After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci-Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

ready player one cover 612x360 After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

Cloud Atlas arrives in selected theatres this weekend accompanied by the smog of its all-encompassing and mouth-agog-inducing premise which slithers across time like a large hypothetical python.

With no regard for traditional tropes and early on touted as unfilmable, the sci-fi genre-blend novel by David Mitchell spans the entire history of time plucking out characters and incidents for the purpose of proving that everything is connected.  Also proving that everything except House Of Leaves can be adapted into a movie.

With the literary world brimming with ideas ripe for the big screen it’s only a matter of time before the rights to bestsellers are snapped up by Hollywood. The following list is just a select taste of science fiction adaptations in production which combine horror, comedy, fantasy and rather a lot of dystopia.

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 robopocalypse After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To
5. Robopocalypse

Even if you can’t pronounce the title on your first try, fear not, you’ve got time to perfect it by 2014 when Robopocalypse is due to arrive.

A novel with the futuristic machinations of The Terminator woven around a human adversity parable, Robopocalypse is to be Steven Spielberg’s next project. With a script written by Drew Goddard based on Daniel H. Wilson’s book, the story examines the looming demise of humanity in the midst of an apocalypse which we can assume to be an actual possibility, as Wilson has a PhD in Robotics.

In the story, the world as we know it is commandeered by a snooty sentient computer called Archos who delegates the task of ending the human race to a host of differing ‘bots now utilised for day-to-day activities. The plot unites people across all demographics who forge squads worldwide. In forming the resistance and enabling a rich spectrum of casting choices, it’s likely they’ll all probably be played by white Americans.

A flurry of casting news arose last month even though Spielberg’s initial announcement landed two years ago today. Chris Hemsworth has been tagged as the lead, Anne Hathaway was rumoured to be joining and apparently Spielberg has got his eye on Ben Whishaw to play tubby hacker, Lurker.

Robopocalypse is set to start shooting next year with a release scheduled for April 13th, 2014.

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ready player one slice After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

4. Ready Player One

Ernie Cline’s Ready Player One was in a bidding war for the film rights a year before the novel was published. It’s that damn good.

Set in 2044 and the crusty real world shunned in favour of a virtual reality MMO world called OASIS, the novel follows teenager Wade Watts. A dedicated gamer who spends the majority of his time plugged into OASIS, Watts embarks on a multilevel quest to discover the biggest Easter egg of all time, hidden inside the simulation by its deceased designer James Halliday.

The novel is crammed full of pop culture references from the 1980s and early 1990s from video games, music, novels, movies and TV shows all of which stomp their presence into the book and all over the notion of intellectual property. Which ones will find their way into the final product could depend entirely upon this contemporary issue.

As the story’s dystopia is reliant on as-yet-uninvented technology, there’s massive scope for the production designers to craft entire worlds and the methods via which they will be represented onscreen. The novel is a massive love letter to very-well-spent youth playing video games, watching the same movies over and over and falling in love with the details. It’s the heart of the story which has romantic echoes of early John Hughes and Cameron Crowe movies.

Warner Bros, who won the rights in the bid battle, have sent Ernie Cline’s original script to Eric Eason for a rewrite so for now, Ready Player One remains in pre-production.

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john dies banner 670x247 After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

3. John Dies At The End

A hilarious mash-up of sci-fi and horror, David Wong’s debut novel emerged as a web serial and landed a publisher after its success online.  The story involves mysterious black goo dubbed “soy sauce” which triggers the ability for users to see into another dimension. Protagonist David Wong and his best friend, John must use their visions to help save the world from the clutches of Korrok.

In 2007, Don Coscarelli, director of Bubba Ho-Tep and Phantasm optioned the rights to the novel and drafted a script. After acquiring financial backing and assembling a cast featuring Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown, the film went into production in late 2010. By the start of 2011 the shoot was completed and the finished film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012.

For a novel which handles gory horror via the quirky manipulation of sci-fi devices, it’ll be exciting to witness how Coscarelli and co. deliver the goods. The first teaser trailer oozes along in an ominous manner with a foreboding score. Let’s hope that voiceover makes the final cut, as David’s inner monologue was the source of the novel’s humour.

The film finally attained a distribution deal through Magnet Releasing and is set for a video-on-demand premier on December 27th, 2012. The first poster for the film was revealed earlier this month as a retro-themed homage to classic genre pics, and the teaser trailer can be viewed below.

John Dies At The End hits theatres January 25th, 2013.

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enders game After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

2. Ender’s Game

Orson Scott Card’s massively popular novels, Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow will finally reach the big screen after over twenty years of development and multiple scrapped scripts, under the singular title of Ender’s Game. Gavin Hood, director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, was brought onto the project by producers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to draft a new script and direct the piece.

Set 70 years after a galactic war, Ender’s Game follows Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a gifted child sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future war against insect aliens called Formics, also known as Buggers. So, a small boy learns to fight buggers? Sounds like a bit of an allegory to me, but that’s an embellishment too far. An ensemble cast led by Asa Butterfield as Ender includes Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Aramis Knight, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin.

