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quietearth [Celluloid 12.05.09] movie news scifi noir

For those not framiliar with writer Jonathan Lethem, I'd highly recommend checking out his body of work. I discovered him with The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye, a collection of short stories which included The Happy Man which was about a man allowed to return from death for short periods of time to provide for his family, and have continued on with As She Climbed Across the table which is about a girl in love with a black hole. But probably finest of all of his works is the EXCELLENT sci-fi noir Gun, With Occasional Music which involves the usual femme fatale and a murder along with the non-standard highly intelligent "baby-heads" and enhanced kangaroos.

Many have wanted to turn Lethem's cult novel into a film over years past, and while news just dropped that Gabe and Alan Polsky, the producers behind Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (which I didn't care for), just optioned the rights, I wouldn't hold your breath. They've got a couple of other book properties, and theirs no news this will be fast tracked. I would personally love to see this and Lethem's body of work adapted (if done right), and much of his other work is limbo as well. On a side note, a German company is developing The Happy Man into a film. Bloody hurry up!

Book synopsis:
Chandleresque, hard-boiled detective narrative finds a quirky new milieu in this SF/mystery/farce of murder and mass mind control set in a near-future Oakland, Calif. Conrad Metcalf is a private dick, but in his era that profession is even more ignominious than in the past. Due to some extreme governmental measures aimed at maintaining public docility, asking questions is taboo, leaving memory as Metcalf's sole resource. Government-distributed "Make," a cocaine-like blend of synthetic, mind-altering drugs, is now de rigeur . So is the magnetic card each citizen carries to keep track of his or her karma points. These points are awarded or docked by "the Office" for good or bad behavior and if the balance hits zero, a cryogenic prison term may ensue. Most of the menial work is done by genetically engineered English-speaking, bipedal "evolved" animals--sheep, apes, rabbits and kangaroos--and one of the latter is gunning for Metcalf. In this confusing age, the murder of Dr. Maynard Stanhunt, Metcalf's former client, leads the detective to a convoluted conspiracy, unimaginable in our own time.

via THR

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