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10 Best S/F Films That Never Existed

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the lament-the-loss-of-these-films dept.

Sci-Fi 647

Jamie mentioned (via a Metafilter discussion) a great article entitled The 10 Best Sci-Fi Films that Never Existed. From the piece: "There was a movie that perfectly captured the Douglas Adams experience, the combination of bitter sarcasm and sharp imagination, the droll British wit and whale-exploding slapstick that infused his novels. And that movie was Shaun of the Dead. That movie was not, unfortunately, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a movie that floated around Hollywood for about 20 years before it finally appeared in theaters as a flat, lifeless, americanized lump that was mostly hated by people who liked the book and loathed by people who hated the book. "

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Oopsie. (4, Insightful)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719894)

They forgot one: Neuromancer by William Gibson.

As a filmmaker, and after reading this book cover to cover many times, I've come to the assumption that this book is truly unfilmable. I have read a few scripts based upon it found on the 'web, one particular written by Gibson himself, but there is just absolutely no way to capture the depth of environment this novel creates.

I don't care how big your budget is, it "ain't gonna happen."(tm)

gibson + movie = horror (5, Interesting)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719923)

At least Gibson's treatment for Neuromancer didn't get filmed. His script for Johnny Mnenomic did, and it was a complete and total atrocity.

(That said, his script for Alien 3 would probably have been better than the abortion that Fincher foisted off on us.)

Re:gibson + movie = horror (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720051)

Gibson's script is nothing like the finished movie, which was taken AWAY from director Robert Longo by Sony Pictures. Read Gibson's published screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic, as well his blog. Your comments are ignorant and lame. Johnny Mnemonic could've been great if Sony hadn't decided to re-maked totally unlike the writer and director had intended. In fact, there may still be a great film lying around in Sony's vault - assuming the original footage hasn't been lost.

Let's go, Sony. Give us the complete Director's Dut of Johnny Mnemonic. Until then, read Gibson's published screenplay and weep for what might have been...

Not necessarily (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14719997)

People said the same thing about "Naked Lunch", but David Cronenberg did a fine job with it. Of course, it's a pretty radical spin on that work.

Re:Not necessarily (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720091)

Funny you mentioned that. That was the first thing I thought of when gp said the depth of the novel couldn't be filmed. There was so much visual stuff loaded into that film, it's like a honeycomb. I've seen it 10 times, and each time I see something new. It's not that I wasn't paying attention, but it's like you have to see it five times to understand the things you will see on the sixth time.

I would also think that David Lynch would be good for this type of adaptation.

Re:Oopsie. (1)

ds_job (896062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720059)

It took me five attempts over 10 months to read Neuromancer. I never got further than chapter 5 before putting the book down and picking up my medication to stop my head hurting. The time it actually clicked I also had to put the book down and reach for the medication, but that was for a celebration instead. I swear blind that the book is genius but it is not for the unwary to just pick up without some preparation first.

Tim Leary (1)

jamiefaye (44093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720269)

I was given Neuromancer by Timothy Leary in 1986. At the time he was involved in trying to put together a film adaptation of Gibson's novel.

It took more than one try to get into the book, and I was likewise rewarded by a major realignment of my neural patterns. Part of the problem was that Neuromancer has a weak, bleak opening (particularly in comparison with Snow Crash).

I have always wondered what strange pathways Neuromancer took from there on its way to non-production.

Best quote from the article (5, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720243)

Everyone remembers the exact moment when they realized that their Phanom Menace sandwich was filled with shit.

I think that would make a good Slashdot poll. When did you realize that George Lucas had defecated on your childhood memories?

- Opening sequence: "The taxation of trade routes to outlying systems is in dispute."
- First appearance of Jar Jar
- First mention of midi-chlorians
- The creepy virgin birth thingy
- First appearance of the annoying brat who played young Anikin
- First appearance of the wooden teen-aged brat who played older Anikin
- ???

The Dialogue to this article ... (5, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719912)

A: Do you remember seeing that one?
B: No
A: Me neither ... but it was good
B: Yeah, Totally

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1)

jerel (112066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719915)

Okay, so this movie existed. But it was bad enough that it should never have existed! But then we wouldn't have it to kick around. Oh, it's so confusing!!

Re:Plan 9 From Outer Space (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719944)

But without Plan 9 the movie Ed Wood would never have been created. And that's a great movie.

THGTTG (1, Insightful)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719916)

I, and most people I talked with and most critics actually LOVED the Hitchiker movie as much as a book. And that even though I was rather pessimistic before seeing it.

