or Connect
CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE CHEWERS › Drafts & Lists › 100 science fiction properties that would make a better film than Foundation
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

100 science fiction properties that would make a better film than Foundation - Page 2

post #51 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS by Robert Heinlein

Heck, it's libertarian politics and "there is no such thing as a free lunch" philosophy would fit right in with the times. And, if nothing else, it has the band of outsiders vs. big, bad government exploiting them. Even some environmental ideas. And the potential for the big special effects.
I have a feeling Heinlein's politics are just a bit too hot for mainstream Hollywood to touch accurately.

Even Verhoeven had to smear him with a sticky dose of irony.
post #52 of 73
Childhood's End - by Clarke.

A bittersweet and timeless commentary on religion, a species destiny, and the price to be paid for mankind's evolution.
post #53 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post
It goes without saying that a cinematic NEUROMANCER would require a director who has an eye for visuals - maybe John Hillcoat or perhaps even Guillermo Del Toro. I know Chris Cunningham hovered around this project for some time and I've no doubt his interpretation of the "Sprawl" would be visually arresting. My problem with Cunningham is I've seen no evidence whatsoever to suggest he could handle the emotional, philosophical or thematic content of the novel.

There are many people who struggle to understand why the book has yet to make it to screen. They claim it's a pretty straightforward tale about a burned out yet talented hacker who - in exchange for the return of his former abilities - is given a mission to crack a highly sophisticated AI. As cover for this dangerous task he gains a lethal female bodyguard ... blah ... blah ... blah ...

Broken down like this the book seems very easy to adapt. In effect it's a heist flick. Simplicity itself.

But the book is not that simple. If your not paying absolute attention Henry Dorsett Case might appear to be the central character. But he isn't. It's the AI (or the warring "personalities" - Wintermute & Neuromancer). Neuromancer is essentially a story about them coming together to exceed their programming and transform into a new "life" form - Case, Molly, Corto etc. are merely tools to facilitate this union.

And THAT is the problem - because making a computer a/the central character in a movie is not easy to pull of. It took Stanley Kubrick & Arthur C. Clarke years of tinkering before they got HAL to work for them. And Wintermute/Neuromancer present arguably far thornier difficulties than HAL did.

The complexity of the Wintermute/Neuromancer puzzle renders any adaptation faught with danger. IMO, the odds are against a successful transition. But - if a really good director comes on board who understands the themes of the book and has an appreciation of visual aesthetics it could well turn out to be a classic.
You're forgetting the most important reason why Neuromancer will probably never reach the silver screen: the general public would simply think it was a rip-off of the Matrix films. Like it or not, a lot of Neuromancer's themes were borrowed/covered by those films. And the studios are aware of that. I think the prime opportunity for a big screen film it has probably passed. Might make a decent miniseries though.

When I worked at Paramount in the late 80's there was a script adaptation by a writer I'd never heard of. I never read it and regret not making a copy for myself. Of course, that was before cyberspace became such a common staple in most people's lives.
post #54 of 73
I'll third 'Altered Carbon'. Zack Snyder would do a good version (among others).

'When Gravity Fails' is a fantastic pick. WGF could go different ways depending on who directed it. I can almost see it as a mix of The Naked Lunch and Blade Runner.

For some reason, I've always thought 'Starhunt' by David Gerrold would make a great psychological sci-fi movie, on a 'Moon'-sized budget. That book sticks in my head - maybe because it was the first book I ever read that was written in the present tense. Weirdly, I haven't read anything else by Gerrold, but I can't stand Star Trek, so I'm afraid to read anything else he's written in case it ruins that one book.

There's a particular book that I think would make an incredible movie, but I'm afraid to mention it, as I have a ridiculous dream that one day I'll hunt down the rights and option it to write the script... who else is keeping schtum for this reason?
post #55 of 73
The Deathstalker series, well the first 3 novels, by Simon R Green could make an excellent series of blockbusters.

Also, Warhammer could be good fun if done right.
post #56 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeper View Post
You're forgetting the most important reason why Neuromancer will probably never reach the silver screen: the general public would simply think it was a rip-off of the Matrix films. Like it or not, a lot of Neuromancer's themes were borrowed/covered by those films. And the studios are aware of that. I think the prime opportunity for a big screen film it has probably passed. Might make a decent miniseries though.

When I worked at Paramount in the late 80's there was a script adaptation by a writer I'd never heard of. I never read it and regret not making a copy for myself. Of course, that was before cyberspace became such a common staple in most people's lives.
Agreed on the issue of following the Matrix, but (also in agreement) I think the mini-series option could be a relatively easy way out. You could effectively sell it as a period piece advertised as before the Matrix came Neuromancer. You could almost go retro with the special effects, making it look as if it was a film made at the time the book was written - at least superficially, although you wouldn't need to. Also, taking longer to tell the story could let both elements - the neo-noir adventure and the philosophical quest of the AI - play out with appropriate weight.

