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What classic SciFi books would you like to see filmed ?


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The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester (I read somewhere they were filming this)

Enders Game/Speaker For The Dead - Orson Scott Card (filming this one too)

The Foundation - Isaac Asimov

Blood Music - Greg Bear

Random Quest - John Wyndham (a love story no less)

Flow My Tears The Policeman Said - Philip K Dick (would be amazingly difficult to film. Only Stanley Kubrik could pull it off, and he's gone)

Eon - Greg Bear (magnificent visual images and a great story)

Canticle For Leibowitz - Walter Miller (superb in so many ways)

The Forever War (forgot the name of the author)

 

This is just 10, there are dozens of other that would make good movies.

 

Regards

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I'm not sure--so many of the best sci fi books are more about ideas than action (or at least my favorites) Look at the mess they made of Dune and Starship Troopers. Though they didn't ruin Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep too badly...

A movie version of Connie Willis's Remake (about a Hollywood of the future where there are no new movies and no actual actors, only remakes done by CGI--brrr, what a nightmare) or To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is a very funny time travel story. (I could see it staring Wil Smith as the hero)

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  • 1 month later...

I'll second the two Alfred Bester novels as being great candidates for the big-screen treatment.

 

But my all-time number one would have to be "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Kerry Conran, the fellow who helmed "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" (a phenominal movie, by the way...to bad it tanked at the box office) has been rumoured to be making this into a movie, but that falls into the "I'll believe it when I see it" catagory.

 

"Darwinia" by Robert Charles Wilson would also be a terrific big-screen entertainment.

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It may not be a classic, but the sequel to When Worlds Collide was a very enjoyable read when I first read it forty years ago. After Worlds Collide took the refugees on a journey of discovery on the planet that would replace Earth. Since the original was made into a movie, a sequel film would be expected. However, since it has been so long since the original was filmed, it might be better to remake the first before attempting the second.

 

CharlieT

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Thanks for your suggestions. There are so many that would make great movies. Unfortunately the movie business is about making money and not about making movies, so these books will not be filmed any time soon (or ever). You know as well as I do that Hollywood will stick to the formula of the good verses evil space opera or heroic fantasy. Where good and evil is perfectly black and white and you know who the good guys and the bad guys are. If only the real world was that simple.

 

Regardless of whether you like or don't like Spielbergs movies, I appreciate his attempt to inject a little intelligence and thought into his movies.

 

I hear that Arthur C. Clarks book 'Rendezvous With Rama' is being filmed with Morgan Freeman. Also 'Ender's Game' is scheduled to be filmed if the author can settle on a script. You can read an early draft of the script here -

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20000816150416/www.frescopictures.com/movies/ender/script.html

 

Regards

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Hey, MR.

 

Any idea if the Rendevous With Rama project will just deal with Clarke's first book or try to cover the sequels, too?

 

CharlieT

 

Very good set of books... four in all I think. The last might have been co-written with Gentry Lee.

 

CT

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  • 4 months later...

Three novels must be made into films. Well, two novels...my first choice would be very difficult to make into a movie.

 

First. Herbert Read's "The Green Child". The shimmering prose of this short novel would be extremely difficult to capture in pictures. That said, if the novel could be successfully made into a movie...it would be a memorable film. I don't know much about filmmakers working at the present time, but John Sayles has a deft hand at movie making. Mr. Sayles might be able to capture the beauty of this novel on the big screen.

 

Second. Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Left Hand Of Darkness". Ms. Le Guin's novel "The Lathe Of Heaven" was made into a very good television movie in 1980. A feature film of "The Left Hand Of Darkness" might make a successful transfer from page to screen. A movie version of this novel could focus on the middle of the book...the narrative titled "On The Ice". "On The Ice" is the story of one human and one alien traveling across a frozen landscape...the most interesting part of the novel. An "On The Ice" production would not be extravagantly expensive. Something similar to the theme of "The Left Hand Of Darkness" has been "covered" in "Alien Mine", but a movie version of "Left Hand Of Darkness" would not include scales.