Re:THGTTG (2, Insightful)

Analog Squirrel (547794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719946)

I hate to be one of those "me too" posters, but...

me too


h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720130)

Yep - me too. Enjoyed the book, enjoyed the film. Ford was brilliant and so was everyone else. I'm happy to complain about good books being butchered by people who just think the name has marketing value, but THHGTTG film was THHGTTG. Abridged slightly and with an added character that was still very Adamsy, but nevertheless, still THHGTTG.

Re:THGTTG (2, Interesting)

Pulse_Instance (698417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719950)

I agree completely, the thing I did was not going in to the movie expecting everything to be exactly the same. I did bring a couple friends to see it with me, who had never read the books, they said they liked it after seeing it. A few days later they were telling me that they loved it after it had sunk in. Now they have my copy of the DVD and won't give it back.


HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719978)

Now they have my copy of the DVD and won't give it back

Do they live at the same house? or should I be calling the MPAA right now?


susano_otter (123650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720083)

I agree completely, the thing I did was not going in to the movie expecting everything to be exactly the same.

It has nothing to do with expecting the movie to be exactly the same as the book.

It has everything to do with expecting the movie to not simultaneously leave out all the awsome from the book while failing to replace it with other awsome of equal or greater value.

Watching some kawaii CGI robot prance around on a big screen is not really all that awsome, even if you and your friends have never seen a pre-movie THX promo before.

Silence, deviant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14719982)

The slashdot hivemind has decreed that you may not both like the Hitchhiker's Guide movie and be a Douglas Adams fan! Dissent shall not be brooked!

Who are you, thinking you have the right to form your own opinions about movies? Now back to the mines with thee!

Re:THGTTG (2, Insightful)

Utoxin (26011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719984)

While I believe you probably did like the movie, I can't imagine a universe in which I /would/ like the movie. I've read the books, heard the radio plays, seen the BBC TV production, and loved them all. Then I went to the movie, against my better judgement, after having read the review by Adam's biographer. I went hoping that he was wrong. I looked for redeeming qualities in the movie. I couldn't find any. NONE. I chuckled /ONCE/ during the whole movie.

As a control to my experiment, my wife has only a passing aquaintance with most of the material, and really isn't that fond of most british comedy. She chuckled 2 or 3 times. And agreed with me that the movie wasn't even worth the time we wasted sitting in the theatre.

As a further control, in case I have influenced my wife unduly: The theatre was reasonably full. Not a sold out showing, but at least half the seats were filled. No one in the audience laughed more than my wife. Period. I heard people complaining loudly about the movie on the way out.


plumby (179557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720014)

From people I know and have talked to about it, pretty much everyone that had ever seen/read/heard HHG before thought the movie was a big disappointment, whereas those that hadn't come across it before in any form thought the movie was great. I was firmly in the former camp.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720086)

I thought it was awful. I think that the reason was simple; I knew most of the jokes already and they had already been done with much charm and style 20 years before.

I think that this was true for quite a few people; the two parts that got the biggest laughs were new: when Arthur and Ford fell downward after the Vogon air lock (we were expecting them to go out backwards), and the gun near the end--can't even remember the gag here, but it was classic Douglas Adams.


Re:THGTTG (4, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720114)

The movie was acceptable, but for me the biggest "gotcha" was the total lack of comprehension of British humor by the directors.

The most obvious example was Arthur Dent's conversation with Processor, or lack thereof. Of course, naming the ex-President Hamma Kavula (or however it is spelled) was seriously funny.

And the whole scene with the Total Perspective Vortex which was a gun, where Zaphod gets "enlightened" was Hollywood-romance drivel. "Hey, I'm Zaphod Beeblebrox, man!"

The absolute worst was the !)@#!ing 2+ minute opening scene of jumping dolphins! What a waste of celluloid!

It just could have been so much better in the hands of a director who had a sense of humor that didn't need a laugh track to tell him what was funny.


Re:THGTTG (2, Interesting)

KrisW (613034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720134)

I'll throw in another "me too". I've read the series multiple times (as well as Adams' other books), and heard the radio series. I went in to the theater not really expecting to like it, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I figured I may have set my expectations too low - thinking anything better than crap was good enough - but the next time I watched it, I enjoyed it as much as the first.


CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720169)

I never read the book, I just had some familiarity with it from a few quotes that were frigging brilliant. I went in expecting greatness, and I came out wondering how it's possible to make things like "In the beginning the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has widely been considered as a bad move," not funny. You have to actively want it to be not funny to kill something like that.

