Pern Coming to the Big Screen

David Hayter will write the screenplay for the film adaptation of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight, the first novel in her Dragonriders of Pern series. Production is expected to begin in 2012. McCaffrey’s Pern series began in 1968 – in the pages of Analog, of all places — and continues to this day:

Dragonflight centers on “an elite group of warriors who take to the skies on the backs of giant, fire-breathing, telepathic dragons to save the wondrously exotic planet of Pern from a terrifying airborne menace.

Hayter’s screenwriting resume includes adapting several celebrated graphic novels to film, including X-Men, X2: X-Men United and Watchmen.

Just 44 years from story to screen for McCaffrey’s story… What other classics of science fiction are you still longing to see turned into movies? I think something quite spectacular could be done with The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. Just what kind of world is it where they’ve already made a movie out of Zotz! and not the story of how Mike and Manny fomented a Lunar revolution?

[Thanks to Craig Miller for the story.]

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9 thoughts on “Pern Coming to the Big Screen

  1. Your comment about Analog and 1968 reminded me of the 68 Worldcon (my first). As a neo I had quickly learned that writers hung out in the hotel bar, so I went in to see who was there. There was a woman sitting on one of the bar stools quietly crying. When I asked her what was wrong she told me that she was a writer and no one knew who she was. Of course it was McCaffrey. I was able to truthfully tell her that I had read and liked her Analog story. That stopped the tears.

  2. Tim Minear did a screenplay of “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” which was not filmed in the end. You can read it here; .

    He said that one of the problems doing the script was to avoid appearing to ‘borrow’ from people who had in fact ‘borrowed’ from Heinlein but who had made it onto film first.

  3. Who will play the sensitive but hunky vampire? It’s the rule now; you can’t have a sci-fi flick without a sensitive but hunky vampire.

  4. A vampire riding a dragon — somebody’s out registering that script idea right now. And he needs a small, cute robot as a sidekick.

    Maybe we shouldn’t have had this discussion online, think of the millions we might have made!

  5. Hmm… IIRC, the heroine’s love interest is a sensitive but hunky telepathically gifted guy who rides a giant bronze dragon– maybe that’ll be supernatural enough for them.

  6. Odd thing to cry about. If not being recognized is so bad, 989 would have no excuse not to be teary-eyed ourselves. Of course, she was a *writer* — but I was FanGoH at a Worldcon, but I doubt many people had any idea who I was, and a sizable proportion probably would have said my name was unfamiliar even though they had just looked at the program book five minutes ago. Like I said… it seems an odd reason to be upset. McAffrey must have had unusually high expectations…

  7. @Petréa: Telepathically gifted…yes. And the giant bronze dragon is just the mutant power form of a sensitive teenaged girl!

  8. @Mike: And she turns into the dragon in a spectacular colorful sequence of morphing! When she isn’t a dragon, she wears a sailor suit! And she has big soulful eyes, a little button nose, and a tiny mouth! Her hair is no color known to humankind! She too is in love with the sensitive but hunky vampire who rides her! But she can’t tell him because . . . she can’t tell him!

    I think we’re on to something.

  9. I’d also like to see an adaptation of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress but not as a Hollywood movie. There’s so much in the book that it would be a disservice to try to shoehorn it into a two-hour film. Better for it to be a HBO miniseries someday.

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