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topic posted Wed, June 16, 2004 - 11:26 AM by  Unsubscribed
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I've been told that Stranger was made into a movie around the 60s-early 70s. Does anyone know about this or even had a copy of it? I'd love to get a copy from someone.
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  • Re: movie

    06/21
    I googled about seventy-'leven different ways and CANNOT verify that there ever was or (as of yet) will be a CONFIRMED movie based on Stranger...(I've never heard any rumours about it until now)

    however, after extensive searching...
    I found at least 2 references
    ***NOTE***
    none of the below information is NEWER than 1998!

    1) Stranger in a Strange Land--The Movie
    The respected Hollywood Gossips & Rumors Cybersleaze column reports that stars Tom Hanks and Sean Connery have been cast in a 160-million-dollar movie version of the most cultified of Heinlein's books, Stranger in a Strange Land.
    According to Coming Attractions, a screenplay for the movie was developed in 1995 by Dan Waters, screenwriter of Batman Returns. --Carlos Angelo
    (October 11th 1998)

    2) The Metaverse Web site reports that Sean Connery and Tom Hanks are teaming up for a $160 million film adaptation of Robert Heinlein's classic SF novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    I tried a 2nd query method and found:

    Stranger in a Strange Land -- "A human born and raised on Mars returns to the planet of his genetic heritage in order to 'grok' what makes humanity tick."
    Based on the Robert A. Heinlein novel.

    There was a link:
    www.missliberty.com/InProduction.htm
    which leads to the following information ->

    HARRY POTTER movie producer David Heyman has picked the Robert A. Heinlein young adult novel HAVE SPACESUIT WILL TRAVEL as one of his film projects. Warner Bros. purchased the screen rights to the 1958 novel for Heyman to develop.

    =========================>
    and finally an amusing review
    of the *possible* "coming attraction"

    The Good: "VMS Lives"

    Here's some interesting news. Cinescape Online mentioned that there may be some movement on a project that I actually want to see happen. That's right. We're talking Stranger in a Strange Land here. It's a Robert A. Heinlein classic, and if you haven't read it I want you to bang your head against something metal and lumpy and then go fix that hole in your literary intake.

    Tom Hanks has been mentioned before as Valentine Michael Smith, the protagonist of the novel. If there's anyone who can play both the physical and mental chameleon that is Michael, it's Tom Hanks. The more I see his work, the more I'm convinced that he is one of the best, if not the best, actors of his generation.

    Sean Connery is mentioned in Cinescape's article, but they don't say who he would play. But it's obvious who he would play--Jubal Harshaw, since Sean's the man that I wanted to play Jubal from the get go. Now, I have an amigo who's made me think that Tommy Lee Jones would make a great Jubal also, but hey, I just want to see the thing made. Either one of them would be perfect for the role. I've reviewed the script and it's better than most of the sci-fi adaptation fare than we've seen recently. It's been lounging in Development Hell long enough, do you hear me? I WANT this to be made! (Like I could will anything into existence. My psychic powers faded considerably after the Jell-O Incident, otherwise I would have wished Schumacher into the cornfield after Batman 3)

    On the off-chance that this sucker's actually rolling ahead, here's some advice to you, Paramount, and to you, Dan Waters, if you're still the scribe for this:

    Don't make this an event movie.
    Don't make Michael drive a Hummer and fire machine guns.
    Don't shy away from the religious/social/political implications of the storyline.
    Don't be worried that the vast unwashed masses won't grok it. They're the ones who need instructions on boxes of toothpicks, eh?
    Do stay true to the novel.
    Do just make a good movie. Like we used to see from time to time, remember?
    Do it for the children. If not for yourself.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: movie

      06/22
      Cool! Thanks. Since it hasn't come about yet, I'm thinking that none of the studios found the screenplay acceptable. I'm not sure about Tom Hanks as Michael, but Sean in anything is perfect!
      • Re: movie

        06/22
        Especially considering the fact that these rumors have been floating around at least since 1998 (that being the first time I heard about the Tom/Sean castings), I have trouble believing them.

