MGM's Rise From the Dead Begins with Vin Diesel's 'Machine'

You can't count a good studio out. MGM seems to have bucked bankruptcy, and is ready to go into business with a recently-resurrected star himself: Vin Diesel.

MGM has Diesel starring in and producing "The Machine," a new movie with a fairly familiar premise. The screenplay, by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant ("The Pacifier," "Night at the Museum"), tells the story of a human-like machine (Diesel), built by the government twenty years ago and soon after shut down, which is found by a kid who reactivates and befriends it. The government, naturally, wants to get it back safely, but the machine is now bound to protect the kid and his family (MGM's release doesn't clarify this, but it's a safe bet the kid will be a boy).

Deadline believes the tone will be similar to "The Iron Giant," which makes sense, because it's exactly the same story.

After getting a sudden career launch in the early 2000s with "The Fast and the Furious" and "XXx," Diesel faded from cultural prominence quickly, after the kid-oriented "The Pacifier" left a bad taste in the mouths of action fans.

So now that "Fast Five" has made Diesel a hot property again (with over $450 million at the worldwide box office), naturally he's going back to the well and bringing the guys who wrote "The Pacifier" with him. The goal, naturally, is to create another franchise for Diesel to hang his hat on, should the "Fast and Furious" concept ever run out of gas.

It's possible that this film will have a little broader appeal than "The Pacifier," but if not, we'll have to see if Diesel's reputation as a tough guy can withstand another blow.