Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
With the amount of remakes, reimaginings and retreads of old novels coming out of Hollywood, it’s stunning that no one has made a film adaptation of Ray Bradbury‘s uber-influential book The Martian Chronicles. Originally published in 1950, the collection of pseudo-linked short stories about humans leaving a devastated Earth to colonize Mars and all that comes with it, has had an almost infinite influence on science fiction and popular culture. Universal bought the film rights in 1997 but everyone from Steven Spielberg all the way down were unable to get the film off the ground. Those film rights recently reverted and found themselves up for grabs, so Paramount swooped in and will partner with producer John Davis, who owns the option to the material itself, to try and make Bradbury’s seminal work a reality. There’s more after the break.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of The Martian Chronicles landing at Paramount, however no screenwriter has yet been attached. Whomever is attached will have a monumental task ahead of them to try and make a film that’s semi-affordable, even for the wealthy studio, but also commercial and respectful to the original, revered source material.
While I called it “stunning” that a film adaptation of The Martian Chronicles has yet to be made, what’s even crazier is how big a gamble it is for Paramount. This is obviously a well-known property with name recognition, built in fan base, over 60 years of acclaim and the kind of epic, sprawling story that producers and studio executives dream about. But, it wouldn’t be cheap and would have to be handled just right. Because of all that, if the film wasn’t a massive success, it would probably be deemed a failure. For example, there’s never been a film version of The Martian Chronicles but there was a TV version in 1980 that starred Rock Hudson and failed to inspire much fan reaction.
Without a screenwriter in place, this one is extremely far down the road but Bradbury fans who were curious about the latest on this property at least have some new information to go on.
Who would you like to see adapt and direct The Martian Chronicles?