Bradbury Blitz! (Mania.com)
By:Arnold T. Blumberg
Date: Wednesday, June 27, 2001
He's already a legend in science fiction thanks to decades of some of the finest storytelling in any genre, but at 81 years of age, Ray Bradbury isn't slowing down a bit. The prolific novelist and screenwriter will now adapt his 1951 short story collection, THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, as a two-hour telefilm for the Sci-Fi Channel.
Reportedly unhappy with the previous film incarnation of the anthology, produced in 1968 and starring Rod Steiger, Bradbury will make sure this adaptation is truer to the spirit of the original work, which included such classic short stories as "The Veldt," in which children use a virtual reality nursery to play a particularly mean trick on their parents.
Bradbury already made his mark on cable television years ago, when HBO launched RAY BRADBURY THEATER, an anthology series devoted to adapting many of Bradbury's well-known (and some not so well-known) tales. Later continued in syndication and now seen in reruns (on, of all things, the Sci-Fi Channel), the show managed to capture much of the magic of Bradbury's lyrical prose but still could not quite match the elegance of the original stories.
As for other projects in the works, Bradbury reports that Frank (THE GREEN MILE) Darabont has signed to direct a new film adaptation of FAHRENHEIT 451 for Mel Gibson's Icon Productions. Previously filmed in 1966 by Francois Truffaut, the novel is a carefully constructed condemnation of censorship.
Following FAHRENHEIT 451, Darabont is reportedly set to turn his attention to another monumental Bradbury work: THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES.
Bradbury is also working on a screen adaptation of his novella, "Frost & Fire," and will soon see his chilling time travel tale, "A Sound of Thunder," produced as an $80 million film starring Pierce Brosnan.
CINESCAPE hopes to present an exclusive interview with this towering titan of science fiction. Check back for more on Ray Bradbury's upcoming projects.