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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is science fiction on the rise in Hollywood?

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This is just awesome, exciting news, especially for die-hard sci-fi fans like myself. And I think it means sci-fi is really on the rise in big ways in Hollywood. Though I guess we still have to see how [redacted film title] turns out, but based on all the early footage we saw at Comic-Con, I’ve got a good feeling [redacted director] is finally back in the genre he belongs.

Can you imagine what film and what director might have prompted that? This was written by Alex Billington at FirstShowing.net, and he is all excited by the news that Ridley Scott will be returning to the Blade Runner universe for another movie (though we don’t know yet if it’ll be a prequel, a sequel, a sidequel, or what). The movie glimpsed at Comic Con is Prometheus, Scott’s new Alien movie.

Now, I love Scott’s movies, and I love Alien and Blade Runner, and I’m curious to see what can be done with these franchises today. But is this really an indication that Hollywood suddenly loves science fiction? This sounds to me like yet more evidence — as if we needed it — that Hollywood loves remakes, sequels, reboots, do-overs, and any other way it can ride the coattails of existing material. Science fiction to me is about ultimate creativity, and ultimate creativity is something Hollywood wants nothing to do with. I respect Scott’s work and expect that he will find a way to be creative within Hollywood’s constraints, but I don’t see this as an indication that Hollywood suddenly loves real SF. If that were the case, Hollywood would be racing to greenlight more completely original movies from, say, Inception filmmaker Christopher Nolan (and perhaps we will get that after his next Batman movie makes a billion dollars).

A better hint that Hollywood might not be totally terrified of original SF: Neill Blomkamp’s followup to District 9 isn’t a comic book movie but another completely original story, Elysium, which we’re only just starting to get some bare hints about. But that’s just one movie.

Is science fiction on the rise in Hollywood? If Scott’s new Blade Runner movie isn’t an indication of this, what would be?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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