I, Hollywood

John Scalzi has some good things to say about I, Robot and the nature of Hollywood adaptations:

Allow me to put on my pontificating hat here and tell you an obvious truth: Hollywood doesn’t care about source material. When a major movie studio buys a novel (or in this case, a collection of stories) to adapt into a film, it stops being material of a fixed nature; it becomes suddenly fluid, and you’ll find vast chunks of the book sliding out, getting rearranged or simply being ignored for the expediencies of the filmmakers and the studio. Let me make it even more clear: It is a rare book that makes it through the film adaptation process without great violence being done to it.

And this is not always a bad thing. I think some of the most successful literary-to-film transfers have been ones in which Hollywood does what Hollywood does — substantially guts and reworks the source material to adapt it to the needs of the filmmakers. The obvious example here is Blade Runner, which is of course a mightily reworked version of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick. It’s entirely possible a filmed version that is more faithful to the original novel could have been made; on the other hand, Blade Runner is excellent. It’s a fair trade.

TV Roundup

Sci-Fi’s Stargate spinoff, Atlantis, drew the biggest audience for a weekly series on the network. Wow. Is that why Stargate‘s the only thing they ever seem to run during prime time?

Cable loves sci-fi! Then why don’t we have a more varied Sci-Fi Channel?

Speaking of… when it comes to M. Night Shyamalan, Sci-Fi Channel is a Big Fat Liar. That is so 1999.

Eliza Dushku is excited about the next season of Tru Calling. I guess someone has to be…

Relations between Smallville and the upcoming Superman movie are delicate, to say the least.

J.J. Abrams promises to fix Alias. Well, I liked it…

The WB’s Fall Schedule.

The EU: Not Dead Yet.

Sue Rostoni of Lucasbooks announced on the starwars.com boards last month that there will be a 9-book post-NJO series. The series was previous announced as being set in the Tales of the Jedi era.

We’ve reconsidered where to set this 9-book series and have decided that the old Old Republic era may not be the best place. We’re now seriously considering post-NJO, something like 35 years after A New Hope. The thinking is that there is more opportunity here for substantial storylines using characters that people already have feelings about, and the outcome wouldn’t be known at the start of things. We still want to play in the Old Old Republic time frame, and will try to get a trilogy there. I hope you all aren’t disappointed – I’m trying to gauge whether it’s best to give you NO information at all, or information (like this) that’s subject to change.

Also from the boards, a little advance notice that the titles of the upcoming Troy Denning trilogy, also post-NJO and due next year, will be ‘leaked’ at a Comic Con panel.

I’m of mixed feelings. Yes, I kind of want more books… But Jacen and Jaina don’t do much for me, and I’m even less fond of most of their pals. I was looking forward to just ignoring the EU for a while. Damn this vile obsession!

And Matthew Woodring Stover (Traitor, Shatterpoint, Episode 3 novelization) has a blog. Who knew?

Movie News

Brian Singer of X-Men is now set to helm Superman. Not sure yet what this means for the third X-Men movie…

I, Robot is #1. I guess White Chicks was sold out. And if you’re a Bjork fan, those robots might look familiar. Slate also looks at how the film gets Asimov wrong.

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit might go to Time Warner.

Comingsoon.net interviews Natalie Portman about Garden State.

And last but not least, Beowulf: the movie? I’m sure we can blame Peter Jackson for this somehow.