No it wouldn't.... (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719922)

Re: Snow Crash:

It's so cinematic that I didn't just desperately want a movie to be made from it, I was always shocked they didn't make one.

Nope, a Neal Stephenson movie wouldn't work for the same (real) reason The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy didn't work. The joy of those books is in the expository language. Even the best adaptation would still disappoint the hardcore fans.

Imagine turning the Cap'n Crunch seen in Cryptonomicon into a movie -- Randy Waterhouse eats a bowl of cereal in a Manila hotel room. Woohoo!

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719945)

(OMTFG, did I just spell "scene" as "seen"? I fully deserve whatever ridicule I'm about to receive from some overspecialized troll...)

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719981)

Okay, so what is "OMTFG" supposed to mean? I get OMFG, just not the "T" in the middle.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (2, Insightful)

cornface (900179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719969)

The problem with Snow Crash is that the ending was stupid. It seemed like he just got bored and wanted to hurry up and finish the book. I liked it right up until the end. What a cheesy, lame, let down of an ending. Sheesh. I'm guess maybe I'm a little bitter.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720017)

Indeed, that book should have ended a few chapters earlier rather than dragging on into that pointless mess of an ending.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720061)

It seemed like he just got bored and wanted to hurry up and finish the book.

That pretty much describes the ending of every single text he writes. Excellent books, but he just can't seem to write an ending worth a damn. They actually read a lot like the last few pages are missing; my uninformed guess is that he _really_ can't write endings he's happy with, and so he cuts his losses as it were, and stops when the action does.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

voteforkerry78 (819720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720005)

Yeah, Neal Stephenson's books are the bane of movie-makers. He doesn't just write quite a few details; he's the most detailed author in existance. I never wanted to know that much about Captain Crunch, productivity at work based on the last time you masturbated and how many times you see your love interest, or sexual fetishes such as stockings and doing it on top of antique furniture. The thing is, Neal Stephenson makes everything interesting (and hilarious). Even the mathematics of masturbation and productivity. It would really suck to make the Cryptonomicon movie though.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (2, Interesting)

Keith Russell (4440) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720022)

I remember reading somewhere that Stephenson's original plan for Snow Crash was a graphic adventure game. He had the outline worked out, but found out that the top "multimedia" platforms of the day (Atari ST, Amiga) weren't powerful enough for his ambition, so he turned it into a novel.

After reading that, I thought back to the end of the book and said to myself, "Ah, so that's why Hiro was carrying [spoiler] in his inventory!"

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720052)

I'd love to see someone try to cram the Baroque Cycle into 2 hours... : p

Re:No it wouldn't.... (1)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720056)

Some books may truly be unfilmable, but it's hard to tell in advance.

I would have thought that Fight Club was unfilmable, but man, was I wrong...

Cap'n Crunch. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720123)

Imagine turning the Cap'n Crunch seen in Cryptonomicon into a movie -- Randy Waterhouse eats a bowl of cereal in a Manila hotel room. Woohoo!
Yes, imagine it. Imagine trying to convey the sense that this guy has some serious issues using only his cereal ritual.

I'd film it by putting a digital clock on the table. Hook the clock to a sensor pad. The clock starts when he puts the milk on it. Focus on how he keeps his eyes on the clock while eating.

Then, have the phone ring. He turns to the phone and drops his spoon. He reaches down to get the spoon, gets a bit frantic when he can't grab it, then grabs it and comes up. He stares at the timer.


Then he gets up, washes out the bowl, focus on all the cereal in the sink's drain. He dries the bowl. He dries the spoon. Then he takes them over to the table again.

He fills the bowl with cereal, re-sets the timer, looks up, goes to the phone and carefully unplugs it and wraps the cord around the receive. Then he goes back to the table and reaches for the milk ...

Don't focus on eating the cereal. Focus on the person who has a ritual that complicated just for eating cereal. Focus on the effects that interupting that ritual has on that person.

Re:No it wouldn't.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720288)

_Snow Crash_ was by far the crappiest book I've read since I got conned into reading _Mission: Earth_ by L. Ron Hubbard by a relative that recommended it -- that is why it would make a crappy movie.

As an independent filmmaker... (4, Interesting)

dex22 (239643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719936)

...who has struggled for years to fund my various off-the-wall projects, like Best Served Cold [] I know how hard it is to do anything different.

I've been working on the project that follows BSC for a year now. It's a cheesy B movie pisstake with zombies and alien bugs, and it'll be a scream. But can I get funding? No! My low budget productions are well made and funny as hell, but fundraising when you're deliberately making cheesy movies, or movies with gorgeous fat chicks, well, it's tough.

