The Martian Chronicles Optioned Again

Paramount takes aim at Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles Optioned Again

by James White |
Published on

Hollywood just can’t keep its grubby paws off the Red Planet. Despite several previously failed attempts to turn Ray Bradbury’s beloved series of short stories, The Martian Chronicles, into a Major Motion Picture, someone is trying again. And this time, it's Paramount digging up the rights to the sci-fi classic.

Actually, it’s just the next step in the most recent attempt to get the film made: last year, producer John Davis optioned the book for the first time in a few years and now he’s made a deal with the studio to get work started on a film.

For those who have never read the stories (highly recommended), the various narratives weave together a connected story about mankind’s attempts to colonise the planet, the natives’ resistance and a nasty nuclear conflict that results.

The Chronicles’ history on screen is chequered – in 1980, the Beeb and US network NBC got together for a TV miniseries penned by fellow sci-fi literature legend Richard Matheson that starred Rock Hudson.

Since then, a few attempts have been made to get the stories to the cinema, with Davis (him again) working with Universal and Steven Spielberg in 1997 to give it a crack. Though scripts were written by the likes of Michael Tolkin and John Orloff, which revolved around a missing Mars mission, nothing came of the effort and the rights lapsed.

There’s no writer or director attached this time just yet, but you can bet someone’s already thinking of making it in 3D…

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