Syfy is working on a television version of Stranger In A Strange Land, based on Robert Heinlein’s seminal work of science fiction. It’s being developed as a series from Paramount Television and Universal Cable Productions.
The book centers on Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with — and eventual transformation of — terrestrial culture. Everything from free love and hippie communes to organized attempts at world peace was covered in the novel and predicted many of the movements and messages of the 1960s.
Heinlein is probably most associated with the original Starship Troopers novel, which is getting a remake of its own in the coming years. It’s great that some of Heinlein’s other work is finally getting some attention, even if the near half-century old material comes across a bit militaristic – as in the case Paul Verhoeven made when adapting Starship Troopers for the screen back in ’97. The 1961 source novel shouldn’t be confused with the poorly received ninth episode of Lost‘s third season where Jack romances a magical tattoo artist played by Bai Ling; an episode that both Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof have said is the worst of the series (so much so, they began to seriously converse how to end the series).
Paramount TV president Amy Powell comment on the new project:
“Paramount TV is excited to have the opportunity to adapt Robert Heinlein’s seminal work of science fiction… This novel has resonated with me since college and there’s a reason it has continued to find new fans for over 40 years. Syfy’s understanding of imaginative and futuristic programming is unmatched, making them an ideal partner for this series.”
Syfy’s development slate includes Superman prequel series Krypton, Grant Morrison’s Happy, a reboot of The Machine and an adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s infamous Brave New World. SyFy’s other popular favorites include 12 Monkeys, Wynonna Earp, Killjoys, The Magicians, Van Helsing, The Expanse, and Z Nation. The television adaptation of Stranger In A Strange Land will be executive produced by Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt and William Sherak of Mythology Entertainment; Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch and Eli Bush of Scott Rudin Productions; and Joe Vecchio of Vecchio Entertainment.
It’s still too early in development for casting, but Stranger In A Strange Land looks to be fast-tracking over at SyFy, so look no further than Geek for more news on the Heinlein adaptation.
Images: ABC, Buena Vista, Columbia Pictures, G. P. Putnam’s Sons