Anyone got $15,000 I can use? :)

Re:As an independent filmmaker... (5, Funny)

radish (98371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719987)

Two suggestions:

(a) Move to Germany
(b) Change your name to Uwe Boll

Re:As an independent filmmaker... (4, Funny)

dex22 (239643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720035)

...but I just:

a) moved to Austin, TX, from England
b) changed my name to Robert Rodriguez!

Stephenson would be easier than it looks (1)

Corf (145778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719940)

I read this a few weeks ago and realized that I really, really want to see Snow Crash on the big screen. It wouldn't require the typical overload of crazy description that the book uses (cf. Cryptonomicon's Captain Crunch dissertation) - just hire incredibly good visual effects folks to nail the details and you've got a gritty believable near-future in which we can sit back and watch Hiro whup up. Please, world, someday.

Of course I'm sure it'll still be better in my head. :\

Re:Stephenson would be easier than it looks (2, Funny)

lionheart1327 (841404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719975)

Of course, I'm sure they'd make YT 18.

Can't have under-age girls actually interested in sex, no, that would be ungood.

Re:Stephenson would be easier than it looks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720097)

What an understatement. That would be double-plus ungood!

Is the tresspassing corp army in Iraq a Sci-Fi? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14719948)

The CIA psy-ops is going around.

Check-out this recent UK tresspass on video; 06bbeating_vid.htm [] is four children beaten-killed by the UK soldiers for what appears to be throwing rocks at the corporate army installation.

Rather than throw the rocks back the children, they curse and beat four of them to death. Take note of that video.

Learn to accept for value, charge, discharge, and commercial redemption at:,,,,,, etc.

That is all I can do to help.

Re:Is the tresspassing corp army in Iraq a Sci-Fi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720135)

I think it's fantastic that we're beating the shit out of those extremist Muslims. They can slice people's heads off and oppress their women, but they take to the streets and set fires and kill people over a fucking cartoon.

As usual, liberals love them.

huh? (0, Offtopic)

garrett714 (841216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719949)

There was a movie that perfectly captured the Douglas Adams experience, the combination of bitter sarcasm and sharp imagination, the droll British wit and whale-exploding slapstick that infused his novels. And that movie was Shaun of the Dead. That movie was not, unfortunately, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

In the words of Cartman's mom:

"Wha wha wha WHAAAAT?"

Re:huh? (1)

garrett714 (841216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719992)

I'm sorry I horribly messed the quote up. I know it's not Cartman's mom, can't think of who it is now. I apologize in advance to any hardcore South Park fans. Please don't pwn my Karma for it *sniffles*

Re:huh? (1)

Morgon (27979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720019)

That'd actually be Kyle's mom.

Re:huh? (2, Interesting)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720032)

His point was that Shaun of the Dead better captured the feel of Douglas Adams' sense of humor than the Hitchiker's movie: ironic, considering that he actually wrote the novel (and radio show, and TV show) upon which the film was based.

And I haven't seen Shaun yet (bad Sammy! bad!) but I have to say that I'm inclined to agree. The film adaptation of Hitchiker's was awful. About the only good thing to come of it was the music video created to endorse his presidency.

Re:huh? or why is Shaun of the Dead better ... (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720065)

And I haven't seen Shaun yet (bad Sammy! bad!) but I have to say that I'm inclined to agree.

I saw the movie with the Director, and I have to say it was the most fun I've ever had at a zombie movie. Something about the British sense of humour just does it for me.

Re:huh? (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720064)

Actually, it's Kyle's mom....

To get back to the quote, Shaun of the Dead was an awesome movie. Rather than poke fun at society and bureaucracy by taking it on an integalactic scale, in that case removing Earth to make room for an intergalactic freeway, they make due with everyday life: A pub crawling loser doomed to life working in an electronics store with kids almost half his age doesn't quite notice that zombies have taken over the town.

Re:huh? (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720230)

Sounds more like Mrs. Broflovski [] , Kyle's mom.

Cartman's mom would be all sing-songy with something like "Okay, poopie-kins, time to take nap-naps with Clyde frog."

Johnny Mnemonic: Director's Cut (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14719956)

The script by Gibson is totally different than the muddled mess that Sony created. They took the film away from director Robert Longo, re-shot scenes, changed the music to their own bands, removed characters and development of characters (like Streeet Preacher), deleted most of the Japanese scenes, and eliminated the humor and satirical elements that the creators intended.