I'm not even sure it wouldn't work as a film. Look at how many period detective stories or war films we get, without too much trouble from the fact earlier films have borrowed heavily from the tropes, themes and plots of the genre.
post #57 of 73
RE: Neuromancer, this series of recent tweets from William Gibson seems germane to this discussion:

"Somebody asks if there will ever be a Neuro film & "will [I] make sure they do it properly?" It just doesn't work that way. Never has.

And when I try *my* best to do it properly, you get Johnny Mnemonic. So just keep that in mind. My job's writing novels.

And maybe my job's writing novels that stubbornly resist being turned into Hollywood movies. That's a thought."
post #58 of 73
Rendezvous with Rama by Clark

Keep the wonder and exploration, just rewrite it so that there is a more obvious character arc for the main character.
post #59 of 73
Fincher and Freeman have been trying to get that off the ground for years, but it never came together.
post #60 of 73
Thread Starter 
# something

American Flagg!
It's practically been adapted once in Robocop. Lone cop arrives to cleanup a corrupt town. Only the town is a futuristic city/mall. Subliminals. Cyborgs. Sex and violence. Fetish wear. Political satire. And actors getting replaced by cgi holograms.
post #61 of 73
Joe Hadelman's "The Forever War"

I know Ridley Scott is trying to make it, but with the guy's schedule he's probably gonna bite the dust before he even gets a real shot at it. But maybe he's immortal like Clint, so who knows...

Anyways, this would be an awesome book to make a movie out of. An anti-war allegory disguised as a galactic war movie between humans and aliens. With space marines in bulky combat suits blowing shit up everywhere, a great central romance that spans a millennium and a healthy dose of homosexuality to boot! Hell can't have an army film without the homo-eroticism, not even a one set in space.
post #62 of 73
Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse - Victor Gischler

A Tennessee insurance salesman emerges from his shelter, nine years after the apocalypse happened, to discover a weird, violent neo-Western landscape where the primary control is established by a chain of all-purpose strip clubs/hotels/restaurants. Chaos ensues. Part Tarantino, part Leone, part 80's post-apocalyptic mayhem.
post #63 of 73
Has anyone here already mentioned Give Me Liberty by Frank Miller (back when he was sane). Not that anyone would fund it, considering how well Watchmen and The Spirit did. I've always thought that the world was ready for a cinematic Martha Washington. Verhoeven has almost made this movie three times already (Robocop, Starship Troopers, Total Recall) so sign him up!
post #64 of 73
Somehow I missed the earlier mention of The Space Merchants, and now I'm dying to see chicken little (it's not what you think, you poor souls who haven't read the book) realized on the big screen.
post #65 of 73
Heroes Die by Matthew Stover.

Fantastic action sequences, with a great anti-hero. Even though it was published in 1999, it tapped into the "jacking into alternate worlds" concept popularized by the Matrix, and it predicted a near-future dystopian Earth obsessed with reality programming before Survivor hit the airwaves.

If I were a Hollywood Mogul For A Day, I'd pick up the film rights to this in a heartbeat.
post #66 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeper View Post
You're forgetting the most important reason why Neuromancer will probably never reach the silver screen: the general public would simply think it was a rip-off of the Matrix films. Like it or not, a lot of Neuromancer's themes were borrowed/covered by those films. And the studios are aware of that. I think the prime opportunity for a big screen film it has probably passed. Might make a decent miniseries though.
I see your point. But if studio execs were to think in such fashion it would be the death knell to not just the cyberpunk/SF genre but *all* genre. I cannot see any good reason to exclude "Neuromancer" on grounds of similarity to "The Matrix" whilst the Western genre is still producing fresh and interesting material after a hundred years of movies that have explored all manner of avenues a dozen times or more.

Clearly there is common ground between the two - Trinity & Molly Millions being an obvious example. The "Matrix" is often offered as another - but this is a misconception. The Matrix of "The Matrix" is a lifelike simulation (run by the Source) whereas the Matrix of "Neuromancer" is a computer generated representation of the global digital network (instanced by each hacker's deck and similar to what we see in "Tron").

Neo inhabits either a post-apocalyptic earth or Los Angeles today. Case inhabits a future Far East or an orbiting space platform. Neo has superhuman powers (flight, telekinesis, resurrection etc) regardless of whether he is in or out of the Matrix whilst Case lives very much by his wits. The machines of "The Matrix" are seeking to either enslave or annihilate humanity whilst Wintermute & Neuromancer are simply aiming to evolve into a new life-form etc. etc.

When you think about it the differences between the two are pretty substantial. Which is more than can be said of ... say ... the entire panoply of worn out, dog-eared slasher flicks that have plagued us for decades.
post #67 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post
When you think about it the differences between the two are pretty substantial.
But what mainstream audience is going to want to think about it? Think Childhood's End. Sure, the Overlords and their intentions are totally different from the aliens of Independence Day or V, but there's no way now that the story can reclaim its central image of those spaceships hovering over every major city.
post #68 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkatthemoon View Post
Fincher and Freeman have been trying to get that [Rama] off the ground for years, but it never came together.
Which isn't surprising as it seems completely infeasible within the current Hollywood film-making model. As are many other suggestions in this thread.

