JJ Abrams is one of the reigning kings of the sci-fi genre and his latest project will really test his talent. According to THR, he’s purchased the rights to Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel, a graphic novel-picture book hybrid by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. He’s looking to produce a film based on the material that centers on a robot in the Victorian age…

The premise may sound insane but let me elaborate. Boilerplate “tells the story of the world’s first robot, who, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt and Lawrence of Arabia, journeyed to the South Pole and was involved in the silent movie business before disappearing on the battlefields of World War I.” Sounds like some early Hellboy stuff but with a robot.

Apparently, Guinan pitched the concept and character via a website 11 years ago when trying to drum up interest in a graphic novel. The property literally has years of storylines and arcs that the creators have been working on, which is fortunate for Abrams because if anyone knows how to cut the fat and find a good story it’s him.

What do you think of Abrams producing Boilerplate? Are you familiar with the property?