The Secret Of NIMH, the movie that taught so many young animation fans that the American farmer is a heartless murderer and his tractor a ruthless instrument of death, is getting a remake from MGM. The studio has reacquired the rights to Robert C. O’Brien’s novel Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH, which served as the basis for Don Bluth’s 1982 masterclass in scarring the movie-going youth of America. The new film, which is set to be a mixture of live-action and CGI, will be written by Ice Age 5 scribe Michael Berg, who reportedly plans to focus on the origins of the Rats of NIMH—recounted in the original with a nightmarish sequence that’s probably responsible for its fair share of adults with a fear of hypodermic syringes. (Bluth probably also owes an apology to anyone afraid of getting sucked to their death down a ventilation shaft.)
MGM’s new version sounds like it’ll go a lot lighter on the “horrific injections sending cuddly animals down spiraling, hallucinatory DNA staircases” elements of the plot, though, describing it instead as a tale of an “imperiled mouse protagonist” who “befriends a comical crew of lab rats as they turn hyper-intelligent.” MGM is apparently looking to turn NIMH into a franchise, so fans of good old fashioned nightmare fuel might want to pitch their expectations more toward wacky antics, and less toward Machiavellian murder rats.