Ursula Le Guin may say no to Hollywood giants when asked about rights for movies, but she said yes to a couple film students interested in her short story “the Field of Vision”. Not only that, but for free as well. The 20-minute film of the same name is about a mission to Mars gone awry that leaves astronauts psychologically damaged and premieres in February in England. I guess Le Guin figures Rob Watson and Siri Rodnes with a £12,000 budget and numerous volunteers can’t do any worse than the Sci Fi/Syfy Channel’s butchering of the Earthsea series, about which an angry Le Guin wrote:
“All they intended was to use the name Earthsea, and some of the scenes from the books, in a generic McMagic movie with a meaningless plot based on sex and violence…That’s the beauty of science fiction and fantasy—freedom of invention. But with all freedom comes responsibility. Which is something these filmmakers seem not to understand.”
Le Guin’s generous assistance to the young filmmakers adds to the pile why she is one of my favourites.
Speaking of film adaptations, Neil Gaiman handed in a script for Anansi Boys. What Hollywood does with the prequel to American Gods, time will tell. I may have to watch the episode of Doctor Who Gaiman wrote. I’ve only seen a handful of episodes with David Tennant, but it’s hard to resist a plug like this:
“(I wrote a Very Expensive Episode. I didn’t mean to. It just happened that way, and there was not enough money left in the Season 5 budget to make it).”
Joss Whedon will be directing the Avengers. It’s official and awesome.
The hunters and werewolves movie Red with Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible, BtVS) will be released soon. I may not agree with everything the Syfy Channel does (like changing their spelling or butchering great books), but I’ll be taking advantage of a friend’s cable to see Day. That reminds me I need to catch up on the Guild, a webseries she created. It’s funny and full of inside jokes, if you’re into WoW or D&D.
Renee O’Connor (Xena) is working on a “reinvented Moby Dick” with the makers of Transmorphers and Mega Python Vs. Gatoroid. She plays Ishmael while Barry Bostwick (Brad from Rocky Horror Picture Show) is the monomaniac Captain Ahab.
“At the end, I’m rowing in the coffin. It’s fun, we’re having fun.”
I’m cringing but amused at the same time. But as Le Guin said, speculative fiction is about freedom of invention…