Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced they had greenlit a movie adaptation of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion).
My first reaction to hearing this was, “Wow! Awesome!” But on further reflection, I have to ask, “How in the hell are they going to do that without gutting the story?”
There is a lot of story in those two books, I don’t see how you can make a comprehensible movie that comes in at even 2 hours out of it, short of removing much that makes the novels so good. I’m guessing that most of the ‘backstory’, i.e. – the entire first novel, will most likely be condensed into either short flashbacks or, worse still, a couple of lines of dialog.
This sounds like something that deserves either a series of films, or even a mini-series on TV. One film just doesn’t seem to cut it. Still, think of all the cool stuff that we’ll get to see: the Time Tombs, the Shrike, the Labyrinth, the Ousters, and the Farcasters, just to name a few. Then there’s all the SF-nal goodness that I really like that may have to be removed to make it palatable for general audiences. There is a lot of heavy metaphysics in these books, plus ruminations on A.I., U.I., quantum physics and such. How in the world can they pare this down?
Just thinking here, but, to me, these books fall in the category of “I’d love to see a movie of them, but they’re probably better off not ever being a movie”. Comments?
But it’s never too early to start the casting game! Who gets to play:
Sol Weintraub and his daughter Rachel
Have at it!