back to article Paramount to recount The Martian Chronicles

Paramount is ambitiously eyeing a film version of Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles, the collection of classic sci-fi short stories describing human efforts to colonise the Red Planet. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio has picked up the rights following a stalled attempt by Universal and Steven Spielberg to …


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    1. Anonymous Coward

      Oh hey guess what other books about Mars I mixed them up with?

      Oops. :(

  2. Efros
    Thumb Down

    Never Understood

    the fascination that "The Martian Chronicles" have held over people over the years. If someone had bought and were developing Asimov's Foundation series or Niven and Pournelle's "Mote in God's Eye" then I would sit up and pay attention.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Roland Emmerich is doing Foundation

      be careful what you wish for...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        The Horror, the Horror....

        Why not Uwe Boll?

    2. Martin Gregorie

      Nor have I

      I liked the 'Martian Chronicles' as a book, but a film ???????

      'The Mote in Gods Eye' could be good but IMO "King David's Spaceship" would make a better movie - not only spaceships, but Injuns on the warpath and piracy under sail too!

      However, the one I'd really like to see on screen is Ken Macleod's "Cosmonaut's Keep".

      1. Rattus Rattus

        @Martin Gregorie

        Ooh, yes, the Engines of Light trilogy would be great on film. I'd also like to see Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series filmed.

    3. Robert E A Harvey

      Thought provoking

      They were pretty clever stories for the 1950s, and fulfilled the fundamental law of SF in being abut the F, not the S. They made you think, and made you think about real life too. And, come on, is the bee gun not cool?

      But the TV series was dire, because it concentrated on the S, all sets and special effects (both beyond the ability of the budget)

      I don't think that melancholy air could easily be captured in a film, and as for Holywood doing it - well, no chance.

    4. Monkeywrench
      Thumb Down

      Heaven forbid....

      ....that Hollywood ever touch one of those masterpieces.

  3. Ally J


    I don't see that a film adaptation is going to work any better. The book is a series of separate stories, the only common element being the Martians. The miniseries format worked well for that. (And it wasn't that bad. It got me reading the book.)

    1. gafisher


      "And it wasn't that bad."

      For its time it was actually done rather well; simulating on film what Bradbury created in the minds of his readers is likely to be even harder on the big screen than it was on the small.

  4. Blofeld's Cat

    "The Locusts"

    Well my first thoughts were "oh dear", but I hope I am wrong.

    The episodic nature of the book, will need quite a bit of work to be turned into a single narative. The temptation to expand the "action" parts of the book may be just too strong.

    Done well this could be spectacular, but I suspect it will become a "Red Avatar", with stories like "There Will Come Soft Rains" lost in the process.

    Oh and please spend the money on the screenplay, not 3D effects.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      @Blofeld's Cat: RE: "The Locusts"

      "Oh and please spend the money on the screenplay, not 3D effects."

      Now, now, let's not get common sense involved here.

      1. Mips
        Jobs Horns

        When did common sense have anything to do with Hollwood?

        Never let the screeplay get in the way of a good visual effect.

  5. The BigYin

    Another remake


    How about an adaptation of Kim Stanley Robinson's classics?

    1. Mips
      Jobs Halo

      Now if you want really BORING...

      ..just try reading "Report on Planet Three and other Speculations" Arthur C Clarke. Even I who will read every word skipped bits, but I did persist to the end where there is, how can I put it, a joke.

  6. Matt Bacon 1

    Red Mars

    ... or if you want a REALLY ambitious mini-series, why not James Cameron’s version of Stan Robinson’s Red, Green and Blue Mars trilogy?

    1. Elmer Phud
      Thumb Up


      First thing I thought of but done proper, like.

  7. Steven Jones

    A tribute - I suppose

    Some Bradbury fans are willing to go a bit further...

  8. ShaggyDoggy

    One I'd like to see is

    Rendezvous with Rama

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Morgan Freeman allegedly looked into doing that one but it looks to have failed. I'd have thought it was more do-able than many classic sci-fi novels. Probably would have even worked well in 3D, ker-ching.

