In the search for the next Avatar, Fox has set its sights on Ray Bradbury’s The Martain Chronicles. Fox’s John Davis, producer of Norbit, Marmaduke, and an ungodly number of Garfield movies, has optioned the classic story collection according to the LA Times.
The Martian Chronicles is composed of a number of interconnected short stories that tell the story of Earth’s attempts to colonize Mars, and their interaction with Martian civilization. While this will be the first big screen adaptation of Bradbury’s book, a miniseries starring Rock Hudson and Bernadette Peters was made in 1979 by NBC.
I’d be more optimistic about this project if the first name attached wasn’t Davis, whose previous forays into science fiction (syence fyction?) include Alien Vs Predator and I, Robot, both of which were successful but highly generic. The treatment of I, Robot is especially foreboding, as Asimov’s original story is a bit more about the nature of humanity and a bit less about Will Smith’s Converses than the movie would have you believe. So it’s inevitable that the cerebral, atmospheric Martian Chronicles will be turned into a space marine shoot-’em-up. But Davis is only one producer, it’s possible that Fox could go an unexpected direction and make the film an intellectually complex, big-budget thriller like this summer’s Inception is suiting up to be. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.