WISH LIST FOR THE COMING MILLENNIUM
you're not happy with the sci-fi movies Hollywood are making, somebody
once remarked, then go make your own. Oh definitely, anybody in Hollywood’s
got a few million bucks to spare to make the following movies?
IT ABOUT? Based on what is probably Philip (Blade
Runner) K. Dick’s most personal and maybe even best novel, Valis
is, as the jacket blurb on my copy of it says, "a wildly comic novel of
one man’s obsessive, transcendent vision, of secret ruling intelligences,
ancient conspiracies and the Second Coming." If you’ve read the book, then
you’re probably thinking that it’s impossible to translate it to the big
screen - but you’re wrong! After all, there’s an opera (believe it or not
- but I’ve got the double CD set to prove it!) based on the novel, so only
one step to a screenplay I say . . .
SHOULD MAKE IT? Dan O’Bannon should write the screenplay. After all
he shows a keen understanding of Dick’s works as shown by his adaptations
of the great man’s material into screenplays for Total
Recall and Screamers.
Orange) Kubrick should direct it - but then, of course, we’ll only
see the finished product in 2019 . . . that is, if we're lucky . . .
IT GET MADE? There are no plans, even though the making of Philip K.Dick’s
excellent A Scanner Darkly (even more impossible to film if you
ask me!) into film has been announced a while ago.
IT ABOUT? V For Vendetta was a short-lived 1988 comic book series
that is available in graphic novel format from DC Comics today. Written
by the brilliant Alan Moore, it’s about a future fascist government in
Great Britain that is toppled by an enigmatic masked figure simply known
as ‘V’. If you haven’t read it, then go grab a copy today . . .
SHOULD MAKE IT? Tough one to answer, but Darius Khondji who did the
cinematography of Seven and Alien
Resurrection should definitely film it . . .
IT GET MADE? Probably not. After all, as the jacket blurb for my copy
of V For Vendetta states: "it is a work of startling clarity and
intelligence." In other words, "everything comics weren’t supposed to be."
Then again, director Terry (Brazil,
Gilliam apparently flirted with the idea of filming Watchmen - another
graphic novel by Alan Moore . . . also not a bad idea in its own . . .
IT ABOUT? A short story by Michael Moorcock first published in 1966,
Behold the Man is about a time traveller who travels back in time
to the time of Jesus and discovers that . . . Ah, but that would be spoiling
it. Go read Moorcock’s powerful story instead.
SHOULD MAKE IT? Isn’t it about time that Martin (Taxi Driver,
Raging Bull) Scorcese tried his hand at the sci-fi genre?
IT GET MADE? Never! Remember the reception The Last Temptation Of
- EARTH HIVE
IT ABOUT? Graphic novels published by Dark Horse in turn based on the
popular Twentieth Century Fox Aliens
movies. "Doomsday is upon us and Earth is totally over-run by the Alien,"
as my copy’s jacket blurb informs me. To be honest, this should have been
the theme of the third Alien
movie, but instead we got the dull Alien
3 . . .
SHOULD MAKE IT? The makers of Trainspotting were due to make
Alien Resurrection, but opted for A Life Ordinary instead
- so how about bringing them in again? Should be interesting . . .
IT GET MADE? Fifty-fifty chance. Word has it that Sigourney Weaver
has been signed on to do a fifth film in the series. However, Alien
Resurrection didn’t do as well at the box office as the studio expected,
so who knows?
IT ABOUT? This real page-turner sci-fi novel by Peter F. Hamilton just
has "exciting movie" written all over it. Jacket blurb: "In AD 2600 the
human race [has] hundreds over colonised planets scattered across the galaxy.
A true golden age is within our grasp. But now something has gone wrong.
On a primitive colony planet a renegade criminal’s chance encounter with
an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all our fears. An
extinct race which inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it ‘The Reality
Function’. It is the nightmare which has prowled beside us since the beginning
of history . . ."
SHOULD MAKE IT? How about James Cameron who did Terminator
2 - Judgement Day and Aliens?
Or Paul Verhoeven who did Starship
Troopers and RoboCop?
IT GET MADE? It is doubtful whether anybody in Hollywood has so much
as read the novel. Another problem is that the novel (planned as an entire
series) clocks in at more than an incredible 1 200 pages! But it will still
make one hell of a movie (or, em, franchise) . . .
IT ABOUT? Based on Kim Stanley Robinson’s trilogy of Mars novels (Red
Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars) it deals with the future
colonisation and eventual terraforming of the red planet.
SHOULD MAKE IT? Anybody with a feel for big budgeted sci-fi. It’s a
BIG story . . .
IT GET MADE? Probably not. The fascination with the Sojourner
probe on Mars seems to have blown over and so it seems has plans for the
similarly themed Mars television series based on a novel by Ben
Bova. Besides, each novel in the trilogy clocks in at almost 700 pages
which makes it ideal material for a TV mini-series. But expensive television
shows have always had a bad history - take Battlestar
Galactica as example . . .
Oops! Spoke too soon . . . seems that I couldn't be more wrong! Shortly
after having written this article I came across news on the Internet that
director James Cameron fresh from his Titanic triumph has bought
the film rights to the Mars-trilogy with the idea of producing a
television series that will serve as experimental ground for some of the
effects his sfx house have developed. Cameron probably won't probably direct
it himself, but it is doubtful whether anybody will refuse the director
anything after having directed the biggest box office hit of all time.
So yeah, we might just get to see Red Mars after all!