After coming-of-age drama The Kings of Summer put him on the map, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts was quickly catapulted into the big leagues, being tasked by Legendary with helming its big-budget King Kong prequel Skull Island. Now, it’s been revealed that the filmmaker is lining up another studio tentpole: The Stars My Destination, an adaptation of Alfred Bester’s classic sci-fi story, which just landed at Paramount.
The story, first published in serialized form then as a novel in 1957, centers on a man who is marooned in space when his vessel is attacked and everyone else on board is savagely murdered. When a rescue ship passes by, he sends up a distress beacon, believing his salvation to be at hand, only to watch his beacon be ignored and the ship cruise on. The man sets out on a Count of Monte Cristo-esque quest for vengeance, bent on catching up with those who had intended to leave him for dead.
Space teleportation, known as “Jaunting,” factors into the story – a curious coincidence, seeing as Stephen King’s sci-fi short story The Jaunt just landed a director yessterday. Perhaps the scary side of space is coming back in style, galvanized by the Oscar success of Gravity and the Alien franchise’s unexpected resurrection.
The Stars My Destination has been dwelling in adaptation hell since the 1990s, when Richard Gere took a shine to Bester’s story and optioned it. The project was first at Universal, then at Fox, and attracted directors like Betty Thomas and Paul W.S. Anderson without any progress being made.
Whether Vogt-Roberts will be the one to finally bring The Stars My Destination to the big screen remains to be seen, but Hollywood certainly believes in his ability to handle big-budget material. In addition to Skull Island, he’s lined up to direct a tentpole adaptation of video game Metal Gear Solid.