He made his directorial debut with the short film Ethos in 2008, followed by The Long Run and Retrospector in 2010 and 2012 respectively. He is currently planning a remake of Logan's Run, based on the book of the same name. His work has been described as "introspective science fiction", and has drawn comparisons to seminal science fiction films like Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Adam James Cariss was born on December 13, 1977, Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S.A. His father, Rodger Cariss was born in England and is of French descent. His mother Anna is American. Due to his mixed lineage, Cariss cites an upbringing on both British and American science fiction, including THX 1138, Solaris, Dark Star, and Alien, as well as television series like Star Trek and Doctor Who.
Cariss made his film debut in 2008 with the short film Somnium. The story of a man (played by Cariss himself) who has a vivid dream that never quite seems to be real or not, the film was released at local film circuits and received a slew of approval. It generated a cult status, and allowed Cariss to garner support and attention to begin development of his feature film debut.
He began writing and developing the script for The Long Run in 2008, backed with Zothropic Pictures. Inspired by Logan's Run and Blade Runner, the film follows protagonist Zoë 5 (played by Rosanna De Kor), and her attempt to escape the Facility, set in the near future where when people turn 18 they are "erased" and replaced by synthetic "Blanks" to ensure stability and obedience in the New World Order. The film poses similar questions as Cariss' debut, never revealing of Zoë is a Blank or not. The film was released on August 3, 2010, and while not performing well at the box office received critical acclaim, particularly to De Kor's performance and Cariss' direction.
Shortly after completing The Long Run, Cariss began work on his next film. Following the death of his grandfather in late 2010, he began to reflect on life and wrote a script dealing with a dying man as he relives his life through sporadic episodes. Retrospector, dedicated to Cariss' grandfather James, tells the story of John Law, a man dying of an unnamed disease in one of the many "Isolation Rooms" of the fictional near future, where dying patients may relive their memories projects as if real. Law is played by Timothy Lawrence, Jake Crowley and Mitch Deaubont at different stages of his life. The film was released on May 15, 2012 to critical acclaim.
Cariss married actress Rosanna De Kor, who starred in The Long Run, in 2006. They have three children; Lily Jane (b. 2006), Xavier Jake (b. 2009), and Violet Sarah (b. 2011). He lives in his hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire.
Cariss has long since discussed a remake of the 1976 sci-fi classic Logan's Run, based on the novel of the same name. He has said if he does do the film, it will more be an adaptation of the novel than a remake of the original film. He has also mentioned plans to adapt VALIS, the novel by Philip K. Dick.