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Three Great Sci-Fi/Fantasy Films No One Has Made Yet

April 6, 2010
 This is the first of a series that will highlight the “top three” film adaptations in different genres that I think are just waiting to be created.   There are some amazing novels and stories out there that have yet to grace the silver screen.Up first – Sci-Fi/Fantasy…

The Odyssey (epic poem originally by Homer) 

 

 

 

 

 

Odysseus encounters the Sirens

That the world’s greatest adventure tale has never been adapted for the big screen is a travesty of enormous proportions.  In fact, The Odyssey has only been adapted once, in a horrible 1997 television mini-series for NBC that starred (of all possible people), Armand Assante.  That bit of miscasting aside, the series took liberties with the original tale and stripped it down to a kids’ cartoon.

Homer’s original epic poem is full of the makings of a perfect film.  It has grandiose adventure, daring romance, and many unique and interesting themes regarding bravery, pride and what home means to each individual person.

According to IMDB.com, an adaptation of the poem is in the works, but that status hasn’t changed for many a year now.  In a climate where many producers and studios would rather re-make already tired material for the bajillionth time, why hasn’t anyone brought the adventure sf Odysseus to the big screen?  It’s a shame.

The Chronicles of Prydain (Based on the books The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr, Taran Wanderer and The High King by Lloyd Alexander) 

 

 

 

The five books in the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander

Lloyd Alexander’s marvelous five-part series about the adventures of Taran the pig-keeper and his mentors and friends has been called The Lord of the Rings for the pre-teen set.  At its heart, it is a rite-of -passage story about a hero in the making.  Lloyd’s lyrical and yet simple writing tells of a fantasy world of magic and might (loosely based on Welsh mythology) threatened by the powers of the evil Arawn, who commands an army of the dead.

Prydain lends itself naturally to the epic scope of film (television could perhaps not do it proper justice).  Disney attempted (and failed miserably) to combine books one and two for the kiddie set in 1985’s The Black Cauldron.  By re-imagining characters and combining plotlines, they reduced the original stories to a confusing coloring book that never seemed to want to draw inside the lines.   They made a mess of a wonderful series. 

The Prydain chronicles, much like Harry Potter’s tales, have characters  and adventures that would appeal to movie-lovers of  all ages.  The key is the right script, casting and director.  As the case of Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings franchise has proven, sometimes lighting CAN strike.    Studios, are you listening??

Legends of Dune (based on the trilogy by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson – The Butlerian Jihad, The Machine Crusade, The Battle of Corrin)

 

 

 

The first novel in the Legends of Dune trilogy

 With all of the hubub surrounding the re-boot of the original Dune, I’m wondering why, once again, a studio has opted for a re-boot rather than finding original material.  In the matter of the Duneiverse, heading back to the beginning would have been a much better option than re-treading source material again.

Herbert and Anderson’s Dune prequels and sequels have been hit or miss with fans, but have consistently landed on the best-seller list, which shows the audience is out there.  The best of their prequel novels are by far the three books contained in the Legends of Dune trilogy, which tell the story of the human uprising against the “thinking” machines who have taken over most of the known universe. 

The book’s first novel, The Butlerian Jihad, is its best – a stark morality tale of the rebel Serena Butler and her fight to survive the observation and dominion of the machine overlord Omnius.   It’s a perfect set up for a feature film.  Once again, in the right director’s hands, it could be the start of a cash cow franchise for the lucky studio willing to front the overhead.

 

Right now, all I can do is wait for studios to stop releasing the 8th remake of Friday the 13th and begin to dive into untapped resources which are right before their very eyes.  Get cracking, Hollywood!

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