Thursday, 28 January 2010

I, Robot Should Be Remade From Ellison's Script

As is rather obvious, I am a big fan of the late Isaac Asimov's work. This is the reason I took particular issue with the movie adaptation of I, Robot. That film, while it did have some of the elements of the story and Asimov's robot concepts, it was far from ideal. I, Robot is one of the defining moments in the development of science fiction, and that film cast a very negative light over the classics.

It was fun, and the scenes with the robot Sonny are regularly quite close to the source material (at least in tone), but it just felt too Hollywood. Alex Proyas did a fine job with the direction, but throughout the movie there is evidence of studio intervention and changes to suit a blockbuster audience.

Will Smith may not have been the ideal choice for lead, but he did give it his all. The casting choice that reallty grated for me was the choice of Bridget Moynahan as Susan Calvin. She played the part well, but was about twenty years too young for the character.

A remake of I, Robot could be just the thing to continue the good work of things like District 9 and Moon and further strengthen the current wave of science fiction films with something classic. It doesn't have to be a feature film, though. It could work well as a TV miniseries if a film wasn't possible.

But why remake it? I'd like to see this remade using the famous script Harlan Ellison completed back in 1978, which incorporated material from five of the stories from the I,Robot collection and was much closer to Asimov's original vision. Having one of his peers write the script was a stroke of genius, and it left a script that would have made a wonderful film. How about giving that script another chance, and bringing us a genuine SF film that can be taken seriously?

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