        Also, while Messers Hanks and Connery are among my fave actors, I have some complaints with their casting:

        1)Michael is supposed to be in his mid-twenties, (Reread carefully for the "a quarter century later" early in the book) and Tom Hanks hasn't played someone that young in over ten years, and then with a lot of makeup. Also, Michael is supposed to be, for lack of a better term, a "pretty boy." Now, Hanks may be handsome, and a fantastic actor, but he ain't no pretty boy. Before Michael "thinks his features into more masculine lines," he is androgynously pretty, and Jubal, later in the book, makes a reference to "with his looks..."

        2)And talking of Jubal, Sean Connery could not play him. Here's why: The accent. Jubal is American born & bred-- please recall the scene during the press conference with Sec. Gen. Douglas where Jubal has Mike give a seat to the President of the USA. Connery could probably get the attitude, but not the accent. Picture all of his movies, and try to find the one where he uses a different accent. (Good luck! There isn't one!) Even though James Bond was ENGLISH, S.C. uses his Scottish accent. He's playing an Egyptian? Scottish accent. A Mexican? Scottish accent.

        Now I'm not saying either of these men are anything other than fantastic actors. I repeat myself, they are among my faves. But neother is right for the role. Think of it this way-- if Freddie Mercury and Mick Jagger swapped spots-- Neither Queen nor the Stones would work. Both are amazing lead singers, but they would be in the wrong roles.

        That's why I don't like that (probably false) casting rumor.

        Now, if Tom Hanks played Ben Caxton...
        • Hmmm, the criticism of Connery as Jubal is valid from a casting perspective and I say this even though I like him as an actor. How about Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman, or even Ron Schieder for Jubal?

          I prefer Hopkins on principle but the other two could handle the role.

          As for Michael I see more a character like Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom but who shall we get to play the women?

          This is a fun game let's play some more.

          BTW, I think Hanks would be great as Ben Caxton.
          • Thanks for the backup, Lafe. Hackman would make a great Jubal-- just think of him in Get Shorty and Superman and see his range. "Ron Scheider?" Do you mean "Roy" Scheider? From Jaws? If so, then, yeah, he'd be great. If not, then I dunno who he is! Nicholson could probably play Jubal as well, although when I suggested that to someone else, she said "But Jubal didn't sleep with his secretaries!" WHich is both an upside and downside to Jack playing him, because everyone will assume that he's be taking thhe girls behind the bushes every chance he gets, but then again, everyone assumes the same about Jubal.

            Now, as for Brad Pitt-- well, I count him among my all-time favorite actors, but I do think he's getting a bit long in the tooth for Mike. Again, by the tuime the movie gets made, Pitt, already 40!, will be almost 2x the age! But had the movie been made 5, 10 years ago, yeah Brad woulda been the man. Orlando Bloom, on the other hand looks the part, but I haven't really seen him do anything trying enough to know whether or not he's make a good Mike.

            As for the girls--I always remember that Anne was blonde, but forget which one is redheaded and which one brunette. Although, truth be told, all of them are midly interchangeable. Think about it. Beauty, brains, and boldness, equally divided. Jill would need ot be a little more "girl next door" and Anne a little taller, but you get the point.

            I dunno who should get cast as them, but I think Illeana Douglas would do a great job (especially because it is specifically stated that each of the girls has her own type of beauty, and Douglas is fairly unique, facially).
            • How about the actor who played lead in DONNIE DARKO for Mike?See: www.imdb.com/name/nm0350453/

