Will there ever be a Stranger in a Strange land movie?

Does anybody know if SIASL will ever be made into a movie?

Which actors would you like to see play Michael Valentine Smith, Jubal Harshaw and the other characters?

I recall hearing a few years ago that Tom Hanks was interested in it- I hope to God NOT as MVS!

It’s been years since I’ve read it but I seem to recall thinking that either Harlan Ellison or Dabney Coleman (about 20-30 years ago) would be a good Jubal.

I can’t see it being made now without changing it beyond recognition. The novel was very much a child of its times. Now, it just seems…quaint. Besides, the whole Man From Mars founds a religion thing has been done to death. :smiley:

If you* read the book and liked it, why the frak would you want to see a movie that will deliver new levels of suckitude? If they botched Starship Troopers, which is a pretty straight forward action tale, imagine what SiaSL would be like.
And if you’ve never read the book or read it and disliked it, why would you go see it?

*general you.

I’ve seen lots of movies based on books I haven’t read. It never occurred to me that I was doing anything irrational. (In some cases I’ve read the book afterwards.)

I wouldn’t see a SiaSL movie though. I can’t imagine anyone making a watchable movie of that book.

One half of the book takes place inside the characters’ thoughts, one half is exposition (post-WWIII culture, etc.), and one half is dialogue (much of it of the “talking head” variety). Not a good mix for a “cinematographic representation.”

As Charlie Tan indicated, a standard Hollywood version of SiaSL would make Starship Troopers look like Schindler’s List.

While I agree that Hollywood would fubar the book beyond all recognition, I think that Jude Law would make a good MVS.

Didn’t the project that ended up as The Man Who Fell to Earth start off as intending to make a move of SiaSL? Or did I just imagine hearing that somewhere back in the 70s?

BTW I can’t believe they are bothering to remake this SF classic next year.

Well, in this particular case… Think about how they would package it, promote it, for those not in the know. :shudder:

The story itself hasn’t aged all that well. To be honest, I found myself more interested in the implications of communicating and teaching/learning from a man completely divorced from human culture than all the hippy stuff.

True, though this specific example is weak (it doesn’t matter how easy or difficult it would be to do a faithful adaptation when the director sets out to subvert the original concepts).

I could imagine someone filming a movie version of Stranger in a Strange Land that was a pretty good interpretation of the book. What I can’t imagine – especially after seeing I, Robot and Starship Troopers and The Puppet Masters – is Hollywood even attempting to make a good version of it. The subject matter – Religion! – would scare them away from anything approaching a decent adaptation. (I’m convinced that it’s fear of Catholic backlash that has prevented even a halfway decent version of Twain’s a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court from being made)

Heinlein hasn’t translated well into film, even with people who know and love his work at the helm. Heinlein himself wrote the screenplay for Destination Moon. You can read his description of how it got turned into a film, and weep. He wrote the teleplays for what was supposed to be a TV series but got turned (against his wishes) into Operation Moonbase. Both are pretty hard to watch nowadays. The film The Puppet Masters was made by Heinlein lovers. They wrote up their own account of how the had to labor to keep it close to true, and it’s been published on the internet. But it’s still not true enough – and my complaint isn’t that of a FanBoy that they’ve dared tamper with the words of the Master, it’s the complaint of a moviegoer that the writing and plotting doesn’t ring true, and makes me cringe. It would’ve done better to stick closer to the book, but I suspect they thought that throwing too many new things at the audience would alienate them. As long as that’s their attitude, they’re going to have a hard time filming Heinlein. Or any good SF.

What really scares me is how would they create a tie-in for Happy Meals ™! “McDonalds, I’m grokking it!”

Collect all the toys – Underwater Hiding Michael – place him in the water and he goes down to the bottom, and his eyes roll up!. Fair Witness Jill – with Robe! **Martian Old One ** – with Kung-Fu Grip!

Oooh, I want a Fair Witness Action Figure!

I went to a Hallowe’en party in the early 70’s dressed in my idea of what a Fair Witness robe looked like. (BTW, it was Anne who was the Fair Witness. Jill was MVS’s nurse.) None of the other guests got it. I was asked if I was supposed to be a vestal virgin, a member of the Klan, or a ghost. Philistines!

Yeah, I knew it wasn’t Jill, but couldn’t remember her name, so I used Jill instead.

Quentin Tarentino?

That’s three halves!
I have no interest in seeing a movie of this since I had to finish the book only by sheer strength of will due to my lack of interest when I was about half way through.

Well, that’d be the other big problem with a SIASL movie.

Valentine was his first name, wasn’t it?

I think that Donald Sutherland could make a good Jubal. After seeing him in The Puppet Masters, I think he can play Heinlein’s “old man” characters well. But I agree with those who say that any movie of Stranger would be disastrous.