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Ursula K. Le Guin's Nine Lives Movie Finds Its Moon-Mining Scouts

From left: Jonny Lee Miller and Common, who are staring in the upcoming Nine Lives film adaptation.
From left: Jonny Lee Miller and Common, who are staring in the upcoming Nine Lives film adaptation.
Photo: Getty Images

Ursula K. Le Guin’s sci-fi novelette Nine Lives is becoming a movie, and it’s found its stars. Common (Smallfoot, Suicide Squad) and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary, Hackers) have joined the film as the two mining location scouts who are forced to work with a team of clones.


According to Deadline, Common and Miller will play Alvaro Guillen Martin and Owen Pugh, two workers scouting the remote planet of Libra for off-shore drilling (though the report doesn’t specify who is playing which character). The novelette, first published in Playboy in 1968, is about Martin and Owen reluctantly working with 10 clones sent to them by the mining company. After nine of the clones die, the final one left alive experiences all their deaths, leaving him traumatized and isolated. The story explores the ethics of cloning, individuality, and workers rights. Deadline says the “screenplay comes from debut writer-director Siri Rødnes and Tom Basden, who was BAFTA nominated for Fresh Meat. Rødnes will also direct.”

Nine Lives, is just one of several Le Guin adaptations supposedly in the works, including The Telling and a new adaptation of Earthsea. As of now, Nine Lives looks to be the only one in active development. It’s set to enter production soon, and no expected release date has been announced.

Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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I cannot fathom how Common keeps getting acting jobs. That said, I am excited based on the power of Le Guin and that it sounds like an interesting story (that I haven’t read--I should get on that).