I've heard that the Japanese DVD is closer to the director's vision, but still not definitive or complete. Also, the Japanese DVD has lots of Japanese scenes with no subtitles. How about it, Sony? Let us see the film as the director and writer intended it to be. You have damaged both their reputations by creating a bastardized version of the film.

In a world... (4, Funny)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719957)

In a post-apocalyptic world where websites mysteriously drop from existance, server hardware is reduced to mere slag and ISP lawyers roam the shattered earth a hero shall rise [] .

Coming this summer from Forks Searchlight Entertainment:
ths slashdotting

Classics (4, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14719985)

Guess they weren't concerned with novels. Little things like Mote In God's Eye and Ringworld. Even Lucifer's Hammer blew away any of the meteor films that got made, although many stole from it. Science fiction novels done properly for cinema are virtually nonexistent. There are rare exceptions like 2001 but the script was by the writer of the novel and Directed by Kubrick of coarse.

Re:Classics (2, Informative)

the phantom (107624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720054)

More acurately, Kubrick and Clarke collaborated on both the book and the script. The book was being written as the movie was being made.

Re:Classics (2, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720089)

Heck, if they want a classic, how's about Stranger in a Strange Land? You wouldn't even necessarily need a big budget, just clever direction and acting to bring a captivating story to light...

Re:Classics (4, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720281)

There are rare exceptions like 2001 but the script was by the writer of the novel and Directed by Kubrick of coarse.
Actually, that's not true at all. Kubrick wrote the script, and Clarke wrote the novel - in parallel. Clarke's writings make it quite clear that his contributions to the screenplay were minimal and that Kubrick's contributions to the novel were equally minimal, even though they extensively borrowed from each other..

Pointless waste of time.. (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720002)

..posting your site on /. if it's going to fall over within 5 posts.

Re:Pointless waste of time.. or is it? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720045)

..posting your site on /. if it's going to fall over within 5 posts.

Problem loading page

The connection has timed out
The server at is taking too long to respond.

* The site could be slashdotted. Just give up until someone posts a mirror.
* If you are unable to load any pages, read some Vogon poetry.
* If your computer or network is protected by a firewall or proxy, give it a good, sharp, swift kick and curse at it. It won't change anything, but you'll feel better.

Re:Pointless waste of time.. (1)

ds_job (896062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720240)

Well it took over a minute to start to draw the page when there were no posts on it. I expect that this is now being hammered because people are going to The Great Internet Porn-Off [] instead. I wonder if that is coral cached too...

Matrix sequels sucked because... (5, Insightful)

IAAP (937607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720010)

the Wachowskis thought that people went to see the movies because of the Car chases, bullets flying, and the Kung Fu fight scenes. Maybe some people did. But what got me hooked on the first was things like this line, "Knowing the path is different from walking the path." I thought, "Ooooo" these guys are going to do something different and possibly something that has a deeper meaning than, blam-blam-blam-blamblam-blam". But noooo, that's not how it turned out. And if they did it the way I thought they were going to do it, it would have cost much less and they would have made more money.

Re:Matrix sequels sucked because... (2, Funny)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720255)

Indeed. []

(Not mine.)

Another example: Robert E. Howard vs. Ahnold (3, Interesting)

el borak (263323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720011)

Although I'm sure many only know the character of Conan from John Milius' big screen romp with steroid-giant Ahnold (or possibly from the even more wretched TV series or the comic books), no one has yet had the guts to film a real movie based on the original Robert E. Howard stories from the 1930's.

The real REH Conan wasn't the dumb as a board Ahnold, he was a multilingual leader of men, an accomplished horseman, a stealthy and dextrous thief, and many other things that neither Milius nor Ahnold understood (and still don't to this day). He was a product of the pulp era and the Great Depression. He was the toughest guy not because he was chained (for no apparent reason) to a wheel for his entire life, but because he had survived as only the fittest did in his environment.

Hollywood very rarely avoids the trap of going for the "easy story". Why create a complex character that is truly interesting when a one-dimensional revenge-fest is so much easier to explain to a suit? Why respect the original stories when just grabbing the trademark name to use for promotion takes less time? Why cast an actor who can actually act when a steroid-giant looks so cool on screen?

I've given up on any story or book adaptation ever coming close to the original and hence am no longer disappointed. And that way I enjoy the very rare occasions when they do actually get it right. But for every Maltese Falcon there are hundreds of I, Robots.

