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08/24/2005 Archived Entry: "Minear and Whedon speak on Heinlein and Serenity"

"SOMETIMES THE UNIVERSE JUST CLICKS," said a friendly correspondent named Fred as he sent these happy newsbits. First, Tim Minear (of Firefly fame) makes it pretty clear that his film adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is going to be done right:

iF MAGAZINE: Is it hard to adapt Heinlein?

MINEAR: Yes. Maybe HAVE SPACESUIT AND TRAVEL, which is really about that one guy, maybe that would be easier, but this is about a revolution. Itís big and it has a lot of really complex political ideas. Itís hard in that respect. How do you personalize this? Thereís a lot of talking in the book Ė theoretical talking about Libertarian ideals and political structure and that sort of thing Ė how do you take that and make it immediate and dramatic and emotional? How do you say that stuff through scenes and action, as opposed to characters sitting around and having a conversation? Thatís difficult. The other thing that is difficult is that there is also a certain amount of psychological pressure that I am trying to remove from myself when youíre adapting something like Heinlein. This book is so important to so many people and you donít want to f*ck it up. So thereís that. You want to keep true to spirit of it, and you want to take this enormously long book, that takes place over a long period of time and try to do a version of it that will play for two hours on a movie screen. The other thing is to make sure the powers that be in Hollywood donít force you to turn it into some Marxist screed on socialism, when Heinlein was a Libertarian and itís about free-market capitalism. You want to try and not make it about an evil corporation. Thatís the trick.

Then Joss Whedon (of even greater Firefly fame) says, when asked to describe Serenity in one sentence to people who've never seen Firefly :

ď I guess I would describe Serenity as a sci-fi action drama about the price of freedom.Ē

And in response to the question ďwhat was your favorite science fiction/fantasy-themed television show during your childhood,Ē Whedon replies:

ďIím not sure if this fits the criteria but The Prisoner was hugely beloved and influential to me although I am far too didactic ever to be that abstract.Ē

Good signs, eh? Not that we really needed any.

Posted by Claire @ 09:16 AM CST

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