 

Third. Orson Scott Card's alternate history series of books, "Tales of Alvin Maker". This would be an expensive project. I recently watched a VHS of "Eyes Of Fire". This movie from the 1980s is similar to "Alvin Maker"...witchcraft-ery in colonial America. Ignoring the "Six Million Dollar Man" sound effects, "Eyes Of Fire" was a very entertaining movie. The "if folk magic was real" theme of "Tales of Alvin Maker" might make a good and popular film. Remember the popularity of "The Blair Witch Project"? Woods and weird-ness are a good combination.

 

Rusty

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I would love to see Fritz Leiber's "The Big Time" filmed. Admittedly, it might work better as a stage play, but it has a very dramatic feel to this story of two networks of people who have been "cut out" of time so they can travel in history and try to change it for the advantage of either side.

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The Forever War, and it's sequel, "All my sins remembered" was written by Joseph R Haldeman:

 

http://www.google.com/search?num=30&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=allmysins+remembered&btnG=Search

 

I'd like someone to take on the books about Lazarus Long by Robert A Heinlein:

 

Or, with the technology we got today, someone could do Larry Niven's "Ringworld" - But it would not work for TV, only big screen could give the imagery.

 

I remember a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that had as part of the plot, a Dyson Shere. It was the episode with Scotty in it, and more about him than the Dyson Sphere.

 

What little we saw of the Dyson Spere, looked REALLY good: but the special effects sompany that existed for that show does not exist in the same form.

 

PS: Tracy: Dune (both versions, Lynch's version and the Sci Fi version), neither was "Made a mess of" - And neither was Starship troopers, the story in the book was sacrificed, but it has got Heinlien all over it. I am quite familiar with Heinlein, and he had certain ideals: These are all intact in the film. Also, the little advertisements, between scenes are VERY Heinleinish. Do you want to know more?

 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep aka Bladerunner, well is was not even the same story at all as what Dick wrote.

 

I'm not sure of how much they changed with A Scanner Darkly, but then again I have not read that book since 1975.

 

I don't know how they could do The Left hand of Darkness.. they would have to show a gethenian go into kemmer at some point. THAT would be a problem...

 

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weAponX

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Oh yah: Speaking of Fritz Leiber: a good story of his would be Ship of Shadows- It would be hard to come up with a production design, cos the story is told through the viewpoint of someone who has very poor eyesight. Things would be out of focus until we got close to it. That would be disturbing, but it is part of the plot. "See sharp, Bite sharp" Also, there are talking cats and dogs, those are not too much of a problem. But the whole problem is that this guy percieves his world as shapes and shadows, and I don't know as an audience if we could stand watching most of the moovie as if we needed glasses. Oh yes: The "Ship" is made of plastic, I just remembered that: That would have to be addressed. But the maion thing is that this guy sees many things that he does not understand, until he is given eyesight. So, there are images that will not make any sense.

 

That would be great to see someone tackle. Fritz Leiber did certain things very well, one of those being, creating a believable alternate world, and then connecting it to our world.

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Speaking of Fritz Leiber.

 

His novel 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' (the first Riverworld book), would certainly make an excellent movie.

 

With ten billion characters to choose from, the director could take this movie in just about any direction.

 

Regards

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> Speaking of Fritz Leiber.

>

> His novel 'To Your Scattered Bodies Go' (the first

> Riverworld book), would certainly make an excellent

> movie.

>

> With ten billion characters to choose from, the

> director could take this movie in just about any

> direction.

>

> Regards

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1178457/bio

 

You are thinking of Phillip Jose Farmer, he wrote The Riverboat Series, several books, there were about 4 or 5 last I looked, maybe more. Farmer also wrote as "Kilgore Trout" - A joke on Kurt Vonnegut.

 

A film was made for Sci Fi Channel called Riverworld, loosely based on the first book of that series. It was alright, I did not care for the principal cast. Except for the guy who used to play Ares on Hercules and Xena, Kevin Smith: He died in an accident, fell about 4 stories: Kevin Tod Smith, he played "Valdemar" - who was killed in the film by Nero, played by Jonathan Cake. Too bad, the guys last film and he gets killed by a guy named Cake! Smith should have played Nero:

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0310952/

 

Smith was all set to play an important role in the film Tears of the Sun. But Smith as well as an actor was also a stuntman, and he was working with a stuntman from Crouching Tiger, he fell and well,

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0808963/bio

 

I really miss the guy he was great in Xena especially. He played about 4 different characters in the whole Herc/Xena thing.