              And Mos Def HACKMAN for Jubal...(poor Roy Scheider...he's been nipped and tucked so much in the face it's painful to look at him) IMHO
              • Yes! Jake Gyllenhall would be perfect for Michael. He has an other-worldly look to him in all his movies. Intensity, eyes, and acting ability. Babyish features, but not too small in stature (like Orlando Bloom). Moonlight Mile, anyone? His sister, Maggie's pretty cool, too and could possibly fit into one of the roles.
                Oh, and I think both Jack Nicholson and Anthony Hopkins would make a good Jubal--too bad there's not someone similar who's kind of a mix of Hopkins' studied concentration and Nicholsons' cantankerous energy. Overall, I think Nicholson would be the better candidate--more charisma and "boss" feeling, no bullshit. Wait! Okay, waste of space. Hackman, definitely.
                One other thing to consider--why have an all white cast? I don't think that would be necessary.
            • My votes are for Jack as Jubal (he's got the range) and I actually think Orlando Bloom could make a wonder Michael.

              As far as the other characters, I'm having a hard time remembering them right now. Clearly, I must reread the book for a third time--it's been awhile.
        • Re: movie

          01/19
          Just picked up an unabridged edition (1991,ace/putnam) and all through Jubal's dialogue I visualized Elliot Gould. Tom Hanks might be a good choice for Ben, as for Jill and Mike ...still dwelling on that. I would however avoid casting Anthony Hopkins for the simple reason that the "hannibal" reference a detractor and incongruous to the story line. Many great roles.
          • Re: movie

            01/23
            It looks like someone is taking this idea seriously.

            www.hollywood.com/movie/Str...and/369619

            It appears that Paramount has the rights and that site is taking suggestions.

            Should we send them a link to this thread?

            Lately I have been thinking Al Pacino (as in the Devil's Advocate) as Jubal though you know another dark horse option might be Dustin Hoffman for Jubal. I would have said Keanu for Michael except he is now too old for the part. They had good chemistry in the D.A.

            Too bad this guy Heath Ledger died he would have made a good MVS.

            Now what about the women?

            The chemistry between them should be as good as the Witches of Eastwick

            Susan Sarandon would have been good be she is getting up there but Nicole Kidman might be great but so would Julianne Moore.

            How about Christian Bale as Michael?
  • Re: movie

    07/13
    OK, a few bits...

    Tom Hanks bought the rights, back in the late 90's, yes (his option may have expired by now). He was going to produce as well as play a part; however, he was, IIRC, NOT interested in playing Mike, but Ben Caxton (good call, guys).

    The impression I got from news stories at the time was that he knew damned well he was totally wrong for Mike, physically - not just because he wasn't pretty or young enough (even then), but also (& here is where Gyllenhal & Bloom have a big problem, too) because, by 1/3 of the way through the book, Jubal describes the changes in VMS by saying he "looks like he's been sweating over a barbell for years" - *extremely* muscular. Not months, mind you, but *years*. Mike's ability to "think" his very impressive physique into being is one of the many ways in which he's shown to be so very special, and should NOT, IMNSHO, be set aside.

    So, you need someone who is not only beautiful & a *great* actor, but one who either already has, or is able & willing to take at least a year (& probably lots of steroids) to build, a *significantly* muscular body. Not necessarily a modern, competitive bodybuilder's physique, but a *far*-more-muscular-than-average one, nonetheless. And no, definition over sparse-to-modest muscles is NOT an acceptable substitute. Basically, you want someone with Steve Reeves' body, circa the 50's "Hercules" movies, if not a bit *more* muscular than that.

    Pretty-boy face, great *muscular* body, mid-20's, *&* a great actor? It may not be impossible - but *good luck* finding such an actor! It probably *won't* be anyone who's already famous.

    I agree that Sean C. is far too "not American" to play Jubal, despite having, in many ways, the perfect attitude.

    The *perfect* Jubal, even physically (read the descriptions) is, alas, no longer with us: Burgess Meredith.

