The Andromeda Strain (1971, 2008) Before ebola, before AIDS, there was the Andromeda Strain, an extra-terrestrial bacteria that threatened to wipe out the human race. This was the first novel that Crichton published under his own name and the first in a long string of movies made from his books. The original 1971 version was directed by Robert Wise ("The Sound of Music") and initiated Crichton, then doing post-doc work at the Salk Institute, into filmmaking. Id take every opportunity to drive up and watch the shooting. It was a pretty big deal at the time. It was a $6-million movie, which seemed awfully expensive in 1970 when the business was in a slump, Crichton later recalled. The thing about directing is that it looked doable. It wasnt like undertaking brain surgery. The 2008 TV remake starred Benjamin Bratt and Eric McCormack. It was during these early days in Hollywood that Crichton first met a young Steven Spielberg. I had recently signed on as a contract TV director there, said Spielberg in a statement. My first assignment was to show Michael Crichton around the Universal lot. We became friends and professionally Jurassic Park, ER, and Twister followed.
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