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Old July 2 2010, 11:21 PM   #1
MyCylon
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Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

I was just curious if anybody here knew how George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh feel about science fiction in general and their "Solaris" in particular. It's a movie I love, and I would really like to see both of them (or at least one of them) return to the genre again some time.

I realize that Soderbergh was a producer on "A Scanner Darkly" (probably one of my all-time favorite movies) but he doesn't seem to deal much in science fiction otherwise. Clooney, unless I'm missing something, seems to be even less interested in making science fiction films (or maybe he's just not finding the right scripts, I don't know).

So is there any information out there on how likely it is that either one will be making a new science fiction movie anytime soon?

P.S.: I'm not sure that 'Contagion' counts based on what little I've heard about it.
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Old July 3 2010, 12:19 AM   #2
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

I believe that there is some detail about Sodderbergh's involvement on the short making-of documentary that accompanies the DVD (at least in the United States release), as well as in the commentary (between the director and James Cameron).

As I recall (and my memory is faint), Sodderbergh explains that he doesn't have much of an interest in science fiction, but was attracted to this particular story. I wish I could be of more help, but I don't have this film on DVD (I'm waiting for the Blu-Ray).
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Old July 3 2010, 02:49 AM   #3
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

Heck, Clooney did Return of the Killer Tomatoes! That's an SF classic!
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Old July 3 2010, 02:54 AM   #4
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

Honestly, I can't say I liked Clooney in anything other than the Ocean's movies. I'm not really sure if he was a factor in why I didn't like Solaris but it might be one of the reasons.
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Old July 3 2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

MyCylon wrote: View Post
I was just curious if anybody here knew how George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh feel about science fiction in general and their "Solaris" in particular. It's a movie I love, and I would really like to see both of them (or at least one of them) return to the genre again some time.

I realize that Soderbergh was a producer on "A Scanner Darkly" (probably one of my all-time favorite movies) but he doesn't seem to deal much in science fiction otherwise. Clooney, unless I'm missing something, seems to be even less interested in making science fiction films (or maybe he's just not finding the right scripts, I don't know).

So is there any information out there on how likely it is that either one will be making a new science fiction movie anytime soon?

P.S.: I'm not sure that 'Contagion' counts based on what little I've heard about it.
You love the Solaris and Scanner Darkly movies? May I make a humble, but urgent, suggestion that you read those novels? If you liked the movies, you should LOVE the novels. They're both better than their film adaptations (although, I agree, they're not bad movies.)
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Old July 3 2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

Harvey wrote: View Post
I believe that there is some detail about Sodderbergh's involvement on the short making-of documentary that accompanies the DVD (at least in the United States release), as well as in the commentary (between the director and James Cameron).

As I recall (and my memory is faint), Sodderbergh explains that he doesn't have much of an interest in science fiction, but was attracted to this particular story. I wish I could be of more help, but I don't have this film on DVD (I'm waiting for the Blu-Ray).
I do have the film on DVD but the only thing that stuck in my mind from the commentary (I don't remember a documentary, to be honest, but I should check again) was that I found Cameron really annoying in parts for some reason .

A shame if Soderbergh isn't interested in the genre, even after making what's IMHO such a great film.


Christopher wrote: View Post
Heck, Clooney did Return of the Killer Tomatoes! That's an SF classic!



zakkrusz wrote: View Post
Honestly, I can't say I liked Clooney in anything other than the Ocean's movies. I'm not really sure if he was a factor in why I didn't like Solaris but it might be one of the reasons.
Personally, I really like Clooney a lot (both as an actor and based on what little I know about him as a person). My biggest complaint is probably that he's made a lot of movies that don't really appeal to me which is a shame (for me, anyway). I love Solaris and the Ocean movies (12 not so much, mind you). I also enjoyed Burn After Reading and The Men Who Stare at Goats quite a bit. But it thins out quite a bit after that.


Ubik wrote: View Post
You love the Solaris and Scanner Darkly movies? May I make a humble, but urgent, suggestion that you read those novels? If you liked the movies, you should LOVE the novels. They're both better than their film adaptations (although, I agree, they're not bad movies.)
You may .

Actually, I read Solaris before I saw either movie and loved it. I think it's probably one of my favorite science fiction novels. Highly fascinating as well as entertaining, I think.

As for the movies, I love both of them though I slightly prefer the Soderbergh one, mind you. In any case, I'm glad there's the book AND the two movies to enjoy.

I adore most of what I've read of PKD's novels so "A Scanner Darkly" is firmly situated on my must-read list. However, I decided at some point to read some of PKD's other books first because I take it the movie is a pretty close adaption (at least compared to "Blade Runner" for example). So I was interested in checking out material first that I wasn't familiar with at all.
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Old July 3 2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

MyCylon wrote: View Post
A shame if Soderbergh isn't interested in the genre, even after making what's IMHO such a great film.
It happens. Tarkovsky once remarked he'd felt Solaris would have been a better movie without the science fiction elements.

I adore most of what I've read of PKD's novels so "A Scanner Darkly" is firmly situated on my must-read list. However, I decided at some point to read some of PKD's other books first because I take it the movie is a pretty close adaption (at least compared to "Blade Runner" for example).
It's the most faithful adaption I've seen, though of course there's stuff in the novel that wasn't in the film (mostly for time reasons). I actually had a mental checklist of stuff that'd never be in the movie - Frick daydreaming about a cop blowing his head off, and the thousand-eyed creature from beyond dimensions - but my god they actually put those in there. A Scanner Darkly is one of those rare moviegoing experiences where I basically geeked out the entire time, it's not often I see a PKD book quite literally put to film.
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Old July 3 2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

You love the Solaris and Scanner Darkly movies? May I make a humble, but urgent, suggestion that you read those novels?
Particularly in the case of Solaris. When I first heard Soderbergh was adapting it, I was really hoping for a movie that would finally show us the planet Solaris - big whompin' SFX extravaganza - but instead we got emo navel-gazing. No thanks.

