Another Heinlein Adaptation is On the Way - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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Another Heinlein Adaptation is On the Way - The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

It has always surprised my how few Robert Heinlein novels have ever made the jump to the big screen.

While there is at least one major example in Starship Troopers, the source and movie don't have much in common and other examples have been low rent (see The Puppet Masters) or little seen (the rather neat Predestination). Maybe its because Heinlein's bigger on ideas than action, more interested in talking than narrative inertia but he's also one of the undoubted masters of science fiction.

So after the recent release (in some places) of Predestination, its great to hear that a major studio is getting interested in his work again. 20th Century Fox has picked up 1966's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and is positioning Bryan Singer to be involved, though possibly not as director. The film will be titled Uprising and is to be adapted byMarc Guggenheim, who writes on Arrow and also penneed Green Lantern.

The story is about what happens when a major colony on the moon decides they're fed up being ruled from afar by the Earth and decide to rise up. There are several characters, including a sentient machine which shows Heinlein's usual impressive command of speculation and knowledge to uncannily predict the future. The book has plenty of political messages - which is no surprise to fans of Heinlein - but its also full of his usual warm humanity and plenty of humour.

As for the adaptation... well it seems doomed to fall far short of the novel from the outset. The title - Uprising - is a meagre thing which tells you nothing about the unique aspect of the setting or the actual conflict at the heart of the story and I can't say Guggenheim's credentials make me feel much better. There's nothing about the story which makes it feel suited to the blockbuster world, and I can't say I see the commercial implications of a story which has very little in the way of action.

Still, Singer is a talented director and if they can use Heinlein's original as a jumping off point for a necessarily slighter entertainment then perhaps this won't be a total horrorshow.

There's no word on a release date but Singer will be a trifle busy with X-Men Apocalypse until at least late 2016.



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