Re:Another example: Robert E. Howard vs. Ahnold (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720070)

"The Savage Sword Of Conan" comics did a pretty good job, IMHO. Conan was often depicted as an accomplished military strategist and generally the one in a group who used common sense and critical thinking. He made allies easier than he made enemies. The series even took him to the point where he became king of his own land. And Conan was tough clearly because he was a Cimmerian, and the many reference to Cimmeria were laced with fear and a "you do not fuck with the Cimmerians" mood.

Re:Another example: Robert E. Howard vs. Ahnold (1)

santiago (42242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720310)

The current Conan series of comics from Dark Horse does a pretty good job of keeping the feel of the original Howard stories, both in the adapted stories and in most of the original ones they publish.

Re:Another example: Robert E. Howard vs. Ahnold (2, Interesting)

Belseth (835595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720106)

No one has done Howard right and probably never will. Kull was Godawful and Red Sonja was silly, not that it was Howard just ripping off characters. There have been threats of doing Solomen Kane but fortunately that never happened. A great character but ripe for abuse. I completely agree on Conan. I never understood the dumb barbarian characterization. I brilliant leader that could speak a dozen languages and read and write in nearly as many, some ancient, would be considered a genius today. The excuse I heard at times was when faced with death he'd rather fight back than try to run and hide. I guess cowardace is considered intellegent. I doubt it's possible to do Howard right in a regular film but CG has come so far that it may be possible to recreate the character and his world the way Frazetta drew him. You just need the rights and a team talented enough to do it. There's always Uwe Boll? Sorry, couldn't resist the scary mental image.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1)

BigZaphod (12942) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720028)

I don't think Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy could ever have worked as a movie no matter who made it. It relied far too much on imagination and the images were so wacky that the act of trying to translate them into *actual* images on a screen could only ever diminish them.

Most of those sound like real crap (1)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720037)

I can understand if the guy was pointing to specific versions of screenplays that never made it to the screen or where horribly compromised by hack job editors (i.e. what happened to Brazil when the Exec stuck goddamn LOVERBOY on the soundtrack and turned it into a romance. Or the massacred versions of Ciminos Heaven's Gate or Leone's Once Upon a Time in America) but what he has here is an uneven list fifteen year olds would come up with after sneaking too many of mom's Bacardi Breezers. The list leads off with the failed opportunity of Alien 3 to use William Gibson's script. But then he says Garth Jennings should have directed H2G2. Huh? Like he says Jennings had nothing in the movie but a bit part: he wasn't greenlighted at some point to be the director only to drop out, he didn't have a Paul Schaffer-esque moment where he made a movie (the Exorcist prequel) that was so hated by the suits that they remade the film with the same cast but a different director.

At that point the list goes from being missed opportunities to a wishlist. Even then some of the wishes make no sense: Tim Burton doing H2H2 sounds good... but why does this guy point to Willy Wonka of all movies? That's like seeing Francis Ford Coppola and saying "Yo I LOVED The Rainmaker!! Way to bring out the flavor in that John Grisham airport fodder!!" And I bet you could throw 500 million and all the talent in the world at a video game movie and still come up with a piece of shit. Doom hasn't ever been known for its gripping story.

My personal list of Best Movies Never Made? Well what about all the butcheries of Alan Moore's work? LXG is at the top of the list for greatest sins. And V for Vendetta as a look of being a seat of the pants rollercoaster ride (and so nothing like the source). And then there's all the weak sellouts of Philip K Dick's work (the Spielbergian twist on Minority Report) or Heinlein (Verhoven might have made a great political statement with his version of Starship Troopers if it wasn't moronic, badly acted, and the Sci-Fi equivalent of the WB).

Re:Most of those sound like real crap (2, Interesting)

mad.frog (525085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720098)

And then there's all the weak sellouts of Philip K Dick's work

Actually, at least one good PKD adaptation has been done that I know of: Screamers [] , based on the story "Second Variety".

Granted, not one of his major works -- nor an awesome film -- but a credible one.

(Frankly, I think that A Scanner Darkly looks like it might actually be a good adaptation, despite Keanu starring in it. We'll see...)

A comment and a revision (4, Informative)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720038)

Alien 3 was further brutalized by the studio cut that utterly ripped the guts out of the film. If you haven't already, go and watch the Director's Cut on the Quadriology (you can often rent it by itself). The film is infinitely better, and actually works as a small, dark, claustrophobic piece. It's not what fans were promised, it's not what they were expecting, it's not what should have been filmed. But it works. That's tough to admit, but it's nice to find a silver lining to the nightmare that was the movie's production.

