The Left Hand of Darkness

Ursula K Le Guin's sci-fi classic headed to the screen

by Willow Green |
Published on

If you've been surfing the information superhighway recently, you may have noticed ads for the Sci-Fi Channel's big miniseries adaptation of The Earthsea Chronicles, starting today. It's based on cult sci-fi and fantasy author Ursula K. Le Guin's series about a young wizard, and stars X-Men's Shawn Ashmore, Smallville's Kirsten Kreuk, Danny Glover and Isabella Rossellini. But today's news is that another of Le Guin's classic novels, The Left Hand of Darkness, is headed for the big screen. The Hugo and Nebula-award winning novel has been optioned by Phobos Entertainment for development. It tells the story of a human ambassador in a future where mankind has spread across the galaxy. He is sent to a recently rediscovered human world called Winter, to attempt to persuade the inhabitants to rejoin the rest of civilisation. There he finds a society where people are able to change gender at will, and as he treks across the frosty surface with his guide, he is forced to examine his own prejudices in the light of the natives' example. So the whole thing is basically a lightly concealed condemnation of chauvinism and the misuse of gender / social stereotyping. We're thinking Vin Diesel for the ambassador and that bloke from The Crying Game and Stargate as everyone else. Plus some extra explosions and at least one chase scene on snow speeders. Probably. Since Phobos is planning to make a computer game as well as a film from the material, we're not betting against it.

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