’re not 100% sure on the approach to the show. But definitely, we’re in the building stages right now. Larry Gordon and myself, we’re the producers on that movie. And with John, we are all re-imagining it for the streaming version. For now, it’s at Universal Television, and we are putting it together. But yes, we think it already has a home. We’re talking to folks, but nobody locked in yet. Dan’s attached, we’re breaking the story now and we’re talking to a few different writers. And we should have a writer locked in, I would think, over the next couple of weeks.”
Chances are the Waterworld series will be heading to Peacock, then, but the speculation will now turn to whether or not they can convince Kevin Costner to drop by as the Mariner. The actor worked on Kevin Reynolds’ blockbuster six days a week for 157 days due to his status as leading man, producer and possible shadow director if the reports about the behind the scenes disagreements are to be believed, so he might not be keen to dredge up those memories.
The potential is definitely there for an episodic spinoff, given the high concept premise that’s wide open and practically begging to be positioned as a climate change allegory, so there’s reason to be quietly optimistic over a new stab at Waterworld a quarter of a century down the line.