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Old September 28 2011, 06:58 AM   #1
Starbreaker
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Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

David Weber's Blog

Okay, according to my "Hollywood representative," we've officially closed the deal on the movie option for the Honorverse. I should be seeing the contracts in the next few days, and there are a couple of other legal documents that need to be traded back and forth, but We Have a Deal.
They are thinking in terms not of a single feature film but of a series of films, based not on generated-for-the-movie plots but on the actual storyline of the series. As a result, they have a very strong interest in treating the characters and the storyline with respect.
Obviously, this is just the beginning of what will probably be about a five-year process to actually getting the picture released, assuming that everything goes well. Assuming we're living in the real world, it will probably take just a teeny bit longer than that
I've never actually read any of the Honor novels, but I do have a couple sitting around that I would like to read.
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Old September 28 2011, 07:13 AM   #2
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Wow, finally. I'm kind of surprised this hasn't been done sooner since there have been all kinds of rumours and speculations and fans wanting Angelina Jolie to play Honor.
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Old September 28 2011, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Five years, wow, someone had better get working on a real Prolong Treatment if Jolie is to appear in a series. Good news, although I wonder how the ships, weapon designs, and long-range battle tactics will work for a movie. How they'll handle the depiction of Nimitz (not to mention his abilities, both overt and covert) is another issue. A bad CGI depiction could easily look fake or too cartoon-like.
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Old September 28 2011, 10:42 AM   #4
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Glad that this finally seems to be happening, but I doubt Angie will be playing Honor. She too expensive for one thing and Weber hates her for another. If he has any say, then she doesn't have a snowballs chance in a blast furnace. Which is a pity, she'd do very well I think.
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Old September 28 2011, 11:19 AM   #5
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

She's also a box office magnet. I doubt that Weber has any real say in the matter of casting - writers aren't generally given much, if any, any say in the matter. Whether she wants the gig after playing a somewhat similar character in Sky Captain is another matter. Waifs like Natalie Portman need not apply.
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Old September 28 2011, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

I thought this project died when John McTiernan(who was rumored to be directing) went to prison for wiretapping. I'm glad to see such is not the case.

The main problem for the series to overcome is the massive amount of exposition that will be needed so that the battles, political dealings and actions of many of the characters make sense. The books are often very heavy on exposition, and it is going to be far harder to fit that into the cinematic format.

As to who should play Honor, it should not be Jolie. Get a youngster with some chops.
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Old September 28 2011, 11:35 AM   #7
JoeZhang
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

She's also a box office magnet. I doubt that Weber has any real say in the matter of casting - writers aren't generally given much, if any, any say in the matter. Whether she wants the gig after playing a somewhat similar character in Sky Captain is another matter. Waifs like Natalie Portman need not apply.
Waifs? She looks to have a good three or four stone on the rather skinny and ill looking Jolie.
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Old September 28 2011, 11:42 AM   #8
Asbo Zaprudder
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Nope, she's supposed to be somewhat homely, athletic, height just under 2m, about 40+ years, who looks about 25 because of advanced medicine, and who has a hint of Asiatic ancestry. She has a slight facial tic at the right corner of her mouth when controlling her emotions under stress. I doubt that much of this will make it through to the movie - even the book covers make her seem much more attractive.

ETA: Others have nominated Claudia Christian for the part, but I don't think she's good enough to carry a $100M+ movie, and she's getting on as well.

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Old September 28 2011, 03:25 PM   #9
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

I never got "homely" out of Weber's descriptions of Harrington at all though the rest looks accurate.

