Friday, 23 October 2009

A Culture movie in the works?

As picked up by Aidan, a Culture movie could be in the works. Director Dominic Murphy is attached to an adaptation of Iain M. Banks' short story 'A Gift from the Culture', which appears in the collection The State of the Art.

I'm going to hazard a guess that the story, which is really short, and would probably take less than twenty minutes to tell on screen as is, is going to be used as a jumping-off point for a story that is mostly original material, but still utilising the Culture backdrop. This could be an interesting move, certainly more viable than cramming one of Banks' larger 400-page novels into less than two hours, and probably much cheaper as well. Consider Phlebas, the logical starting place for a Culture adaptation, would require a special effects budget that would probably give Michael Bay pause, so testing the waters with a smaller story could be a good move.

Whether they maintain the central concept of the premise - a female Culture citizens goes native on a primitive planet in a male body but is blackmailed into operating a Culture weapon lest harm come to her/his boyfriend - is also another question. Such questions about gender and identity in the face of (relatively) easy sex-changing technology are the bread and butter of hard SF, but could make movie companies uneasy, especially if it does become a larger-budget production.

Still, an interesting idea at any rate. We'll have to wait and see if anything comes of it.


Dave de Burgh said...

Usually I'm quite a stickler for faithful -and yes, in the Hollywood sense of the word when it comes to SFF-Movie/TV- adaptations, but if the movie happens and it takes the course you've spoken about, it might very well be a damn good thing for Banks' SFF. Consider Phlebas would be an immense project, but then again, it'll be cool to see the focus on making good and faithful adaptations shift to TV; it just seems, more and more, that TV is better suited to the projects we'd all like to see.

But still great news - let's hope it pans out. :-)

Anonymous said...

TV can be a good idea, especially for larger stories, but it usually smacks of low budget when it comes to the effects. A thousand Culture stories could be told purely by focusing on the characters - the "human" side - but I would be really disappointed to never see something like the Sleeper Service flicking its way across the skein. Similarly, I'd hate to see it on TV and have it look like some knock-off of Babylon 5 or something. I want to see it done well, and tastefully (no thanks, Michael Bay).

I'd love for this franchise to start hitting the big screens - and I'd be perfectly happy for original content. Bring it on!

Mark Lord said...

I haven't really heard of the director Dominic Murphy - he seems to have only done one film so far - has anyone seen it, was it any good?

Banks' SF certainly deserves some decent exposure on film, let's hope this is the right vehicle.