Monday, 1 April 2013

Gene Wolfe's BOOK OF THE NEW SUN to be a movie series

News has broken that Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun is to become a series of blockbuster Hollywood movies.



The four-volume series - actually one long, sustained novel split into four volumes due to length - is widely-regarded as one of the pinnacles of science fiction and fantasy literature, once described by The Guardian newspaper as SF's answer to Ulysses. A dense and complex tale, The Book of the New Sun follows the journey of a torturer, Severian, across a fantastical landscape to a distant city. Along the way he becomes a powerful figure, and the book suggests that Severian is an unreliable narrator who is changing aspects of his story for unknown purposes. The series has inspired significant discussion of its themes and complex characterisation since it was first published in 1980-83.

Handling the movie version will be veteran Hollywood director Michael Bay. Despite being best-known for his action movies featuring numerous and impressive explosions, Bay claims that the films will be extremely faithful to the books, and he will not sacrifice the books' subtle narrative aspects in favour of spectacle. "Plus I'm never going to get that Best Picture Award if I keep making films about Marky Mark talking to Optimus Prime, you know what I'm saying?"

Author Gene Wolfe has reported that he is happy with the script he has read, acknowledging that of course some changes are to be expected to make the dense work a better fit for the big screen. "Although I must admit I was initially unsure about the scene when Severian salvages an ancient helicopter gunship equipped with rotary laser miniguns and uses it to engage in battle with triple-headed mutants, Michael explained to me the deep thematic resonance of how the scene reflects the inherent nobility of the human spirit. Or something."

Early concept art suggests the film will feature a 'fresh interpretation' of the sword Terminus Est.

Bay confirms that Wolfe has been consulted at all levels of the project, including casting. "For the role of Severian I was initially considering Taylor Lautner, but Gene was determined that we get an experienced, method actor who could really embody the role's complexity. We compromised on Jack Black."

Black confirmed that he did, "Not have a f*****g clue what is going on," in the script but took the project on because the books' artwork "Totally looked like heavy metal album covers."


The Book of the New Sun: The Shadow of the Torturer will be released in cinemas the day after hell freezes over.

21 comments:

Russ said...

Ok, you got me.... The first thing I thought was, "Wow...someone has their work cut out for them." Then I read that person was to be Michael Bay and I thought, "Oh dear God, no!"

Well played, Mr. Wert...well played.

Anonymous said...

Well played sir, I was enraged until I chuckled at Jack Black playing Severian

Hernán said...

Pretty disappointed. My first choice would be Uwe Boll, Orlando Bloom as Severian and, of course, the script by Damon Lindelof, he did a wonderful job in Prometheus.

srs said...

It is not yet the 1st in California so I read most of the way through before catching the joke.

as for Mr. Bay....
"Those aren't ideas! Those are special effects!"
"I don't understand the difference"
"I know you don't"

Cursed Armada said...

Not too shabby Wert... *golf clap

Anonymous said...

I got you at Michael Bay, you basterd :-)

Juan Manuel Pazos said...

Interesting. But what I'm really waiting for with bated breath is Robert Stanek's novelization of the movies.

Craig Canavan said...

Got me too, until the Bay quote. Takes himself far too seriously to make that sort of comment.

Mosh said...

Well played, indeed. My first response was "what the hell just happened to my eyes?"

Anonymous said...

Well played.

RobB said...

I suspected it was a genuine post and when you listed Bay as the director I was even more excited. Few directors EXPLOSION bring so much EXPLOSION to the table EXPLOSION as Bay EXPLOSION does, he's got the EXPLOSION appropriate EXPLOSION ASS SHOT subtle ASS SHOT touch GREAT DIALOGUE to handle Wolfe's literary EXPLOSION masterpiece.

Fantasist said...

compromised on Jack Black......

Call me stupid but you had until then.

LOL!

Tyson Mauermann said...

You lost me a Michael Bay. Otherwise nice job.

Bryce L. said...

It literally took me until Jack Black to figure out what was going on. Nice one! I was even planning on one of my own, but now I can't top that. :)

Anonymous said...

Got me, got me good

Anonymous said...

Severian's famous symbols monologue will be intercut with footage of scantily-clad lingerie models.

In all honesty, I think an adaptation would be possible, but only on a pay-channel like HBO who would be concerned with the artistic integrity of the story. It would also be crazy expensive; I'd imagine a 13 episode mini-series would probably cost 130-150 million to do the story justice. It's a shame it won't happen; the show would be the perfect HBO take on the scifi genre, kinda like what Game of Thrones is right now.

Anonymous said...

Knew what was going on reading the title, like you had written "steaming pile of poo to be a movie series." Although on second thought, I wouldn't be surprised to see that given the state of Hollywood lately.

Wastrel said...

In a world where Emmerich is/was genuinely attached to a Foundation film, this hits very close to the bone...

Anonymous said...

Personally I'm just waiting to see how badly they butcher Altered Carbon.

Anonymous said...

Bradley Cooper was attached to direct Hyperion. Anything is possible

Anonymous said...

Wow, so since I just read this on what the 3rd, 4th? you really had me going. Nice. Up until Jack Black, that is. Hell, truth be told, I was even thinking, Michael Bay, hell, why not? LOL. Nice one.