Nearly 50 years after its original theatrical release, Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey remains both one of the best science fiction movies ever made, and one of the best movies ever made, full stop. The epic scope, the sense of wonder, the jaw-dropping visuals, all ensure that the film still holds up perfectly, even all these decades later. While Kubrick was never a sequel kind of guy, Clarke did continue the story in several sequel novels, one of which was adapted into director Peter Hyams’ 2010: The Year We Makes Contact in 1984. (And my love for that flick is well established given how often I find excuses to reference it.) Now the world of the mysterious labyrinths will be returning to the screen…but this time it will be the TV screen.
Coming Soon reports that Clarke’s novel 3001: The Final Odyssey is being developed for television by Sir Ridley Freakin’ Scott and his Scott Free Productions. Scott is partnering with Syfy and Warner Horizon Television to turn the 1997 novel, the last in Clarke’s “Space Odyssey” series, into a miniseries. Genre vet Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean) will handle the script adaptation, and will also executive produce with Scott and David W. Zucker. There’s no word on a director yet, but dare we keep our fingers crossed that Scott might settle into the director’s chair himself?
Here’s the official description from Syfy’s announcement:
One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind — and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again…
And here’s what Sir Ridley had to say:
I have always been a fan of Clarke’s extraordinary ‘Odyssey’ series, and certainly Kubrick’s adaptation of ‘2001.’ I am thrilled to be part of bringing that legacy to audiences and continuing the great cinematic tradition that this story and its creators deserve.
If you only know the story of <1>2001 from the films, allow us to bring you up to speed. 2001 was based on Clarke’s 1951 short story “The Sentinel,” but Clarke also adapted that into a full 2001 novel that was published shortly after the release of the film. He continued the tale in 1982’s 2010: Odyssey Two, 1987’s 2061: Odyssey Three, and 1997’s 3001: The Final Odyssey. Which means that 2061 must have pissed off the wrong people in Hollywood, because it’s about to be the only one of its siblings not to have a TV or film adaptation. I guess we’ll just have to settle for this:
Syfy President Dave Howe says:
Arthur C. Clarke is the father of modern science fiction. We couldn’t be more excited to be working with Scott Free and Warner Horizon Television to bring to the screen, for the very first time, the final chapter of this extraordinary masterpiece.
Seriously, though, Syfy just will not stop, will they? We were skeptical at first when Syfy began making noise about trying to redeem their image and become a home for serious science fiction programming, but they continue to put their money where their mouth is. It certainly remains to be seen whether their impressive and ambitious development lineup will actually be good, but at this point I can’t bring myself to badmouth a network that’s working on TV adaptations of 3001, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, and a dozen other promising projects, not to mention a miniseries version of Childhood’s End, another Clarke favorite. It’s hard to believe, but Syfy seems genuinely determined to become the channel we’ve all wished they would be for the past decade. Now if they’d just change their stupid name back.