    Donald Sutherland or Sir Anthony Hopkins would be lovely (despite neither being American, both are good with accents, so no issue there); though both are far to big or tall physically, I don't think it matters much, because aside from clearly not being young or very fit, Jubal's physicality is really not important. Tommy Lee Jones is also a good choice, IMO; I, personally, would not go with Schieder. Wilford Brimley could manage it quite nicely, too, as could many others. In fact, a great suggestion I've heard was *James Earl Jones* as Jubal. No, the Jubal in the book wasn't black - but, IIRC, it's not really important that he not be, because again, his looks are, for the most part, not terribly important to the character.

    Anne is actually a toughie, because her looks (& those of the other girls) DO matter - you need a *very* statuesque, Scandinavian-style, nearly 6' tall, curvy, tanned, natural (& probably platinum) blonde - and able to play a serious intellect, while also being willing to appear with no visible makeup in most scenes. There's also a problem in general - these are supposed to be *curvy* women, not the toothpicks of modern Hollywood... Hmm. Kate Winslett as Miriam (the redhead)? Maybe. If she can do an American accent.

    Also, for *me* at least, all of the girls except Jill need very long hair - below the ribs at least, if not below the butt.

    Yet, despite all this, the *real* problems with making a movie of SiaSL are length and non-exclusion of controversial content. There is simply *no* significant part of the book that the story can do without; basically, it'd *have to* be a miniseries for HBO, or some such. And not only should the most controversial stuff not be left out, or even softened - without it, there is *no* point in making the movie at all.

    Did I mention I was a film/theater major, & making (directing, co-writing, maybe acting in) this movie was once my life's big ambition? O;-)

    Well, fudge - I need to go. I'll try to come back to this at a later date. Be well, all!
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: movie

      07/13
      don't you think that david bowie in 'the man who fell to earth' sort of already played the role? it isn't an official adaptation, but it's obvious that nicholas roeg, who made the movie with d.bowie, was influenced by it.
      it's a long movie, wanders around alot, but i always saw it as the closest there is to a filmed version of the character without being official..
      what do you guys think? anybody seen it?
    • Re: movie

      07/14
      OK, you, mister, have done it.

      YOu gave me goosebumps.

      Burgess Meredith WOULD have been the perfect Jubal. As for everything else you said, I pretty much agree with it, although I have to minor divergences from what you said.

      First, about the girls-it specifically states in the book that they "range in size and shape," i.e., one might be tiny like the current fashion and one might be Marilyn Monroe's shape and there might be another in between. It's fairly vague as to HOW big or small they are, but it's clear they're not all Lara Flynn Boyle.

      As for Mike's "sweating over barbells for years," I think the Steve Reeves size might be a little too much. In my eye, a Steve Reeves type would be too intimidating, physically, for Mike's personality-- I see him built more like somewhere between Brad Pitt's physiques in Snatch and Troy, although closer to Troy, admittedly. Because, remember, back then, years over barbells did a different thing than years do now. WHat keeps popping into my mind is the change in "Toby Maguire" body in SPider-man 1. True, they used a body double to show Peter Parker's wimpy physique before they showed Toby's yoga-honed body, but the difference was not only visible but significant. With Mike, he would have to start out as skinny as Peter, and end up more impressive than Toby, but even the difference in SPidey 1 is impressive and noticeable, so perhaps a "bodybuilder" wouldn't need to chosen. I think what's most impressive about Mike thinking his muscles is that it only took a couple weeks.
      • Re: movie

        07/21
        Goosebumps? I'm flattered!

        I agree that the girls don't all need to be, indeed *shouldn't* be, the same build - but I doubt *any* of them, as pictured in RAH's mind, were skinny enough for modern Hollywood. And if any were, certainly not more than one.

        Tall, short, medium, yes; ecto-to-mesomomorphic *bone structure*, sure. And certainly not apple- or pear-like in shape, but rather varying degrees of curvy/hourglass. But I really think the skinniest of them would still be considered, at best, "borderline chubby" by modern Hollywood standards. And it is quite clear (stated as such, IIRC) that Anne looks like a Valkyrie - tall, broad-shouldered for a woman, strong-looking, yet also curvy & beautiful. And a Scandinavian-type blonde. Also that Miriam is a very voluptuous redhead.

