I actually liked a lot about Alex Proyas’ 2004 I, Robot. It may not be a perfect adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s beloved “Robot” stories, but I enjoyed it as a riff on those ideas and as its own thing, even though it’s far from a perfect movie and it does contain 100% more jigginess than I feel Isaac Asimov intended. But the version of I, Robot I’d really love to see is the one presented in the excellent I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay. That book charts Asimov and Harlan Ellison’s attempts to bring a the story to the big screen. As with many Ellison-related tales, it’s equal parts fascinating, tragic, and hilarious, and it’s a fascinating look at a slice of “what if” science fiction history. It’s also accompanied by gorgeous hand-painted illustrations by artist Mark Zug. Just check out the cover art:
It’s absolutely worth grabbing a copy of the book from Amazon or scouring the shelves of your local used bookstore. But Zug himself has brought even more I, Robot-related greatness into the world over on his personal website. It seems that, after completing the paintings for the Illustrated Screenplay, Zug’s next project was working on a fully-painted comic-book version of I, Robot. Sadly, that project fell apart and never made it to shelves, but Zug has been kind enough to gift the world with over a dozen of the images he created for the illustrated screenplay, and they are bloody gorgeous. Check them out below. along with quotes from Ellison’s script.
If you love these, you should definitely go peruse the rest of Zug’s website, which includes stunning art that he did for the Dune collectible card game.