After adapting one science fiction behemoth for the big screen – Frank Herbert’s Dune – French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve has set his sights on his next ambitious sci-fi adaptation – Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama.
Arthur C. Clarke is one of the best known science fiction authors, but although he co-wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick, there have been no high profile or big budget film adaptations of any of his other novels or stories.
In the 80s and 90s, video games were made based on Rendezvous with Rama, but despite both Morgan Freeman and David Fincher expressing interest in a film adaptation, it has never gotten off the ground. Freeman will still be involved in Villeneuve’s version, as a producer.
Villeneuve’s adaptation must still be quite a way off, because he is currently busy on pre-production for Dune – Part Two, which reportedly will not start filming until summer 2022.
Villeneuve’s previous science fiction movies include A24’s Enemy, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Arrival starring Amy Adams and Blade Runner 2049, starring Ryan Gosling and a returning Harrison Ford in the role of Deckard.
First published in 1973 (just 5 years after 2001 came out), the novel is regarded as a foundational science fiction text. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a an enormous alien starship that enters the Solar System. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries.
Dune was a box office hit, despite being released on HBO Max on the same day as its theatrical release, and Dune Part Two could well be even bigger.
It looks as though Villeneuve wants to remain in the realm of the sci-fi blockbuster for some time to come and his next one will be hotly anticipated.