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SciFi Thursday: SyFy Adapting 'Hyperion' As "Event Series"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 11, 2015 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 11, 2015 |

Oh Thursday, you had me at “science fiction”

Bradley Cooper is partnering with SyFy to bring Dan Simmons’ classic Hyperion to the small screen, with Boardwalk Empire writer Itamar Moses providing, well, writing. The show is being called an “event series” which I assume means mini-series being described as pompfuckously as possible.

This is one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time. The four book series is filled with grandiose ideas and endless small personal character moments, of which the conclusion to Rise of Endymion is just one of the most gut-wrenchingly beautiful scenes ever written. If you haven’t read the series, go do it now. We’ll wait.

The one and only fake-baby holding sniper Cooper says:

“It is an absolute honor to enter into the world created by Dan Simmons that is arguably one of the greatest works of science fiction, and help realize it for television audiences.”

That’s kind of nicely said. On the other hand, a the Presydynt of SyFy Dave Howe said:

“As Syfy continues to forge important partnerships with award-winning talent on and off screen, this powerhouse team led by Bradley Cooper, Graham King and Todd Phillips brings an extraordinary track record in producing entertainment of the highest creative ambition. Epitomizing the gold standard of science fiction story-telling, Hyperion tackles smart and provocative themes that help define Syfy’s development vision.”

Christ on the Shrike’s Tree of Pain, you’re supposed to be paid to talk to the public about these things, and Cooper’s offhand statement blows your careful crafted synergizing corporate fuck speak into orbit. Just don’t talk anymore, dude, just, no. Crap like this is a glimpse under the hood of why we get excited at first about our favorite novels being adapted and yet they just crater. Because someone responsible for the details of this getting made is using words like “forge” and “partnership” and “powerhouse”.

Quit bad touching my books.

(source: Blastr)

Fox is moving forward officially with the television series adaption of Minority Report. The movie was an excellent science fiction film: thoughtful, thought-provoking, visually striking. The television teaser looks like thirty seconds of every science fictiony show on television, complete with the Inception horns letting us know something seriously importantly serious is going on:

I was going to paste the obligatory plot description as well, but frankly it’s several hundred words that can be summed up by: ten years after the movie, pre-crime has been dismantled, but one of the precogs continues to try to stop murders. It’ll make it half a season, tops.

(source: Blastr)

In box office news, Tomorrowland figures are starting to trickle out and it seems that the film’s actual budget was $180 million, with another $150 million spent on marketing. Given that the film’s visuals and special effects were hardly anything to write home about, even compared to science fiction television shows, and I write about science fiction professionally and only saw a single trailer before being assigned the movie to review, I have no idea how or where they managed to spend a third of a billion dollars. But I’m sure a loss of $150 odd million dollars on one of the few original science fiction films we get will not at all be reflected in future planning for films.

Maybe next Thursday will be better.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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