the book is boring. Lots of exploration, little characterization or action. I don't see a very good movie coming out of it.
Honestly, characterization isnt as important to me in SF as ideas...I know that's not a popular view. It's not that characters aren't important, but I think the genre allows for some leeway.
As for action, I think a movie like this DOES have to rely on VISUALS. It has to conjur up a sense of wonder without having to rely on government sabotage or alien invasion. Think big and bold.