        As to the VMS physique, & bodies responding differently to weight training then than now (exclusive of the steroid issue, that assertion makes me go, "Huh?", but never mind)...

        Please bear in mind, Steve Reeves *built* that body by "sweating over barbells for years" *at the time RAH was writing*. Also consider that Reeves would never make it through the door of a modern bodybuilding competitiion; he was too small relative to his height, by at least 50-75lbs., & possibly more. That *was* a no-steroid body, built with the training methods of the time. John Grimek, the other dominant bodybuilder of Reeves' era, was much more muscular in proportion to height, even then.

        Brad Pitt as he was in _Troy_? Might be acceptable. *Barely*. Certainly *not* smaller than that. Smaller than that just *doesn't* meet the description, IMNSHO.

        Bear in mind also another little speculation, one that actually makes sense given the timing:

        Reeves might well even have been the ~specific~ body RAH had in mind when he wrote that line. ;-)

        Aside from the fame from his movies, Reeves was also the model for the 50's/60's Doc Savage book covers (as Doc himself, obviously), too. He won his first Mr. America in, I believe, 1947, and became really famous around the mid-50's, remaining so through the mid-60's; SIaSL as we know it was actually written in around the period 57-60, no?

        Further, Reeves was *not* actually a very big guy: 6'1-or-2" & about 200 lbs. - a good size, but nowhere near huge. Compare that to, say, Jesse Ventura at 6'6" & 275 when in good shape, or Dorian Yates, a recent multi-time Mr. Olympia, at about 6' & 295 - or even me when I was in shape, at 5'9" & 210 (4-5" shorter & 10 lbs heavier).

        Reeves *looked* bigger than he really was, because his hips & waist were almost supernaturally small compared to the width of his shoulders, he had very small joints (which makes the muscles next to them look bigger), & of course, he was very lean. If you saw him, at his prime but magically transported to our time, and wearing a suit, you'd probably be able to tell he worked out (if you were that observant), but you would *never* peg him as "a bodybuilder." Not even close.

        Just food for thought. ;-)
        • Re: movie

          07/22
          See, I musta been remembering Steve Reeves as bigger than he was (likely for the reasons you suggest!). But then again, I'm 5'5, so someone 6'1" or so seems huge to me. But what do I know?

          As for the girls, keep in mind that Cindy Crawford, while, by no means tiny, is still considered "hot" by anyone with eyes, even in Hollywood. And, let's not forget two other things. One, this book takes place in a future time, when even older folks like our dear Mr. Harshaw will have had decades of conditioning toward thinking of skinny girls. Second, Stinky thinks at one point that "Harshaw's women" are too skinny, I believe either at the big press conference or later at Jubal's poolside.
          • Re: movie

            07/07
            I have figured out the perfect Dr. Harshaw.

            Keeping in mind that
            a)he's an Iowa boy
            b)he was a redhead in his youth and
            c)the movie won't get meade for years and years, judging by its current status

            I think John Schneider (ex- Dukes of Hazzard, current Smallville) would be perfect.

            In about 30 years. (Which, even still might be too early for this movie!)
            • Re: movie

              07/07
              I had long thought that James Earl Jones would make an awesome Jubal - the book never says what skin color he has, and Jones can play a crotchety old man with the best of 'em. And that VOICE!!!

              The girls would be tough, as mentioned before, especially as actresses with both physical and acting substance are in short supply. Someone mentioned Kate Winslett - great talent, and physically good for Miriam I think, but too expensive an actress for the size of the role.

              Gillian and Dawn - now they would be tough. You need two ladies who look similar enough to be near twins by the end, but dissimilar enough to not look the same in the beginning.

              The major obstacle, of course, is the lenght. Perhaps a trilogy a la Peter Jackson/ LOTR? It worked there. As for trying to cram it all into a 3 or even 4 hour flick - well, has anyone else both read and seen the movie Dune? 'nuff said.

