Part of me hopes that the next big gold rush for development people in Hollywood involves the thousands of amazing SF novels and short stories out there that have never been optioned or filmed before.
Another part of me realizes that I might regret that wish if it actually comes true. I'm not sure I want Brett Ratner's "The Stainless Steel Rat" starring Zak Efron, and that's exactly the sort of worst-case-scenario that could happen.
There are two stories breaking today that started me thinking about all of this. The first is a rumor from Pajiba that Wolfgang Petersen is attached to develop a bigscreen version of "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots." This is the director of "Das Boot." This is a guy who started his American career with acclaim and respect, and who is now the director of "Poseidon." Petersen confuses me. Did the studio system really treat him so badly that the only option left for him now is "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots"? Or does he think if he makes that, it will allow him to finally get "Ender's Game" made as a film or some other personal pet project?
Because I think that's a dangerous gamble, and Petersen may be fooling himself, the same way I suspect Ridley Scott is fooling himself if he thinks making two 3D "Alien" prequels is going to get Fox to pull the trigger on the much-more-difficult "The Forever War," based on Joe Haldeman's brilliant book and theater piece. The only way these smart and challenging books are going to end up handled right onscreen is if they're not treated like they're vegetables or medicine, something for the studios to endure between making big dumb movies that will actually sell tickets.