It's been 30 years since humankind first colonized Mars -- via TV, that is -- and now Paramount is taking the opportunity to travel to the red planet by picking up the movie rights to Ray Bradbury's 'The Martian Chronicles,' one of the classics of intelligent science fiction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Davis will produce the adaptation of the book of short stories that Bradbury (now 90) wrote in the late 1940s about humans trying colonize Mars.

'The Martian Chronicles was structured as a series of some 28 interlocking stories divided into three sections dealing with the human colonization of Mars, the takeover of the planet when the Martians die off because of human disease, and the nuclear war on Earth that makes the remaining colonists the new Martians.

The 1980 NBC/BBC miniseries -- written by Richard Matheson ('I Am Legend') -- was a bit of a disappointment when it aired, despite the story's pedigree and a stellar cast headed up by Rock Hudson and featuring Bernie Casey, Christopher Connelly, Darren McGavin, Roddy McDowall, Bernadette Peters, Joyce Van Patten, Maria Schell and Fritz Weaver.

A film version of 'The Martian Chronicles' has been one of sci-fi's most sought-after projects. In 1997 Universal grabbed the rights, with Steven Spielberg showing interest in the project. Unfortunately, nothing came of it and the rights expired earlier this year, which is when Paramount jumped in.

Although no writer, director or cast has been even mentioned, this is a hot property and Hollywood talent should be lining up to take a crack at it.
CATEGORIES Movies