 

Farmer, well, anyone who has read any of his stuff: He is a very unusual writer, making any of his books into Film, would be a real challenge. YV moovies for sci fi don't count. :P

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I've been holding my breath for a long time on getting STARNGER IN A STRANGE LAND to the screen. I read once that a filmed version of the book was a lifelong dream of Tom Hanks. If that was ever true, it doesn't seem to be so now.

 

I'd also love to see an antholgized movie (perhaps with three segments) from the short stories of Harlan Ellison. There's a lot of material there to work with. Perhaps "I Have No Mouth and I must Scream," "Delusions of a Dragonslyer" and "'Repent' Cried the Tick-Tock Man to the Harlequin."

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> I've been holding my breath for a long time on

> getting STARNGER IN A STRANGE LAND to the screen. I

> read once that a filmed version of the book was a

> lifelong dream of Tom Hanks. If that was ever true,

> it doesn't seem to be so now.

>

>He's probably trying to talk Opie and Brian Glaser into it.

 

I would like to see a series of murder mysteries by J.D. Robb in which the

central character is a female cop, set in the yer around 2059, it has flying

squad cars, forensics computers, and all sorts of wierd chacters, and the

mystery keeps going until the last couple of pages.

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Ah... I grok Heinlien! Someone will eventually do SIASL.

 

However: It is hardly Likely that any Harlan Ellison stories will ever be filmed: He hates Hollywood, He despises rewrites, and his scripts will be rewritten. Several of his scripts for TV were masticated including City on the Edge of Forever for Star Treck. He hated that, so I do not see any of his material being released.

 

Also: Asimov's I, Robot as done by Proyas... I enjoyed the film, but it basically had nothing to do with any of Asimov's Robot Stories, and some thing happens, that affects the basic Core of all Asimov stories: The 3 Robotic laws: The Film made it look like the laws were flawed which is not the case, they cannot be flawed, they can only be misused and perverted. Harlan Ellison probably HATED that, cos Ellison WROTE a script for I Robot that included the 4 original I Robot Stories right from the book... These stories do NOT exist in the film in any form, there is not even a sentence from the book called "I Robot" in the film "I Robot" = Asimov, I know he would not have liked what had been done with his creation.

 

Ellisons' script would have been better, but there were no car crashes in it. It was a love story, kind of: It basically was a framing story built around the original 4 short stories of the book. Warnber Bros owned it for a while, I forgot who released it: I think it was 20th Century Focks. But you can buy Harlan's script as it was published as a book back in 93 or 94, I have it in hardback- It is ilustrtated and anyone reading it can see it could be filmed with very few changes today, and nobody even considered using that script, which **** me off.

 

As a non asimovian robot story, the film "I robot" was OK, but they just used Asimov's creations as a GIMMICK to tell a story over... And I did not like that. The story is not an asimov story at all, it just has his technology and the names of his characters. I'll give it this though: The images, are just fantastic.

 

Of course, they did make a moovie out of "A Boy and his Dog" by Harlan Ellision- But the whole section of the film where the story goes "underground" differs from what Ellison wrote- Ellison writes Violence and Sex and some of his stuff is non-filmable unless it be given an X rating. But, today, perhaps the film could be remade using a more exact book to mooovie translation: They ALMOST were ale to do this with Clive Cussler's "Sahara" - But the book is so damned long they had to chop out an important section of the story, one that was very important, the speculation that Abraham Lincoln had been kidnapped and died on the Nile in a confederate ironclad.

 

When books are dealt with, it is probably very difficult to decide what to leave out, and when Dune was made in 84? They hacked it to pieces. It fared better as a TV moovie on Sci Fi. But it was cheeply made and they used too many strange actors that were not right for the parts.

 

This POS Message was totally buggered up by:

weAponX

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weaponX,

 

I think you know your science fiction...

 

Of the stories suggested for film treatment (including my suggestions), I would like to see the Ringworld series of books on the big screen. Today's whoop-dee-doo special effects makes a convincing "Ringworld" possible. Of course, a script that does justice to the several parallel stories of Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers (the two out of four Ringworlds I have read) would have to be created...may not be an easy job. Anyway, the Ringworld stories have the potential to make a very satisfying movie. In case you can't tell...Larry Niven is one of my favorite science fiction authors.

