Translating great literature to the silver screen is no easy feat. There are the all-important questions, like how much CGI can we afford, and is Demi Moore free? Some adaptations, like one out this weekend, “choke on their own excess,” losing nuance one glitter flake at a time, while others manifest lands of sloping mountains, bubbling rivers and pointy ears so vividly that even the closest readers could have never imagined their majesty. Take a look at the best and worst movies based on books.
You firmly establish that at the beginning of Star Wars with the words: “A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” Well, I had a real problem because I was afraid that science-fiction buffs and everybody would say things like, “You know there’s no sound in outer space”. I just wanted to forget science. That would take care of itself. Stanley Kubrick made the ultimate science-fiction movie and it is going to be very hard for somebody to come along and make a better movie, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t want to make a 2001, I wanted to make a space fantasy that was more in the genre of Edgar Rice Burroughs; that whole other end of space fantasy that was there before science took it over in the Fifties. Once the atomic bomb came, everybody got into monsters and science and what would happen with this and what would happen with that. I think speculative fiction is very valid but they forgot the fairy tales and the dragons and Tolkien and all the real heroes.