The Last Sci-Fi Blog: What Should Be Rebooted and Adapted in 2016

The Last Sci-Fi Blog: What Should Be Rebooted and Adapted in 2016

Jan 28, 2016

If we're going to exist in the age of reboots and remakes and adaptations, the people calling the shots might as well do it right. And because The Last Sci-Fi Blog is the arbiter of good taste when it comes to science fiction movies in general, we have some recommendations for anyone willing to listen. Here's what needs to start getting made in the year 2016.

 

The Television Show: Lost in Space

The Original: A campy and colorful television series that ran from 1965 through 1968, Lost in Space followed the Robinsons, a family of explorers who found themselves...well, see the title. While stranded in the cosmos, they went on a variety of adventures, encountered all kinds of aliens, and learned to get along and grow as a unit. Aw.

Our Pitch: Lost in Space is quietly crying out for a film adaptation and it should look nothing like the disastrous 1998 movie, which stripped the show of its joyous spirit and tried to go as grim-dark as possible. This is all wrong. Give this title to Ant-Man director Peyton Reed and ask him to make a science fiction version of his own Down With Love -- a Lost in Space movie needs to be colorful and silly and ridiculous, a total throwback that embraces comedy without giving into self-parody. It would be a tricky tightrope to walk, but it would certainly be better than just another space movie.

 

The Comic: East of West

The Original: Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Nick Dragotta ongoing Image Comics series is a dense, complex, and totally eccentric joy. Set in a technologically complex alternate post-Civil War United States composed of a half dozen rival nations, this hybrid of western, science fiction, and horror follows a group of powerful leaders working to bring about the Apocalypse...and Death, the rogue member of the biblical four horseman, who is out to stop them.

Our Pitch: If East of West can't be an HBO series in the same vein as Game of Thrones, the best possible option for something this odd and detailed would be to give it to a young, brash filmmaker and let him or her go to town. Although there are huge ideas and conflicts at play throughout the series, much of the actual action takes place off screen, with the real important stuff transpiring in tense conversations and behind-closed-doors meetings between leaders of great power. Whoever funds a film version needs to the find the next Gareth Edwards: a smart, young director who knows how to use special effects selectively to enhance a strong story.

 

The Video Game: Mass Effect

The Original: The best science fiction video game series of the past decade, Mass Effect follows Commander Shepherd as he or she (the player decides) rounds up a team of various companions and sets out to save the galaxy. This standard plot is is spiced up by the game's detailed and rich world and a plot that asks the player to make all kinds of difficult ethical decisions that change the flavor of gameplay. 

Our Pitch: A Mass Effect movie has been in development for years, but one has never managed to materialize. On one level, that's baffling (this series is as cinematic as you can get), but on another, we'd rather a good movie come together rather than everyone rushing this one into production. So here's our advice for whoever ends up making this movie: go with every weird option that you can. Depending on how you play Mass Effect, you can get a fairly standard sci-fi adventure that treads on similar territory or you can get something wild and strange that forces you to actually confront your own beliefs and morals. A film adaptation that refuses to sidestep those tougher elements is a movie that will stand out. The amazing lore will fill in everything else.

 

The Board Game: Rex

The Original: Although technically a prequel to the much larger and more complex board game Twilight Imperium, Rex offers the more compelling and cinematic story upon which to build a movie. The game finds one player taking control of the royal family that rules the galaxy...only they're about to lose a civil war and their enemies have swarmed their capitol city. The other players play everyone else, various alien races that play completely differently from one another and are allowed to make and break alliances as they like. Rex is one of the most political board games out there -- when you're not fighting in the streets, you are making backroom deals and shattering alliances.

Our Pitch: The visuals conjured up by Rex's game board speak for themselves. Armies of soldiers swarm through the streets. Massive ships bombard the city from above. Attacks are thwarted when one commander reveals that an important General was in his pocket all along. A movie version of Rex would be half Black Hawk Down and half House of Cards...just in outer space.

 

Categories: Features, Sci-Fi
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