 

Harlan Ellison. For some reason I don't remember, about two weeks ago I looked up (on IMDB) the title "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream". I was surprised (and delighted) to see a listing for "I Have No Mouth..." My delight turned to, "oh s***"...I saw it was a video game. As author of two of television's finest scripts, "Demon With A Glass Hand" (Outer Limits) and "The City On The Edge Of Forever" (Star Trek) his stories should be filmed. I know Mr. Ellison hates the results of every Harlan Ellison story ever made into a television show, or feature film. Even so, Harlan Ellison's stories on film are better than almost any other science fiction on film.

 

BTW: Is Harlan Ellison still writing? The last time I saw the guy was on an old SciFi channel show. The show was on Sunday morning and its subject WAS science fiction. The show was broadcast a long time ago...before SciFi channel decided pro wrestling was more interesting than science fiction. Harlan Ellison was on the SciFi show as a curmudgeon/ commentator...and he was great!

 

Even though not a science fiction story and even though similar plots have been made it to the big screen, I will name the title of one more book that is a natural for feature film treatment...Orson Scott Card's "The Lost Boys". Boy, did I get choked up reading that novel. Of course, the title would have to be changed to avoid confusion.

 

Rusty

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I think Harlan Ellison is still writing, perhaps not as much or as fast as in the Sixties and Seventies. The last story I saw by him was "Anywhere But Here" about three or four years ago in F&SF. It was good. He had a better story in the same magazine in the late 90s called "Go Toward the Light" (I think). Perhaps his best recent story was "Incognita Ltd." which appeared in Realms of Fantasy about 3 or 4 years ago. He received a Grand Master Nebula from SFFWA this spring.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know if its a classic book, but it was required reading in my high school english class. It was a book called "Childhood's End". The earth is visited by flying saucers of humanoid creatures that look remarkably like mythical angels. They're about 12 feet tall and have huge white wings. They come here because a lot of mankind's youth are developing higher brain functions like telepathy and telekinesis. And they've come to take them away.

 

I liked it because they looked like angels putting into that science fiction wonder the origin of angels in mythology, and I also remember a great deal of wisdom from their leader. A kind of a father like figure ...

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 15 years later...

Here I go, dredging up another ancient thread.

I also think the two Alfred Bester novels have great movie potential, and I see a few other suggestions actually made it to the big screen.

One I'd like to see made into a film is Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon.".  Of course, the original premise about the first trip to the moon is outdated, but the idea of a private moon shot might actually be more relevant in this age of space entrepreneurs.

So, what sci fi stories would you like to see brought to the big (or small) screen?

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I've been hoping for adaptations of those Bester novels for decades.

I remember a short story by Bruce Sterling called "Taklamakan" that would make a good movie. Another story called "Ginungagap" by Michael Swanwick would make for a visually amazing adaptation, but perhaps in a shorter format, like an hour-long episode. 

Way Station by Clifford Simak. I'd read this was being made years ago, but it never appeared, so I guess it fell in development hell.

Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed would make for good long-form material.

The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle.

Gateway by Frederik Pohl.

A Case of Conscience by James Blish.

I know there are a lot of short stories that make great films/shows, but I can't think of the titles at the moment.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/28/2021 at 4:23 PM, jaragon said:

"Rondezvous with Rama" by Arthur C Clarke. 

Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man" and "The Martian Chronicles" deserved remakes

 

Those both could use a do over, as could "Johnny Mnemonic".  Granted, science has rendered obsolete the Mars of "The Martian Chronicles", but there's nothing that says you have to set your remake on Mars.

All of LAWRENCEA's suggestions sound promising, and the prospect of a Way Station reminds me of another Simak story, Huddling Place,  that sounds a lot like where we're heading in an age of social media and working from home.

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On 10/31/2021 at 1:29 AM, rjbartrop said:

Those both could use a do over, as could "Johnny Mnemonic".  Granted, science has rendered obsolete the Mars of "The Martian Chronicles", but there's nothing that says you have to set your remake on Mars.

All of LAWRENCEA's suggestions sound promising, and the prospect of a Way Station reminds me of another Simak story, Huddling Place,  that sounds a lot like where we're heading in an age of social media and working from home.

There could be ways of still setting  "The Martian Chronicles " on Mars - you might have to do some tweaking but Mars is essential to the stories

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