Syfy to Film Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land

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Following the success of last year’s miniseries version of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, Syfy has greenlighted a TV series version of Robert Heinlein’s classic novel Stranger in a Strange Land. This will be the first filmed version of this book, and it should be interesting!

Published in 1961, the book tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human raised on Mars by Martians, who returns to Earth in adulthood. The book became somewhat of a “hippie bible,” espousing some of Heinlein’s controversial world views including free love, group sex, and communes. The book was listed as one of the top 19 novels never made into films, by a site called Sabotage Times, although it was optioned several years ago.

strangerHeinlein definitely had non-conforming, utopian views, which he turned into science fiction. A couple of years ago, I read For Us, The Living, which was the first novel he wrote, but which was never published during his lifetime (it was published finally in 2003 – a man accidentally time travels to the future following an accident – a future where the US government pays every citizen a living wage whether they work or not, and countries are isolated from each other. Interesting theories, not a great book). He’s also known for Starship Troopers and a large collection of short stories, many of which mix science fiction with fantasy and mysticism.

Deadline Hollywood reports Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt and William Sherak of Mythology Entertainment, Scott Rudin, Garrett Basch and Eli Bush of Scott Rudin Productions, and Joe Vecchio of Vecchio Entertainment will serve as executive producers. Mythology’s Julia Gunn will serve as co-executive producer.

“Paramount TV is excited to have the opportunity to adapt Robert Heinlein’s seminal work of science fiction,” said Amy Powell, President, Paramount TV. “This novel has resonated with me since college and there’s a reason it has continued to find new fans for over forty years. Syfy’s understanding of imaginative and futuristic programming is unmatched, making them an ideal partner for this series.”

No air date or stars were listed for the project. We’ll keep you posted!

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Erin Conrad