Source Code writer Ben Ripley bringing Flatliners back to life

Source Code writer Ben Ripley has been hired to rewrite 1990 thriller Flatliners for Columbia Pictures.

The original saw a bunch of medical students (played by a bunch of soon to be megastars including Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon) experimenting on their bodies by taking themselves to the brink of death.

As you can imagine, their playing-God tomfoolery gets them into trouble, and they all start to experience bizarre phenomena in their waking lives. Seriously, why don't they give trainee scientists a copy of Frankenstein on their first day?

Laurence Mark ( Julie & Julia , The Lookout ) will produce, but there's no word on a director at this stage (Joel Schumacher called the shots first time round).

Ripley's Source Code was one of the most refreshingly intelligent sci-fiers since, well, Moon . He'd done little of note before that though, with a couple of Species sequels and a TV movie to his name.

Will he come up with a searingly intelligent new take on Flatliners that'll launch the next wave of A-list stars? Or is this just a lame attempt to resuscitate an old idea in the hope of scoring a new franchise to replace Final Destination ?

Only time will tell, but we're hoping this'll be much more Source Code than Species: The Awakening

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.