05 May 2009

Listless Tuesdays: Top 5 Sci Fi Works That Should Be Movies -- Lucas

5. World War Z

I've always been fascinated with the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Modern life, turned completely on its head. I've talked with friends about what we'd do if it ever happened, but Max Brooks actually thought it out enough to make a book about it. The result is a book that is entertaining... but also touching in parts, thought provoking in others, and in the end gives hope that humanity can survive whatever is thrown at it... by nature, or by ourselves. If and when this is turned into a movie, they should keep the "oral history" style of it, and film it like a documentary, with after-the-fact confessionals. The book works because it never takes itself seriously and never slips a wink to the reader... the movie needs to do the same to work.

4. Starcraft

There's nothing horribly original in the Starcraft universe... There's an technologically advanced alien race, there's an insect-like hive mind race, humans are tapping into their psychic potential, and everyone is at war with everyone else. But the franchise takes all of these tropes, and meshes them into one coherent world. There are individual heroes, and there are grand, galaxy-sweeping conflicts. As a video game, Starcraft II has the potential to tell a story interactively in a way that a movie couldn't, but a Starcraft movie could also tell a story in a way that a game can't... As good as Blizzard's cut-scenes are, they can't compare to a real movie studio's CGI and models. Put a restraining order on Uwe Boll, and turn the Starcraft into a movie.

3. Ender's Game

The real difficulty with Ender's Game is that it requires children to act. Orson Scott Card claims in his introduction to this classic sci-fi novel that he feels like the same person he did when he was a six-year-old, but I have a feeling that he may be the exception rather than the rule... Few children really have the maturity that Ender and his compatriats possess. But that aside, the main conceit of the book, the battle room, is perfectly suited for film, especially today's CGI-rich film-making. If there's any time to do zero-gravity battle scenes, it's now.

2. Neuromancer

William Gibson didn't invent cyberpunk with Neuromancer, but he gave the genre some of its most enduring imagery. The huge, dirty, sprawling metropolises, the Matrix, which directly inspired the film of the same name, and an artificial intelligence trying to break the bonds imposed by its creators. A dystopian future, anti-heros, shadowy, behind-the-scenes corporations controlling everything... it's the perfect film-noir for the digital age.

1. Half-Life

Another video game franchise. And is it any wonder? What better exemplifies science fiction cum reality than video games? The first-person shooters we play today would have seemed like something from a writer's imagination even twenty years ago. Half-Life is another near-future dystopia. Only here, inter-dimensional beings (broght here by scientists meddling with forces they did not understand) have taken over Earth. A nerdy every-man hero leads a rag-tag team of resistance fighters against the aliens, and their human allies. It makes for a great game, and it would make for an amazing movie. If there is any doubt, take a look at this low budget fan video:

Spend some money on that, get a decent script, and you have a great film on your hands.

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