It never surprises me when someone takes two movie trends and mixes them together. It makes sense for business, because two popular ideas can presumably lead to twice as much success at the box office. So of course it is obvious that someone would think to combine the fashionable fantasy genre with the hot topic of global warming. Novelist Michael Scott made the pitch to producers Arnold and Anne Kopelson (The Devil's Advocate) with a 15-page treatment for an as-yet-unwritten book called Otherworld. The book and movie will be set in the present and will be about ancient demons that are unleashed because of global warming. This is Scott's second movie-rights deal in a year; his upcoming novel The Alchemyst, which is the first in an expected series, was sold to New Line last fall. Unfortunately for New Line, the second book in that series may take a long time to be released. Considering Scott now has the Otherworld novel to write, and then he's set to write the screenplay himself, he sounds like he'll be pretty busy for awhile.

As much as I welcome any attempt to communicate the dangers of global warming, I can see Otherworld being about as silly as The Day After Tomorrow. Fantasy and science fiction rarely work when combined with real serious issues, because no matter how hard Hollywood tries to be important, they always end up being more interested in providing entertainment. And while serious discourse and entertainment can go hand in hand, a lot of filmmakers just don't know how to do it successfully. Hopefully Otherworld will be one of the rare films that doesn't end up being a hokey message movie rolled up in a blockbuster package.