We like to criticize Hollywood for it’s overwhelming tendency to re-make old movies or create sequels to existing ones. But recently there has been a spate of deals where Hollywood has decided to adapt SF books for the big screen (see City of Ember, Larklight, and Hyperion, all based on the books). Now we can add two more to this list.
Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin is heading to the big screen, courtesy of Olympus Pictures. Spin certainly has a cool SF hook, a ‘shell’ that envelops Earth and causes time to slow down for humans inside it, but it’s not your typical SF action/adventure. It’s much more of a science mystery, with a lot of heavy metaphysical ideas thrown around, especially towards the end. It also shows scientists as being the heroes instead of the heavies. While cautiously optimistic, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood did, indeed, turn Spin into another big-budget, Summer SF action flick.
It’s no secret that Hollywood loves Philip K. Dick. There have been numerous adaptations of his work, some successful (Minority Report, Total Recall, some not (Next, Paycheck, so it should be no surprise that another of his books has been optioned. Next up will be Ubik, which I’ve never read, but given the Wikipedia summary, it sounds very interesting. Of course, Hollywood has no problem adapting Dick’s work into Summer blockbusters, so I’m expecting the same treatment here. Of course, Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett is one of the producers so maybe, maybe, she’ll be able to keep it from being an SFX spectacle.
I’m glad to see Hollywood going after some good, if not great, SF stories. Whether they survive the move to the silver screen remains to be seen, but at least they aren’t making more in an endless series of re-makes and sequels.