              I, for one, will be quite happy if a movie is never made of the book. With a very few exceptions, the better the book, the worse the movie. See the above mentioned Dune. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. Starship Troopers! Heck, even LOTR left out some big important chunks of story. And don't get me started on the TNT version of Mists of Avalon.

              If it does get maid, I just hope beyond all hoping that no matter what the casting choices, they don't get Leonardo De Crappio to play Mike.

              Otter

              BTW - before he died, I thought Walter Matthou (sp?) would have made a great Jubal, or even perhaps Sec. Gen. Douglas.
              • Re: movie

                07/08
                Kate Beckinsale for Gillian, Kate Winslet for Miriam, Christopher Walken for Jubal (you REALLY think Jubal's an angel???), and Daniel Day Lewis for Michael. And of course, in his reprise role from the Aviator, Alan Alda as Sec Gen Douglas with Bette Midler as his wife.

                Any other ideas?
                • Re: movie

                  07/13
                  Oooh, Bette Middler would make a great Becky Vessant, actually. Or maybe Bernadette Peters.

                  Daniel Day Lewis is way to old for Mike.

                  Otter
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     

                    Re: movie

                    07/13
                    Ewan McGregor as Mike.
    • Re: movie

      07/30
      As I was saying...how about we stick to my original suggestion of Leonardo diCaprio for Valentine Michael Smith?

      Want someone Scandinavian looking for Anne? Look no further - Leo's GF Gisele Bundchen is PERFECT enough to play her. If not, maybe Nicolette Sheridan (if she can squeeze time in her DH schedule)

      How about Liz Hurley to play Miriam?

      Eva Mendes would still make a good Dorcas. And Jack Nicholson remains my choice to play Jubal.

      • Re: movie

        08/05
        Dude..... Liz Hurley? Miriam has to have BUMPS. This is Heinlein we're talking about.

        I won't even start with Leonardo diCrapio.

        Otter
  • Re: movie

    07/06
    yes it was...but much like the hippy movement, it was hyped but not all that worthy of attention....it may have been a good small theater "B" flick for the time. Dont have a copy myself, but I am sure if you research you will find it.
  • Re: movie

    03/26
    There are a lot of rumors floating around about a film -- it would be MOST timely. I always imagined Orson Bean as Jubal and, being an actor, personally would love to play Michael myself.

    Have there been any new proposals for it, does anyone know?
  • Ben
    Ben
    offline 0

    Re: movie

    06/23
    Personally, I'd LOVE to see Brian Molko (of Placebo) play Michael. I'm not sure what his acting abilities are, but he certainly has the androgynous look, and an inviting one as well, which is what any actor who plays MVS would need.
  • Re: movie

    09/16
    Here's someone who hasn't been mentioned, who I think would be PERFECT as Valentine: Anton Yelchin: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anton_Yelchin

    Al Pacino or Anthony Hopkins would both make an excellent Jubal.
    • Re: movie

      09/16
      For Director, I would hope someone like Lawrence Kasdan or Frank Darabont would take an interest because they have both had a habit of doing right by source material (ala The Green Mile/Shawshank Redemption/Dreamcatcher). Speaking of...how about Morgan Freeman as Jubal?

      I can't think of what women I would want...as has been stated already, they should definitely be more curvy than Hollywood standards permit.
      • Re: movie

        10/16
        I agree, Morgan Freeman would make a great Jubal, as well as Anthony Hopkins.

        I think we have a our short list of great characters for Jubal. Now we need the other principal roles.

        As for directors those are great suggestions, what about Ridley Scott? He did Blade Runner, Gladiator, Alien, Thelma and Louise, Hannibal, and just too many more to mention.
  • Re: movie

    06/04
    I know I'm jumping into this thread way late, but you all seem to have forgotten something (or perhaps you're unaware). Any of the actors that have been mentioned to play Jubal would be great except for one problem. Jubal Harshaw is black.

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