Arthur C. Clarke's weird science fiction novel Childhood's End could soon be a movie directed by Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry, and the upcoming Stop-Loss). Peirce says she's attracted to the challenging themes of Clarke's 1953 novel, but she'll have a hard time turning it into a big-budget movie. The novel inspired songs with the same title by Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd, but it's probably too dated for 21st. century audiences. More details after the jump.

Here's a good synopsis of Childhood's End:

Aliens come to our planet in gigantic spaceships that blot out the Sun over all the major cities. If you've seen V or Independence Day you've seen this ripped off. The Overlords, as the visitors are called, take over the world without a shot being fired and set about reforming Earth society into a utopia. They keep themselves hidden for the first fifty years of their rule because of they just happen to have horns, bat wings, and barbed tails; but that's no problem because humans have "progressed" so far under the Overlords' rule that they quickly get used to their masters' devilish appearance. What man doesn't realize is that the Overlords are not there to help Earth become a perfect world, but to act as midwives as the children of Earth spontaneously mutate into superbeings who will ultimately merge with an entity called the Overmind and destroy the planet in the process.


It sounds super trippy, and Clarke already mined it for the plot of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Peirce says the movie's draft script deals with big ideas, like whether humans can accept alien saviors who look like the devil. But it also has cool-looking space travel and a visit to the aliens' homeworld, so she'll need at least $70 million to make this thing. That, in turn, means she needs backing from Universal and a big star. I'd love to see Peirce make a science fiction movie, but maybe she could adapt something newer? [MTV Movies]