If for some unlikely reason Jolie wanted to do these films, she'd be the actor playing Harrington in an instant - and if she doesn't there's probably not enough money tied up in this to make that happen. Popular as HH is with sf-fantasy fans, Weber doesn't have the sales figures to give him Rowling-level clout or veto power over casting, etc. unless he's negotiating with a very small production company for a relatively limited amount of money. We'll see what we'll see.
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Old September 28 2011, 03:32 PM   #10
Duncan MacLeod
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Not quite. Honor was rather plain, particularly in comparison to her mother, when she was younger. But she has since blossomed into a very beautiful, if quite tall, young woman. Although she would never be considered pretty. Her ugly duckling period was quite stretched out thanks to the prolong, and she still feels she's unattractive until around the 3rd or 4th book.
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Old September 28 2011, 03:39 PM   #11
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Duncan MacLeod wrote: View Post
Not quite. Honor was rather plain, particularly in comparison to her mother, when she was younger. But she has since blossomed into a very beautiful, if quite tall, young woman. Although she would never be considered pretty. Her ugly duckling period was quite stretched out thanks to the prolong, and she still feels she's unattractive until around the 3rd or 4th book.
That sounds about right, yeah. It's really only in Honor's self-estimation that she might be "homely," and that self-image is definitely part of the character at least in the earlier books. Who compares Honor to her mother? Although the narrative is third person and does jump about clumsily in some scenes, it's pretty definitely Honor herself.
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Old September 28 2011, 03:50 PM   #12
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

I'd be terribly surprised if I ever see a reasonably budgeted space opera would-be blockbuster that doesn't just star a woman, but stars a plain woman. They may not get Angelina Jolie but I'd expect with certainty whoever they do cast is pretty conventionally attractive and such.

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
I've never actually read any of the Honor novels, but I do have a couple sitting around that I would like to read.
Me neither, although it seems the publisher, Baen Books, has released a couple for free online reading/download here. I'll probably peruse those links at some point to see if it's a series I'd feel like devouring a summer with.
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Old September 28 2011, 04:01 PM   #13
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Kegg wrote: View Post
I'd be terribly surprised if I ever see a reasonably budgeted space opera would-be blockbuster that doesn't just star a woman, but stars a plain woman.
Oh, yeah - if the discussion here is about whether or not Honor Harrington will be gorgeous and magnetic in the hypothetical movie (I kind of missed the point, there) the answer is: abso-fucking-lutely.

What's Keira Knightly up to?
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Old September 28 2011, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

Caliburn24 wrote: View Post
The books are often very heavy on exposition
That's an understatement.

But if you can slog through the political analysis and weapons descriptions, the story is worthwhile.
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Old September 28 2011, 04:25 PM   #15
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: Honor Harrington Movie Series Optioned

I think they can make a decent movie out of On Basilisk Station. Beyond that, we'll see - if, in fact, any of this ever gets beyond the point of an option - lots of things are optioned in Hollywood; it's the very first step on a really long road. The producer still has to find financial backing to make a film.

No, Weber saying that the "producer is the same as the studio" in this case doesn't suggest that any of that is lined up - he's using "studio" in a pretty specific sense, as when he notes that the studio involved is a "cutting edge CGI/3D studio." He's still talking about the people who want to make the movie, not the entity that will fund and distribute it.

Weber seems somewhat realistic, anyway:

It's a given, inescapable, that there are going to be changes to the books to bring them to the movie screen and that some of those changes are going to tick off some of Honor's most devoted readers. It can't be any other way, if only because of the size of the books and the sprawling nature of the Honorverse.
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I'm learning quite a bit already about the nuts and bolts and the decisions that have to be made when you start adapting a novel to film. It is unfortunately true that there have to be cost-benefit trade-offs when you start looking at which characters to keep, which ones might possibly be merged with other characters, what parts of the original plot can be preserved, etc. You only get about 120 pages of script to work with, and that requires some fairly ruthless pragmatism when you start deciding what goes on those pages.
Finally, his observation that "...these people...clearly don't see it as the opportunity to make one movie and then get out" is almost tautological with regard to the fact that they want to make an HH movie at all - no one in the commercial film business now wants to make a single popular film that requires a huge initial investment unless they see it as a potential franchise.

Last edited by Admiral Buzzkill; September 28 2011 at 04:37 PM.
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