      I've read Red Mars. Hard scifi definitely but a boring read imho.

      Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon would make a good Scifi noir.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        even nearer

        +1 for Altered Carbon

        Also Alastair Reynolds' Silver Rain would make a great film - ok, *could* make a great film

    2. ravenviz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Rendezvous with Rama

      I think this is going ahead, not a done deal though:

    3. Smallbrainfield
      Thumb Up

      A corking tale that deserves to be filmed.

      The sequels were dross, though.

  9. The Nameless Mist

    TV Miniseries

    Oh .. another chance to watch Rock Hudson be a good dad and husband on screen.

    1. Coruscating Frenzy

      It's all just make-believe

      Yes. Apparently the requirement that gay actors only play gay characters was lifted as part of the Cretinous Adherence ti Literalism Repeal Act of 1967, wherein it was acknowledged that certain sections of the population were able to distinguish the difference between an actor and the character(s) he or she might play. This allowed people like Daniel Radcliffe, for example, to play a boy wizard despite having no magical powers whatsoever.

      1. SimonX
        Thumb Up


        For making me laugh.

        But I think Emma Watson really is a witch (in a good way)

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Another vote for 'Mote in God's Eye' please

    Or failing that, some thud'n'blunder from the Lensman series - how did Hollywood ever miss that?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's been done, sort of...

      A 1984 anime called SF New Age Lensman, which was something of a train wreck.

      (And from Wikipedia: "In 2008, Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment and Universal Pictures began negotiations with the author's estate for rights to film the Lensman series. The negotiations are for an 18-month renewable option. At the WonderCon convention in San Francisco in February 2008, J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of Babylon 5, confirmed that Howard had acquired the rights and also hinted that he was involved in the project as well. On 17 June 2008, Straczynski wrote that he had begun work on the project.")

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Strange it died on it's arse really...

        you would have thought the lizard people would have helped it along (but on the down-low of course)

        apart from anything else you could have had a cast of 1000's of holywood A-list lizardworshipers in it, i mean would you turn down a chance to be in a story written by god?

        go figure

    2. BoldMan

      Lensmen Movies

      A proper Lensman movie would be something to see but I doubt the astounding level of misogyny will survive :) I'd love to see two planets colliding at faster than the speed of light!!!

    3. gafisher
      Paris Hilton

      No Lenswomen

      "... the Lensman series - how did Hollywood ever miss that?"

      Perhaps a little trouble finding a female lead to play the doormat.

  11. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Bradbury dismissed it as "boring".

    Bradbury is an ass who also claimed rights to the movie title "Fahrenheit 911" it may be remembered.

    Old writers age badly.

    That said, do we really need ecological/humanitarian/coldwar 50's SF redone on the silver screen?

    1. Tom 13

      I'd award him damages for that.

      I'm not a fan of Bradbury's books, but that reference is just too obvious.

  12. IsJustabloke

    I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

    So Bradbury thought the mini series boring did he?

    he's clearly never read the short stories then because I thought them a very accurate rendidtion.....


  13. IsJustabloke
    Thumb Up

    I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

    but nothing touched by the dead hand of Gentry "I had an idea once and have written it into every book I've worked on since" Lee

    1. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      Er... this was supposed to be in reply to the "Rendevous With Rama" comment... dunno what happend I must have had a brainfade.

  14. Elmer Phud


    Have the scientologists made 'Stranger in a Strange Land' yet?

    1. Oninoshiko

      Dispite not being inclined to jump on couches,

      I rather liked "Stranger in a Strange Land" although I don't think anyone will be doing a film adaptation of it, as I'm fairly sure the rating one would achieve in being faithful to the original manuscript would preclude it ever being seen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Elmer Phud RE: "Thetans?"

      Wrong author - "Stranger in a Strange Land" was Heinlein, not Hubbard. But I shudder to think what Hollywood would do to that one...

