Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles Coming to the Big Screen?

Sci-fi is back, baby! At least, that’s what the Hollywood pundits are saying. A slew of recent SF-related movie announcements has people proclaiming Avatar as the saviour of the genre, but I’m not so sure. There were a number of classic sci-fi novels being optioned way before James Cameron’s behemoth was released including Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War, not to mention William Gibson’s Neuromancer. Now we’ve got another seminal sci-fi work to add to the pile of adaptations in development: Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles.

According to 24 Frames, producer John Davis (Predator, Waterworld, I, Robot) has optioned the rights to Bradbury’s 1950 book with the intention of setting it up at Fox. The stories recount a series of human expeditions to Mars where they encounter local inhabitants with telepathic powers and attempt to colonize the planet.

The Martian Chronicles was previously turned into a TV mini-series starring Rock Hudson back in 1980 (which Bradbury himself called “boring”), but it has never been made into a feature film. If I were to point to another film that might have inspired this project, it would probably be Disney’s John Carter of Mars, not Avatar. Of course, 3-D in general has made a lot of fantastical stuff financially viable again, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what Davis has in mind. A writer and director have yet to be determined, but who would you like to see behind the camera on this one? Duncan Jones, perhaps?

  • Alicia

    This is my favourite Bradbury book, if not one of my favourite books of all time! I would love to see this adapted for the screen. I actually wouldn’t even mind it being made for the small screen, into a mini series on HBO even.

  • Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors.

    I was looking forward to Mel Gibson’s version of “Fahrenheit 451.”

    Alicia, have you seen the NBC mini-series of The Martian Chronicles starring Rock Hudson that was done in the 70’s? The screenplay was written by Richard Matheson, who wrote The Incredible Shrinking Man. Critics hated it, but I actually enjoyed the moralistic script. The visual effects are laughable, though.

    Then there are The Ray Bradbury Theatre versions of some of The Martian Chronicle Stories. Even though the screenplays are written by Bradbury, I didn’t find any of these episodes interestingly done.

  • Mrespony

    There was the 1980 mini-series with Rock Hudson, you can get it on DVD. Definitely not great but as a kid it freaked me out pretty bad.

  • Alicia

    Reed – No, I have not seen the mini-series with Rock Hudson. I saw the F-451 movie (which I didn’t like) and also I saw The Veldt as a short film (again, not very good).