The Martian Chronicles (2013)

Directed by: TBA

U.S. Opening Date: TBA 2013


Paramount has recently optioned the movie rights for Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles – a collection of short stories first published in 1950.

The stories take place in the “future” of 1999 to 2057 in which colonists from Earth flee their doomed planet to settle on Mars.

Contrary to what you might have gleaned from recent NASA reports, the planet is actually inhabited in Bradbury’s stories and the Earthlings come in conflict with the native inhabitants. Like James Cameron’s Avatar, Bradbury’s stories also have analogies to the devastation of Native American populations, something which may have been a factor in Paramount obtaining the movie rights.

Incidentally the stories have already been filmed in 1980 as a TV mini-series starring Rock Hudson as the leader of the leisure suit-wearing Earth invaders.

Flawed as the TV series may be, the format might be better suited to the source material than your average running time movie. (Sure, it might work as a three-and-a-half-hour-long Ben Hur-like epic, but nobody makes those any more, now do they?)

Fans of Bradbury might fume that Hollywood will dumb the material down to make it palatable to multiplex audiences, but the truth is that they shouldn’t lose any sleep over it: The Martian Chronicles might never make it to the big screen.

After all, Universal studios - the previous right holders – acquired the rights in 1997 and never did anything with it in all that time. Paramount might just do the same thing when someone in the accounting department realizes that audiences aren’t particularly interested in anything to do with the red planet right now (see: Mars Needs Moms, huge box office failure of) . . .


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