      1. Michael Xion

        But Hubbard stole it.

        He wrote crap SF and had the gall to steal all Heinlein's ideas fir his nutty religion.

        1. Tom 13

          Not stole, it was the counterpart to Heinlein's novel.

          The two met at an SF convention and made a bar bet about who could write the better religiously thematic SF book. Heinlein won the better book, Hubbard won the money.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    The Mote In God's Eye

    Seconded, that would make a cracking film, Harry Shearer to voice the Moties... The Martian Chronicles was very boring on TV, no reason to assume that Hollyweird can improve on it..

  16. thecresta

    The Silver Locusts

    I loved watching this on TV as a child, it instilled a fear in me that, until then, I had not comprehended.

    A big-screen adaptation would probably work, if they hacked and disfigured it beyond all recognition.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Since we're wishlisting movie adaptations

    "The City and The Stars" by Arthur C. Clarke ?

  18. Andrew Moore

    Wasn't this already done recently?

    Only it was called 'Outcasts'

  19. Random Coolzip
    Thumb Down

    Lensman? Bah!

    Starship battles using trench warfare tactics? Uh, thanks, I'll pass.

    I'd chip in a couple of bucks for a short indie around the "Retief" series, though.

  20. Graham Bartlett


    Please god no. Clarke was a great ideas man but a very average fiction writer, and Rama was definitely not written on his best day. Rama was an epiphany for me: "Wow, someone can actually write so badly that they can make exploring a giant alien spaceship BORING!"

    And then there were the sequels. The first was OK-ish. But the second was so brain-bendingly dreadful on every single level that I refused to spend good money finding out how the story ended.

    Stargate Universe was a pretty good take on Rama. Shame it got cancelled really - that and "Defying gravity" have been the only two decent SF shows in the last few years. (Please don't mention Outcasts. Someone tell the BBC they just can't do SF, yeah? Doctor Who doesn't count - it's fantasy.)

  21. Peter Clarke 1

    I don't need no stinking title!

    Someone get them to eat the chocolate pudding!

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Be afraid, very afraid....

    After seeing what Hollywood did to intellectually interesting SF classics such as "Starship Troopers" and "I Robot", I am concerned about what they would do with the stately and bleak "Martian Chronicles". They'd probably go one of two routes A) filling the movie with scifi battles between humans and Martians, or B) turning the setting of the movie into some kind of "Day After Tomorow" environmental parable.

    The last thoughtful rendering of a sci-fi book classic was the remake of "Solaris" back in 2002 or so, with George Clooney and Natasha McElhone (probably just slaughtered her name)

  23. Tony Paulazzo


    Why no love for Peter F Hamilton, Nights Dawn trilogy? Would love to see that green lit as a BBC bit-of-money-spent-on-it series.

    As for The Martian Chronicles: the rebooted remake, it will at least look awesome but be awful (like the reimagined War of the Worlds: thanks Spielberg). This way, it can be fan edited to remove all the awful bits, (in the case of WotWs that would've been every scene that TC and his kids were in and the boring cellar interlude - so basically a 15 min sfx spectacular).

    1. Thomas 4

      Was anyone else

      ...praying really, *really* hard that the little brat in the War of the Worlds (the one CONSTANTLY screaming at the tiniest little thing) would end up getting roasted, vaporised or processed into alien Super-Gro?

  24. Markie Dussard

    Will no-one ...

    ... Consider Phlebas?

  25. Morteus

    Do I want to ss that happen?

    I can think of many Sci-fi books I've read and enjoyed, but do I wish to see them realised as a movie? Thinking about it, and having witnessed so many attempts to do so - probably not. It seems most of the really good sci-fi had it's inseption purely in the mind rather than adaptation. The reason for this is obvious; in our minds me have our own incarnations, our own 'screening' for written work. Movies are massed witnessed by all and interpretation of it is as wide as the number of viewers.

    Having said that, I'd like to see a compitent director take on one of Iain Banks Culture novels - preferably 'Consider Phlebas'.

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