Which brings me to...Alien 5

Since in the minds of Alien fans, Alien Vs. Predator simply does not exist, Alien 5 was intended to be something along the lines of what Alien 3's teaser promised. Long story short: James Cameron and Ridley Scott went to the studio with the pitch, the studio told them they were going to do A vs P instead, Cameron told them if that movie was made, he would walk. You know the rest. The film is officially, 100% dead [] .

No Ellison? (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720039)

I can't believe no Ellison stories were mentioned. His script [] for I, Robot was just amazing.

I, Robot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720048)

Read that as Ellison's I, Robot [] screenplay or Asimov's I, Robot [] stories, but don't please read it as I, Robot [] . Damn Hollywood for attaching one of my favorite childhood titles to a movie that had almost nothing to do with either Asimov's work or Ellison's brilliant (and never produced) screenplay. It deserved better.

the H2G2 was'nt THAT bad. (2, Interesting)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720049)

it was better then I expected when - taking into account the fact that it was backed by disney. note: I'm a die hard H2G2 fan.

Not that it was perfect, far from it. It was a pretty good effort IMHO, with some great moments. some of them (the knitting stop-animation scene, for example) were great, even though I doubt DNA scripted them in. It was a worthy effort. Much better then the TV series, for example (and even better then some of the books).

  Granted, the missed some of the better jokes ("I wish I listened to what my mother told me.." for example), but all in all, it was a good film. the fact that it wasn't a great success says more about the american audience then the quality of the flick - take a look at Kiss kiss, bang bang, which I thought was a great flick, but it totaly Bombed in the box office.

ugh. (1)

eshefer (12336) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720259)

should have proff-read that before posting..

11. Odd John by George Pal (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720053)

Odd John by Olaf Stapledon is a ground breaking but dated SF novel about a superior mutant kid growing up and finding others of his kind.

It is still in print, teamed up with a much better novel about an intelligent dog: []

Now, the curious thing about the edition noted above is the copyright notice. It is: (c) 1961 by George Pal.

George Pal is the emigre filmmaker responsible for War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao and many others.


I puzzled over this for many years before meeting up with Forrey Ackerman. He had the dirt: George Pal bought the rights to Odd John but never had a chance to make movie out of it.

Aliens3 (2, Funny)

McCarrum (446375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720057)

Aye, I'm one of the many who has printed out the script that Gibson wrote and it's now in a nice handmade book on my shelves. I am utterly amazed that it wasn't picked up - my experience with film making is minimal, but the visions of the end production from that script still inspires me.

HICKS: I thought you were programmed to protect human life?

BISHOP (with android blandness): I'm taking the long view.

Is it just me, or would this be one of those lines that would have entered the hall of "best lines ever". I can just see it being delivered in that dead-pan quiet and logical manner from Bishop. Mechanical eyes passively in hope that the human understood what had to happen.

Re:Aliens3 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720087)

Aye, I'm one of the many who has printed out the script that Gibson wrote and it's now in a nice handmade book on my shelves.

You should hear Bill read his scripts. He wowed them at Boreal 87 - something about his delivery just changes an otherwise excellent script into an intensely fascinating and excellent script.

Re:Aliens3 (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720099)

I saw Alien 3 with my friend; he had free passes. I remember at the end feeling ripped off, even though I saw it for free. I want my two hours back!

Google Cache (5, Funny)

netfool (623800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720062)

Google Cache []

Plus, I just have to copy and paste this quote for Snow Crash, I think it's hilarious because it's completely true:

"Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live,devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."

So true, so true.

Æon Flux (2, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720075)

You absolutely forgot Æon Flux, guys. The series was prodigal; the movie was a piece of soulless, mass-compatible hollywood crap. It definitely would've earned the top spot in this hall of shame.

I can't believe he actually said this... (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720088)

No, Doom needs a Paul Verhoeven.

I immediately thought, "of Showgirls fame. He's the guy who ruined Starship Troopers."

Then I read a little further and get to:

Have you seen Verhoeven's Starship Troopers? Imagine that film without all the political bullshit that nobody involved understood anyway.


The political bullshit was the whole damn novel! He took a political commentary and made it into an episode of 90210 in space, with some nudity and explosions thrown in to keep up the Verhoeven image.

Couldn't read any more after that.

Ha, easy one: Daikatana (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720093)

Eek... it's about science fiction and still people come after you with torches and pitchforks.

Anywho... I have to be somewhere else... quick...

12. Bob Clampett's Barsoom Cartoons (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720107)

Bob Clampett was one of the loons responsible for Warner Brothers' stable of familiar characters. He also did a buncha shows on his own, including "Beany and Cecil."

