Welcome back to Development Purgatory, where we check on the status of movies that were announced with great fanfare - but never arrived. This time, we wonder why we're not sucking on futuristic drug feathers while watching a movie of Jeff Noon's Vurt. We also check on the movies of William Gibson's Count Zero, Dan Simmons' Hyperion, plus the long-promised Forever War miniseries.
Space-war novelist Dan Simmons has been hoping for a Hyperion movie for ages. Speculation has run rampant on the internet with both Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio supposedly attached to the project. Simmons himself has said that, "yes there is a Hyperion movie in the works. It has been optioned by a top-notch studio, is slated to be directed by a top-name director, and already has the involvement of a top-flight movie star. Screenwriters have been attached to the project and a first draft screenplay is expected soon." The top notch production company was announced to be Warner Brothers with Graham King producing and the release date is set for 2010. Hopefully this will be the last we see of Hyperion on Development Purgatory, and we'll be watching tree-impaling Shrike in no time.
Count Zero, or Zen Differential:
The sequel to William Gibson's Neuromancer, Count Zero was optioned during the height of the Matrix craze. The movie Zen Differential was supposed to be based on CZ and made by Michael Mann. Alas this movie's script never even got a draft.
This movie's never ending saga has truly earned its place in purgatory. There was talk of remaking it (supposedly closer to the book) as early as 1994. That faded in and out of possibility until 2004, when Bryan Singer was brought on, and everything seemed good to go. Some pre-production work was done and a draft was written, but then Singer decided to "take a vacation" from film making after Superman Returns, and dropped the project cold. Joel Silver and WB stayed hopeful, and a low-budget proposal by rookie director Joseph Korinski caught their eye. Some are hopeful we'll see Logan's Run as early as 2010, written by Children of Men scriptwriter Tim Sexton with Korinski directing, supposedly under the watchful eye of David Fincher. All I can say is: we'll see.
The Forever War
Alas the Chicago public TV miniseries adaptation adaptation of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War never saw the light of day, neither did the Sci-Fi channel movie (truth be told, I'd rather see the PBS version). Get crackin' people - we want to see the epic battle of humanity versus Tauran aliens. So does Haldeman, apparently, Sci Fi bought the rights to his novel and then never called him back.
King Of Elves:
This movie has been promised to the scifi masses for ages. Disney vows to have this Phillip K. Dick adaptation out in 2012 as their 50th computer animated feature. It's at the end of a very long Disney to-do list, so there's no telling how many times the green-leafy elves will be pushed to the back burner. That being said we are hopefully optimistic about this feature - it seems to be moving forward, but very, very slowly. Also apparently Disney decided to move the elves' location from Colorado to the Mississippi Delta.
Author Jeff Noon wrote a draft of a screenplay for his novel around 2002. It got optioned by Pathe films, with K-Pax director Iain Softley attached. Noon wrote a second draft of the screenplay, but by the time he finished in 2004, the option ran out and got dropped by Pathe, though Softley promised to look for a new producer. The last that was heard about the movie was in 2005 when Noon told readers of his website "don't hold your breath." No! We need our hallucinogenic feathers and our alternate reality ASAP!
With additional writing and reporting by Andrew Hudson.