David Cronenberg's son Brandon to direct sci-fi thriller Dragon

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May 19, 2017, 2:02 PM EDT

The son of legendary director David Cronenberg is about to take on his second project behind the camera.

According to Variety, Brandon Cronenberg is set to direct a science fiction film with horror overtones called Dragon. Cronenberg will also write the movie with Dan Abnett, a former Marvel Comics scribe who co-created the 2008 version of the Guardians of the Galaxy that provided the template for the Marvel Studios films starring that team.

Dragon sounds like something entirely different: It takes place in a near-future society where the discovery of ancient organic lifeforms drifting through the universe has led to the use of their biochemistry in creating a hugely profitable drug that acts as a so-called "opiate of the masses." The lifeforms are known as "dragons," and the story follows the captain of a spacecraft and her crew as they hunt for more of them.

Cronenberg said in a statement:

“Dragon connects to a certain kind of hallucinogenic sci-fi tradition, like an adaptation of an imagined Philip K. Dick novel. I’m thrilled to be working with Dan Abnett on this, exploring the pleasures of space horror in a satirical and at times psychotic universe.”

The project is a British/Canadian co-production and is tentatively scheduled to begin shooting in mid-2018. The producers are already looking at opportunities to extend the story via virtual reality and other content, saying, "The world that Brandon and Dan are creating is incredibly rich. There are immense opportunities to continue exploring it.”

Cronenberg made his feature debut in 2012 with Antiviral, a creepy little film about fans who pay to have themselves injected with the same diseases as their favorite celebrities. That movie, which received a limited release, was more in line with the body horror that Brandon's dad explored in his earlier work (a trailer is below).

Dragon, however, sounds like a more cosmic kind of sci-fi that the elder Cronenberg has never gotten around to in his own career. Nevertheless, its trippy premise indicates that Brandon is intent on continuing the family tradition. We'll watch this one and keep you posted on developments.