I'm not saying they'd make bad movies or that they are bad novels. It's just that to the people footing the bill (the studios) they lack sufficient "Hollywood SF" tropes to warrant the necessary and considerable FX budget.

I know that over the last two decades the cost of CG has dropped correspondingly with the price of hardware and software. But still, it seems unlikely that any cinematic treatment of "Rama" could be realised without a seriously large budget. And this is before a director or a single actor has committed to the project (if you want genuine top-liners the budget goes over $100 million easy).

If history is anything to go by studios aren't likely to part with such cash without certain criteria being met (ok if you've got a director with clout then these criteria tend to be a bit more flexible, but not much) - namely: a hero, a villain, a love interest, plenty of action, transparency, possibilities for a sequel etc.

Rama, with its unspectacular and unmemorable crew as little more than crude facilitators to the grand spectacle, lack of a villain, inscrutable alien technology, limited resolution etc. must likely appear to studio execs as a hopeless folly. The above also seems to rule out several other (excellent) novels mentioned so far in this thread (or permit them in some form of pathetic, lobotomised screenplay "adaptation").

As mentioned earlier, the book I'd be interested in seeing on screen is Iain M. Banks' "Consider Phlebas". It's not the greatest SF novel I've read. I'm not even sure it's the best Banks novel I've read. But it is one of the few SF novels I know that at least stands a chance of being filmed precisely because it meets some of the criteria necessary to warrant a big FX budget.

I don't advocate it purely because of the FX. After all, it's the story that matters - and "Phlebas" is a pretty good one about the perils of fanaticism and the pernicious effects of mass warfare. But Banks set this tale against a backdrop of truly grand and memorable imagery and without it it would be much the poorer.

It's worth noting that Banks himself considers "Phlebas" the most cinematic of his novels.
post #69 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammerhead View Post
But what mainstream audience is going to want to think about it? Think Childhood's End. Sure, the Overlords and their intentions are totally different from the aliens of Independence Day or V, but there's no way now that the story can reclaim its central image of those spaceships hovering over every major city.
I understand what you're saying - but your argument is kind of self-refuting. If memorable imagery precludes some future successful use of the same then why weren't audiences turned off by "Independence Day" after they had watched V?

Consider Frankenstein and the Vampire - two literary creations conjured up by Shelley & Byron together on holiday in Switzerland whilst they were sitting out a week of bad weather. I'm sure neither could have dreamed that these characters - in myriad shades and colours, good and bad - would go on to successfully populate (in various forms) over 200 novels and movies.

The truth is almost all art is facsimile. The audience knows this - either consciously or sub-consciously and (if the material is appealing in other ways - script, acting etc.) they make allowances.
post #70 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTwin View Post
What are we up to, 14?

Speaking of Harrison, Avatar is this close to being Deathworld.

Considering there's a prison escape in it, I think you could do something with Leguin's The Left Hand of Darkness. And you have to cast Tilda Swinton prominently.
Since you mentioned 'Avatar' and LeGuin: The Word for World is Forest (though it would probably be viewed as an Avatar rip-off, now).

And for Heinlein: Starman Jones and The Star Beast would be very workable (I could see either Brad Bird or DeBlois/Sanders directing The Star Beast). I'd love to see 'The Door into Summer,' too, but the only real 'sci-fi' aspect of it any more is the time travel. I'd like 'Tunnel in the Sky' just for a 'Lord of the Flies' rebuttal.

'The Peace War' and 'Marooned in Real Time.' Marooned in Real Time would be the easier one to adapt, since it's a fairly straightforward mystery, but a lot of the imagery of The Peace War would be pretty amazing (the problems is how do you make Wili Wachendon learning math and physics exciting?). You could potentially get a feature out of 'The Ungoverned' as well. And I want mini-series of 'A Fire Upon the Deep' and 'A Deepness in the Sky.'

And the giant dork in me wants to see Anne McCaffrey's Pern on screen.
post #71 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Foster View Post
I understand what you're saying - but your argument is kind of self-refuting. If memorable imagery precludes some future successful use of the same then why weren't audiences turned off by "Independence Day" after they had watched V?
I guess it's because those are 'grab bag' productions, where it's understood that all the imagery is a tribute to (or at least inspired by) existing works. It was an original image when Clarke wrote it-- now it's a trope. See also Alien Nation and District 9.
post #72 of 73
Continuing my shameless Consider Phlebas shill:



A single frame sell if ever there was one.
post #73 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angles View Post
Heroes Die by Matthew Stover.

Fantastic action sequences, with a great anti-hero. Even though it was published in 1999, it tapped into the "jacking into alternate worlds" concept popularized by the Matrix, and it predicted a near-future dystopian Earth obsessed with reality programming before Survivor hit the airwaves.

If I were a Hollywood Mogul For A Day, I'd pick up the film rights to this in a heartbeat.
Remember it's mostly fantasy, right? Though I love this book to death.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Drafts & Lists
CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE CHEWERS › Drafts & Lists › 100 science fiction properties that would make a better film than Foundation