Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is Headed to the Big Screen


Call it “The Avatar Effect”. Ever since James Cameron’s “Avatar” made enough money to buy a new continent, Hollywood has been on a mad rush to adapt various epic sci-fi ideas into mega movies in 3D. The latest comes from producer John Davis, who has optioned the film rights to Ray Bradbury’s classic sci-fi novel “The Martian Chronicles”.

Originally published in 1950 as a collection of short stories, “The Martial Chronicles” concerns “the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing from a troubled and eventually atomically devastated Earth, and the conflict between aboriginal Martians and the new colonists. The book lies somewhere between a short story collection and an episodic novel, containing stories Bradbury originally published in the late 1940s in science fiction magazines. For publication, the stories were loosely woven together with a series of short, interstitial vignettes.” (Wikipedia)

The story was previously adapted for TV as a 3-episode mini-series for NBC back in 1979 by Richard Matheson, and directed by Michael Anderson. It starred Rock Hudson, Darren McGavin, Bernadette Peters, and Roddy McDowall. Unfortunately, Ray Bradbury didn’t much care for it, calling it “boring”. Maybe Davis can do better. For those interested, you can see the entire mini-series on YouTube. Just search for “Martian Chronicles”.

Until then, here’s a still-spry Ray Bradbury at a Comic Con panel talking about his inspiration for the novel:

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.
  • http://bradleyonfilm.wordpress.com/ Matthew Bradley

    The sad thing is that Matheson's script for the miniseries (which met with Bradbury's approval) did an excellent job of turning the stories into a more cohesive narrative suitable for television. The problem, aside from the often disappointing special effects, is that Michael Anderson's direction is, indeed, “boring.” Interested parties can learn more in my forthcoming book RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN.

  • http://bradleyonfilm.wordpress.com/ Matthew Bradley

    FYI, RICHARD MATHESON ON SCREEN is tentatively due out in early October. Of course, you can always pre-order it. :-)