Less well known: His attempt to make an animated version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" series (A Princess of Mars and so on). []

You know the state of film is lame when... (2, Interesting)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720111)

...people fantasize about the fucking sequels they'd like to see... What about Ringworld? Neuromancer? As for comparisons to the Matrix, The Futurological Congress would stop that shit - that's a story that could out-Matrix the Matrix.

Re:You know the state of film is lame when... (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720286)

What about Ringworld? Neuromancer?

Indeed. Caves of Steel would be nice too.

Or even....a good version of Lord of the Rings. You know, without breakdancing wizards.


Oh, there's more... (1)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720119)

Terry Gilliam's film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Good Omens for a start. It's dead.

Long ago, there were rumors of a version of Dune to be directed by Salvador Dali, and scored by Pink Floyd (sometime in the late 60s/early 70s). While it probably wouldn't have made much sense, it undoubtedly would have been beautiful.

There's been talk for a long time about a film adaptation of Patrick McGoohan's TV series, The Prisoner. That one went the way of the dodo.

Rumors got batted around about a sequel to Blade Runner, but not based directly on a PKD novel.

A lot has been said on the subject of adapting Piers Anthony's works to the screen, but little has been done, although A Spell for Chameleon is supposedly in the works right now.

Re:Oh, there's more... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720190)

I think that specific Anthony movie (Chameleon) has been in the works for at least 1 decade, possibly 15yrs.

That being said, I'd love to see any of the following anthony series brought to the silver screen:
Bio of a space tyrant (too bloody, too much sex, not going to happen)
Incarnations of Imortality (possible)
and of course Xanth, but try to stop in the single digits ;-)

I hope this time around Chameleon makes it out of the works stage.

Off to dream of big screen Piers anthony, Christopher Stasheff, and/or David eddings movies...

I agree TFA. (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720136)

I agree absolute everything the author of TFA says.

Except, maybe the prequel+sequel thing about Matrix.

Culture (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720137)

I'd like to see a movie of a Iain M. Banks Culture novel. Like Player of Games.

Dirty Sanchez???! (1)

inkdesign (7389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720149)

"as you try nervously to sneak out of the locker room before the big kids give you a Wedgie and a Tittie-Twister and a Dirty Sanchez, all that builds up into adulthood."

Wow.. I'm REALLY glad I didn't go to this guy's school.

What ever happened to... (1)

bscott (460706) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720213)

Morgan Freeman was part of an effort to bring "Rendezvous with Rama" to theaters, some years back. Guess it's stalled?

I always thought "Redshift Rendezvous" would make a very cool film - I think the author once told me he'd sold the film rights, but at the time it would have been incredibly expensive to make. F/X and CGI being what they are now, it should be far more practical these days (look at "Son of the Mask", an obvious welfare program for unemployed computer animators...)

Hopefully someone realizes that there are stories out there more original than "musclemen with big guns (or magical chicks in tight leather) go after evil, mutant radioactive bad guys in a dank dungeon/urban slum/space colony" and consider making a film about it.

(Sorry, I should have put up a spoiler alert - I just gave away the plots of the next 10 "sci-fi" movies...)

TMOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14720258)

The Memory of Shadows!

Robinson's Mars Trilogy (1)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720266)

He forgot Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy [] . James Cameron was rumored to be making a film of it. Then nothing.
The hundreds of dropships launched from the Ares orbiting around Mars, the Martian landscapes, Underhill, the tent towns, the Martian Revolutions, the journey back to Earth, the colonization of Callisto, Mercury, Titania, and Venus and further with the Accelerando..
Wouldn't that be a fucking great film ? Come on! Weren't we talking about going back on Moon and further ?

Ender's Game (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720284)

nuff said.

I hope they never make this into a movie... (1)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720294)

Wheel of Time.

With all the Hollywood greed and current excitment over fantasy-style movies I deeply hope WoT never gets made into a movie.
To many religious undertones, (not like Narnia wasn't full of those); to much like politics of who/what is running the White Tower.

The Feminists would riot over the way the Red Ajaih are depicted.
The only "monsters" that Hollywood would like are they Trollics, and they are not a big-enough part of the story.

I love the books, I hope it never gets made into a movie.

WTF? (0, Troll)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14720296)

Why is this here? Some little fanboy's idiot cravings to redo films, is that news?

Have you guys seen other films with Heyden Christiansen? He's not a bad actor.

Yes he is, he's a terrible actor. All he can do is play wooden and whiny, and possibly a gay prostitute. I'm just going to assume that 90% of this was tongue-in-cheek.
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