18 February 2010

Books becoming TV Shows...The Second Season?

Well, not really the second season. More of a secret fear of something coming true.

In going with the theme from the last post, fantasy books becoming tv shows. I am a huge fan of The Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. Now I don't need to fear just yet. But will the day soon come? Part of me wishes that this day will come, to see in pictures that which I have only viewed in my head. Now, the biggest problem with The Wheel of Time (from now on referred to as TWoT for space purposes) is the length of the series. By its end in November 2011, the series will clock in at a massive 14 books, with one prequel. With three books, it took Peter Jackson 3+ hours per movie to tell the whole story. JK Rowling's books encountered puberty while filming. And thats only 6/7 books. Imagine doing that with 14 books! It would be impossible. Characters that age 3 years over the books will age 10+ in film. However, Universal has options, or rights, or something that gives them first crack at a film.

So what is the solution?

Television - but who would do it? Which network would undertake this challenge? HBO/Showtime would be the best, but you still run into two issues: age, and quality. It would be easy to skimp or severly edit (ala Legend of the Seeker) to fit it in, but I don't think I would want that...

Animation - Probably the best option to put this to the screen. Animation is to the point now where you can make decent looking people, and the age issue goes out the window. Networks/studios can take time to do a quality movie, where the age of the actors does not matter.

I personally would rather not see it in animation. I think this is a story that would need to be told live action. They did it with Lord of The Rings, why not here?

They de-aged Patrick Stewart in X3. Age problem solved! After a certain point, just start CGI correcting the actors to stay within the age of the characters.

Which brings me right back to animation, because depending on how much they would have to correct, they should just animate it completely. And we know where I stand on that.

17 February 2010

Books becoming TV Shows

Ahh, the written word. It has the power to transport us to a myriad of worlds with our imagination, our minds the engine and the words its fuel. Now I enjoy the visual mediums the same as I do the printed. But is it always a good idea to put these words into images on the small screen? Well, I have two examples that I would like to put forth as confirmed evidence that this may not always be the case.

The first is a little show called Legend of The Seeker, on ABC Family (this may be part of its problem). Its based on a book series by Terry Goodkind, The Sword of Truth. Its not a bad series in the beginning, but towards the end, he starts swinging his politics and faith/religion at you with Thor's Hammer. Well, I decided to give Legend of the Seeker a try, and I was disappointed. But not exactly for the reasons I thought I would, given my feelings on the book series. The Legend of The Seeker is a case where only the character names and base ideas are translated to the screen. But, you say, you (me) just said that I don't like the book series. True I say. I'm upset because Goodkind has given his blessing for the series. Does this mean he sold out? Who knows, but to allow his vision to come to come to screen in such a ripped off manor, makes one wonder.

Now for an example which may prove to be... more blatant.

George R.R. Martin... quite possibly one of my favorite authors. Writes a series called A Song of Ice and Fire. Made it through four books....and stopped. The series is simply amazing. Well, HBO is currently filming a miniseries based on the first book. His last update on the novels was in January of 2008. I want the next book to come out. I'm hoping that the series fares better on television than the afore mentioned Legend of The Seeker. Maybe because HBO has a bigger budget it will be done more justice. Time will tell on this one.

Either way, have Goodkind and Martin become sellouts? I'll reserve judgement until I see the adaptation of Martin's work. Goodkind...well, given what I saw his vision become I'd have to say yes.