10. March 2006, 23:45 | by WD Milner | Full Article |

(aka A Planet For Texans)

A couple of days ago I found myself on Eric S. Raymond’s website having followed a link from another page (the reason for which currently eludes me).

Perhaps best known for his book on open source The Cathedral and the Bazaar, ESR has always been a controversial and outspoken figure and it should have been no surprise to run across his article on movies Hollywood would make if they were really brave (as in had the nerve to be politically incorrect enough to actually produce the films).

What intrigued me was the science fiction book the article mentions and those mentioned in the subsequent comments:

  • The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress - This faithful adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s 1966 SF classic, starring Nicholas Cage as Manuel Garcia O’Kelly Davis and Mira Sorvino as Wyoming Knott, challenges viewers to imagine a libertarian future. Gripping SFX of meteoroid bombardment contrast with searching questions about the legitimacy of government as the Lunar nation struggles to be born.
  • The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein
  • The Weapon Shops of Isher by A.E. van Vogt

Unfortunately Hollywood doesn’t know how to make a decent Science Fiction movie from a book anymore. The last decent scifi adaptations were A.C. Clark’s Space Oddesy movies. And before that Soylent Green, The Forbin Project and Fahrenheit 451.

Starship troopers bore only superficial resemblance to Heinlein’s work, Blade Runner (while entertaining) I found totally disconnected from “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and the list goes on. They can’t even do heroic fantasy right having totally mutilated RE Howard’s Conan and Kull books and let’s not go near HP Lovecraft’s themes.

My own proposed movie is a screenplay adaptation of H. Beam Piper's classic:

  • A Planet for Texans (aka Lone Star Planet) - Starring Val Kilmer as the unflappable Stephen Silk, a junior diplomat who is appointed as ambassador in the hope that he will be assassinated, thereby justifying the forcible invasion and conquest of the Planet. The crux of the story is the trial of the previous ambassador's assassins -- actually paid killers hired by an alien empire also planning invasion -- under a legal system that considers the killing of a practicing politician to be justifiable homicide. Cast: Gail Hickock - Isabel Glasser, former ambassador A.J. Hickock - Ben Kingsley, Natalenko - Maury Chaykin, Hoddy Ringo - Christian Slater, zSrauf Ambassador - Rene Ambergenois.

Ok, Hollywood - the ball is in your court!

- 30 -

Categories: ,
Keywords: movies. science fiction,ESR,Heinlein,Piper,Howard,Vogt



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