Back to the Future director Replays with time travel

Director Robert Zemeckis is heading back to the future, minus the DeLorean, with an adaptation of the bestselling 1987 novel Replay.

Vulture reports the director behind the beloved time travel series is in talks with Warner Brothers Pictures to helm the big screen adaptation of Ken Grimwood’s novel about a time travelling 40-year-old man, Jeff Winston.

Winston, a radio journalist, dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens as his 18-year-old self … in 1963. Winston lives out his life again; with memories of his first life he does all he can to avoid the same fate but again dies of a heart attack in 1988 and returns one more to 1963.

In what sounds like Back to the Future meets Groundhog Day, Winston soon learns he cannot change his fate but he can change the way he lives his life before his untimely death. Along the way he meets Pamela, a fellow “replayer” and the two seek out others like them before deciding to go public with their experiences and future knowledge.

The screenplay was written by Jason Smilovic (The Wrong Man, My Own Worst Enemy) and has been floating around Hollywood for years. The rights were originally sold by Grimwood in the late 1980s to United Artists and passed on to Disney where it was briefly considered for Ben Affleck to direct. It then moved to Warner Brothers where Ellen Goldsmith-Thomas is trying to get it made.

Zemeckis is reported to be directing Flight up next but with Denzel Washington yet to sign on perhaps Replay will become his top priority.

Discuss: Glad to see Zemeckis return to non-motion captured filmmaking?

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