Production ran from February to June 2012 in New Orleans with a surprise voice over cameo by author Scott Card shot in May. Originally destined for a March 2013 release the film was then pushed back to November.  With the recent bankruptcy of Digital Domain, the effects house dealing with the film’s plentiful futuristic setting it may be delayed even further.

Ender’s Game is scheduled for release on November 1, 2013 and will benefit from a simultaneous IMAX release.

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snow crash After Cloud Atlas: Five Upcoming Sci Fi Adaptations To Look Forward To

1. Snow Crash

After last year’s British sci-fi horror Attack The Block, Joe Cornish landed the directorial duties on the adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s 1992 cyberpunk trend-setter, Snow Crash.

Snow Crash is set in a near-future dystopian United States, where the federal government has vanished and instead a network of franchises, mercenaries, corporate entities and the mafia maintain control. The story follows Hiro Protagonist, a hacker who tries to stop the end of civilisation when a fatal pseudo-narcotic called Snow Crash threatens the human race. Masquerading as a computer virus, Snow Crash infects users who are plugged in to the Metaverse; Stephenson’s idea of a futuristic Internet merged with virtual reality similar to an MMO.

When published, Snow Crash sent a shockwave through the genre literary world and secured a spot on Time Magazine’s of the 100 all-time best English books written since 1923. Originally optioned in 1996, the film had director Jeffrey Nachmanoff attached for Touchstone Pictures.  The project then collapsed under the weight of the material and was picked up by Disney but is now back at Touchstone under the production of Kennedy-Marshall. Producer and big fan of the novel, Kathleen Kennedy offered the script to Cornish, who then signed on.

The project has an absolute winner with securing Joe Cornish, a film and genre geek whose loyalty to detail and cheeky blink-and-you’ll-miss-them homages to some of sci-fi’s icons in Attack The Block, will hopefully be perpetuated in this cyber classic.

Snow Crash is currently in pre-production.

Are you looking forward to seeing any of these flicks after Cloud Atlas? Or can you think of other literary masterpieces you’d like to see on the big screen? Have your say in the comments below.

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  • Catalin Rotariu

    asa butterfield as Ender … hmm. Let’s hope that I die before this movie is released. Please, if there is a GOD.

  • n8csquared

    I’m really looking forward to Ender’s Game. One of my favourite books of all time without question and I have faith they’ll do it justice. After waiting this long I don’t think Card would let a horrible script through.

    • Che Broadnax

      One of the previous scripts — WRITTEN by Card — was AWFUL. Aside from being a terrible piece of writing, it blows the ending in the first ten pages. Don’t be so sure this won’t be a steaming pile of formic poo.

  • Curtis Jensen

    Ender’s Game presents ethical problems for me. Orson Scott Card is a world class homophobe and religious zealot whose values are direct conflict with any fair minded individual and the ethos of Sci-fi which I always think of as being about the progress of human kind and the expansion of respect, freedom and equality. Putting money into his pocket, promoting his books and the increasing sales likely to result just don’t sit well with me. He uses his fame to actively and loudly promote anti-Gay causes. More money in his pocket isn’t something i will “look forward to”

    • Jeff

      You need to take a look in the crazy mirror. Half of Hollywood are pedophiles and rapists and your upset about the author of a book who doesn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle?

      • concerned louisvillian

        Jeff you are a moron.. try to live in this century

    • Molly

      Sci-fi is about the possibility of fucking an alien, that just translates to equality.

  • Curtis Jensen

    Now Snow Crash, there’s a film I’m excited about. Frankly I would love to see all of Stephenson’s novels adapted and his “Baroque Cycle” should be turned into a premium cable series and explored over the course of several years. Love me some Stephenson!

  • Luke Milwauker

    The Grey Lensmen!!!

  • Alexis Ayala

    You forgot about Vincenzo Natali’s adaption of Neuromancer. That should most certainly be on the list.

  • Jordi

    So rediculously excited for “Ready Player 1″!

  • bobnotbob

    Ender’s Game is one of the worst sci-fi novels ever written. Perhaps the movie will appeal to the 12 years old for which it was written.

  • Andric

    Curtis nobody cares about your feelings…

  • Michael Meyer

    One of my favorite books I have ever read and would LOVE to see in a movie (if done right, of course) is “Stranger In a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein. Don’t get me wrong… I know it would be a long shot. Fantastic book though

  • Michael Meyer

    Or how about the “Foundation” series by Isaac Asimov?

  • Jebediah Kaine

    Based on his writings, Orson Scott Card is clearly a latent homosexual with barely suppressed pedophilic tendencies. Just the kind of writer Hollywood might enjoy. Hopefully, his film will fall into development hell…again.

  • GrayShaad

    Anyone remember Buckaroo Banzai?