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'Predestination' Trailer: Heinlein, Hawke, and Mixed Emotions

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | July 22, 2014 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trailers | July 22, 2014 |

Ethan Hawke made the worst movie I have ever seen last year, a little flick with Selena Gomez called Getaway. He also starred in one of the best science fiction movies I have ever seen, Gattaca.

So now Hawke is starring in a low budget adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s All You Zombies, which is one of the greatest science fiction short stories I have ever read. This has me as conflicted as the Gaza real estate market. They’ve changed the title to Predestination, which sounds appropriately mediocre and generic. I’m not that troubled by the title change in principle, just because the story has nothing to do with zombies in the slightest and so I can appreciate that it might be legitimately confusing given the regularity of actual zombie movies.

Here’s the trailer:

Why are there bombs going off, why is there all this action, oh why did Heinlein’s estate allow anyone to touch this?

Here’s the description.

In mid-’70s New York, a man in a fedora slips into an office building’s boiler room, carrying a mysterious briefcase. He uncovers a bomb, and is attacked while struggling to deactivate it. He succeeds — almost. Horribly disfigured, he’s transported to his agency’s headquarters where he receives a new face. He’s a temporal agent, traveling back and forth through time, altering history, and his assignment — thwart the mass murder perpetrated by the so-called “Fizzle Bomber” — continues. New face, new place. Now he’s undercover as a bartender. He falls into conversation with a tough yet androgynous customer. There’s something off about the guy, who offers to enlighten the agent with “the best story you ever heard”…

Okay, that’s completely pointless, because the bottom line is that the entire story is a series of nearly identical twists, with the final one clicking the entire story into place. It is hands down a fantastic story. And I don’t have the slightest clue how they’ll manage to make it happen visually instead of in prose. Already, I’m dancing completely around actually talking about this, and those who have read the story know exactly why.

So I’m giving you homework:

1. Go read All You Zombies

2. Find a copy of Getaway and destroy it.

You’ll thank me for the former if you do it before someone ruins the story for you, and the latter is just good public service.

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

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