In our new weekly series we look at the best sci-fi movies that never got made . . .
WHAT’S IT ABOUT: In the 22nd century a team of astronauts is sent on a mission to explore a giant interstellar spaceship hurtling toward the sun.
SOURCE: Arthur C. Clarke’s 1972 novel of the same name which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards.
WHO’S INVOLVED? Director David Fincher (Se7en, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Benjamin Button, Alien 3) and actor Morgan Freeman.
LAST WE HEARD: Back in early 2011 director Fincher said Rendezvous with Rama could be one of his next films. (Instead it turned out to be the English language remake of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Daniel Craig.)
Here’s what he told Total Film magazine:
“Rendezvous with Rama is a great story that has an amazing role for Morgan Freeman who is an amazing actor and would be amazing in this thing.”
“The question was can we get a script that’s worthy of Morgan and can we get a script that is worthy of Arthur Clarke and can we do all of that in an envelope that will allow the movie to take the kind of chances that it wants to take.”
“Because we want to make a movie where kids go out of the theatre and instead of buying an action figure they buy a telescope. That was the hope. The hope is, let’s get people interested in the fucking movie.”
WHY IT’D BE GREAT: Come on! It’s a fantastic novel, plus it’s David Fincher and Arthur C. Clarke! So few SF classics do actually get made into movies, you know . . .
THE PROBLEM: Rendezvous with Rama is a great Hard SF novel, but let’s be honest here: in movie terms not much actually happens. There is no alien invasion; the deserted alien spaceship code-named Rama isn’t haunted; there are no slimy monsters on board; etc.
In a Hollywood in which science fiction means dumb, noisy special effects spectacles a screenplay true to Clarke’s novel will probably never get made.
CHANCES OF GETTING MADE: Maybe, but don’t hold your breath.
As Morgan Freeman said in December 2011: “We’re still pushing for Rendezvous with Rama. That’s a got-to-be-done movie. Just have to figure out how to do it. I’ve been trying for – I don’t know – 15 years now to get a script!”