A Scanner Darkly felt more like a PKD novel than any of the other adaptations of his novels or stories. And it's not an easy novel to translate to the big screen, so I'm okay with it.
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Old July 3 2010, 10:50 PM   #9
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

George Clooney and Soderbergh were going to take on Max Barry's Jennifer Government, which is a terrific book btw, but it's been in limbo for so many years now. I would consider it sci-fi because of the way it portrays the world if corporations were to rule it. In it, characters take the the name of the company they work for as their last name, hence Jennifer Government is a government agent. The game Nationstates is very loosely based on it.
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Old July 3 2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

Kegg wrote: View Post
It happens. Tarkovsky once remarked he'd felt Solaris would have been a better movie without the science fiction elements.
I remember reading that somewhere as well. I always thought it was a pity he felt that way since I think he made a really great movie but there you are.


Kegg wrote: View Post
It's the most faithful adaption I've seen, though of course there's stuff in the novel that wasn't in the film (mostly for time reasons). I actually had a mental checklist of stuff that'd never be in the movie - Frick daydreaming about a cop blowing his head off, and the thousand-eyed creature from beyond dimensions - but my god they actually put those in there. A Scanner Darkly is one of those rare moviegoing experiences where I basically geeked out the entire time, it's not often I see a PKD book quite literally put to film.
I really, really love that film. I think it's a little gem. And I can certainly see why it would have you geeking out like that . Still, I definitely need to pick up the book pretty soon, no doubt.


Temis the Vorta wrote: View Post
Particularly in the case of Solaris. When I first heard Soderbergh was adapting it, I was really hoping for a movie that would finally show us the planet Solaris - big whompin' SFX extravaganza - but instead we got emo navel-gazing. No thanks.
Honestly, I'm a little shocked that anyone would refer to Soderbergh's "Solaris" as "emo navel-gazing". I'll admit I've never really been comfortable with the term "emo" in the first place but if I had to apply it to a movie I'd use it to describe the likes of the new "Star Trek" movie (which I enjoyed) but certainly not what is IMHO a character study and a study of human existence and reality in "Solaris".

What I like about Soderbergh's "Solaris" is that he chooses to focus on one of the core subjects in Lem's books. Although, based on what I've read, I'm not sure this is what Lem himself actually intended, I find the planet/entity Solaris to be the ideal means of examining human existence and relationships. It's ideal because it's so alien to us that we cannot truly relate to it. So, quite literally, we are thrown back upon ourselves, in a state where we cannot avoid the nature of our existence, our lives and how we interact with people existent and remembered.

This is also why I was never bothered by the fact that we didn't see more of the Solaris itself. And, after all, what would we expect to see other than what we already carry within us?


Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
George Clooney and Soderbergh were going to take on Max Barry's Jennifer Government, which is a terrific book btw, but it's been in limbo for so many years now. I would consider it sci-fi because of the way it portrays the world if corporations were to rule it. In it, characters take the the name of the company they work for as their last name, hence Jennifer Government is a government agent. The game Nationstates is very loosely based on it.
Hmm, I'd never heard about this (the book or the idea of adapting it). I'd certainly love to see them adapt it. And I think I'll see if I can grab it at my local library. Thanks for the hint!
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Old July 4 2010, 03:29 AM   #11
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

MyCylon wrote: View Post
Owain Taggart wrote: View Post
George Clooney and Soderbergh were going to take on Max Barry's Jennifer Government, which is a terrific book btw, but it's been in limbo for so many years now. I would consider it sci-fi because of the way it portrays the world if corporations were to rule it. In it, characters take the the name of the company they work for as their last name, hence Jennifer Government is a government agent. The game Nationstates is very loosely based on it.
Hmm, I'd never heard about this (the book or the idea of adapting it). I'd certainly love to see them adapt it. And I think I'll see if I can grab it at my local library. Thanks for the hint!

Oh, I hope you do. It's a really fun book. Not very descriptive though, but reads more like a fast action movie. But the ideas are all there and it makes for a very entertaining book.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Government
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Old July 4 2010, 05:07 AM   #12
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

MyCylon wrote: View Post

Personally, I really like Clooney a lot (both as an actor and based on what little I know about him as a person). My biggest complaint is probably that he's made a lot of movies that don't really appeal to me which is a shame (for me, anyway). I love Solaris and the Ocean movies (12 not so much, mind you). I also enjoyed Burn After Reading and The Men Who Stare at Goats quite a bit. But it thins out quite a bit after that.
I'm a huge Clooney fan, I gotta go with From Dusk till Dawn, Out of Sight, and Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

He's so good an actor he makes JLo shine in Out of Sight.
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Old July 4 2010, 08:39 PM   #13
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

Solaris is a good movie, but it's really just a romance in space. I didn't think it was nearly as bizarre or engaging as the original.

I still need to read the book. The author says that both movies missed the point.
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Old July 5 2010, 12:33 AM   #14
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Re: Clooney, Soderbergh and Science Fiction

I hated both Solaris and A Scanner Darkly. I didn't read the original Solaris novel nor did I see the original movie.

As for Scanner... I even tried to read the book but gave up. Then again, I was thinking "Golly gee, I'm going to check out a sci-fi classic, awesome!" When really it's just drug induced stupidity. If you really like drugs a lot, for the love of god don't write books. Write music, it always seems to turn out better.
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