From: Richard Bruns
Location: Napa CA
I recently started reading The Forge of God again, and realized that I was associating images with the narrative. The last I heard, Forge was optioned by Warner Bros. but has not been produced. Has it been released, by WB or others, under a different title. I could swear I've seen a recent film that follows the plot line fairly closely?
RFB - Napa
From: Greg Bear
No film quite like that--though there have been a good number of alien invasion pictures since the novel was published. The best of these is Spielberg's WAR OF THE WORLDS, which puts the war machines underground...
From: David Leeman
I have had recently suffered the ambiguous misfortune of seriously injuring my knee! I say ambiguous because it gave me the excuse to read through the Forge of God and Anvil of the Stars back to back. I was lucky enough to accidentally stumble on these titles in 1996, coincidentally the same year that the incidents portrayed in the Forge of God were played out.
I maintain that no books have matched them for depth nor any story succeeded in creating such a convincing, ambitious projection of alien technology, society, culture and biology. Encouraging to see a writer unafraid of avoiding the 'happy ending' syndrome.
Although these book use what I would describe as a hard sci fi backdrop, they are more philosophical in nature, good vs. evil is smashed into myriad cyclical paradoxes of unresolved anguish. No heroes using inborn skills to overcome an enemy conjured into existence merely for a clean 'good guy kills bad guy' high noon type scenario here. The ultimate destruction of the enemny remains uncertain, yet the ending is far from disappointing. The Law is carried out, yet many innocents are destroyed, human perceptions of right or wrong are shown to be miniscule in their importance; cold Judgement is the dish of the day. Our travellers are thrown into a quandary when deciding whether the Leviathan system dwellers are guilty. Even the Judgement, designed to be coldly logical and clear in its intent divides the travellers. The Brothers, so inherently t odds with aggression, yet demanding justice almost appear to hand over the Job to the humans. In this group there are divisions as the philosophical arguments manifest themselves as heresy and betrayal, young adults acting more on emotion than cold calculation.
I did hear a rumour that a third book was to be written, is this still a possibility?
The idea of a movie would be fantastic, yet I fear that it will become so diluted (look at Contact) that the philosophical element will give way to dazzling special effects and gun toting heroes!
The Forge of God stands on its own as a very likely candidate for the adaptation to the silver screen. Anvil of the Stars would be more cerebral in content, so I can see the difficulty for mainstream audiences.
Either I undoubtedly look forward to seeing the destruction of Earth, Brothers, Dawn Treader, the moms, the Wormwood and Leviathan systems and denizens therein played out through CGI!
Masterpieces, sorry for wanting more!
From: Greg Bear
Thanks, David! Movies are indeed a different artform--with a much larger audience. Actually, I quite enjoyed CONTACT the film--however different from the novel. Carl's novel is still there... waiting, I guess, for a 10-part Masterpiece Theater treatment!
From: John P. Brown
Location: San Diego, California
I feel that, in order to do justice to the storyline and all of the characters, "The Forge Of God" should be made into a mini-series. That way, you wouldn't have to cut out so much, and/or combine so many characters. It's a wonderfully written book, and I plan on reading it again (I first read it back in the mid-90s, and I still have the same copy I bought back then. Every so often, I find myself reading a few pages here and there. I especially like the part where Edward Shaw goes to Yosemite, and spends his last month or so there. There, he meets a woman, and runs into his friend Minelli. With special effects the way they are now, this would be a great movie, especially if someone like Spielberg directed it.
For the part of Trevor Hicks, might I suggest Stuart Wilson (Jack Travis in "Lethal Weapon 3"). For Walt Samshow, someone like Richard Attenborough would be wonderful. Anyway, these are just some thoughts I have on the subject.
From: BRIAN H.
Location: San Diego, CA
I remember reading "Forge" a few times in the early- to mid-90's and I could clearly see: Tom Selleck as Arthur Gordon, Nick Mancuso ("Stingray" TV series in '86-'87) as Harry Feinman, Bob Gunton as Pres. Crockerman, David Warner as Trevor Hicks, James Garner as Walt Samshow...
I don't know if that casting would hold up if it were to be made into a film/mini-series today, but it sure seemed feasible at the time I read the book.
From: Greg Bear
Excellent casting. This kind of "fantasy cast" can be great fun--for example, Kirk Douglas was briefly involved with "A Princess of Mars" back in the 1950s, I recall--who would be better as John Carter, him or Burt Lancaster? Who would be the best today? (I thought Brad Pitt did an amazing physical acting job with Achilles in TROY... Then compare his performance in TWELVE MONKEYS or BURN AFTER READING. Talk about range!)
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