Altered States: According to Variety, Warner Bros. has set screenwriter Fernley Phillips to write a remake of Altered States, the 1980 Ken Russell-directed psychedelic sci-fi thriller.

The original film starred William Hurt as a psychophysiologist who uses a sensory deprivation tank to put his mind back into more primitive states of human evolution, with catastrophic results.

Shapiro said he and Phillips came up with a way to alter the original pic that prompted WB brass to dust if off for a redo.

For the original, Paddy Chayefsky ("Network") adapted the film from his own novel, but the three-time Oscar winning scribe so clashed with the director's vision that he removed his name and replaced it with the pseudonym Sidney Aaron (his first and middle names).

"The original is a cult film where people loved the idea but can't totally digest the film," Shapiro said. "Fernley has a keen sense of psychological horror, and this is a time-tested gothic horror concept where an experiment goes awry. But where the original film explored human consciousness in relationship to the origins of man, this version will look to the future and the evolution of consciousness and its various levels."

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Brian B.