ByIan Mitchell, writer at
I always wear my undies on the outside of my suit.
Ian Mitchell

First of all, Hey Moviepilot! My name's Ian and this is my first post. In this column, which I'm calling Thinking Out Loud, I want to get a little abstract. Ultimately the people who know the source material for the movies we know and love are the fans - you! Thinking Out Loud is meant to be a forum for us to discuss some of the things you would like to see in movies, why movies are important, what role they play in our lives- you know, the Big Issues. So without further ado, let's begin:

It's no secret that it has never been cooler to be nerdy than right now, especially when it comes to the cinema. Superheroes, starships, cyborgs, and monsters are regulars at the box office, and this summer alone we will be seeing at least ten blockbusters that could be qualified as "nerdy". (For you curious cats, I'm counting The Amazing Spiderman 2, Godzilla, Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, Transformers, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jupiter Ascending, Guardians of the Galaxy {check out this sweet poster gallery}, Lucy, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If I've left out your favourite, feel free to correct me in the comments; but let's define "nerdy" as a catch-all for superhero, science fiction, and fantasy movies for now.) In the past fifteen years or so, we've seen some classic examples of nerd culture get the Hollywood treatment, including most notably the Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and the entire MCU. With Marvel and others digging deeper into their back catalogs with movies like Guardians of the Galaxy, there's a feeling that any franchise may be next up to have its time in the spotlight. My question for you lot is:

What classic sci-fi, fantasy, or superhero story would you like to see in the movies? Nothing is off limits: let's talk reboots, sequels, crossovers, obscure Forties-era pulp magazine stuff, whatever. Now that we have the technology to create these worlds faithfully, and enough duds behind us to know what doesn't work (I'm looking at you, Green Lantern), the sky is the limit- or the galaxy is, anyway. What nerdy icon would you like to grace the silver screen? I'll give you a few of my own examples to start off.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation

Asimov is undoubtedly a titan in the science fiction genre, if not the absolute godfather. He wrote the Three Laws of Robotics, explored the souls of androids, and took us to worlds unknown. His best-known work, the seminal Foundation as well as its sequels Foundation & Empire and Second Foundation, are a far-future retelling of the fall of Rome and the dark age of barbarism that followed. The vision of one man - Hari Seldon, whose knowledge of sociology and the fictional science "psychohistory" allows him to foresee the decline of the Galactic Empire into petty feudalism - was to establish a Foundation of knowledge and enlightenment that would limit the post-Imperial age of ignorance from 30,000 years down to a single millennium.

Over the course of these thousand years, the people of the Foundation are presented with many challenges, from hostile nations to super-cults that worship the old Empire - challenges which they must overcome more often with wisdom and ingenuity than brute force. The short-story layout of the books would make a big-screen adaptation challenging and unbalanced, but the success of shows like Battlestar Galactica and Falling Skies suggest that there is a sci-fi audience among the TV-watching public. The BBC's Sherlock, with its few long episodes rather than several short ones, could provide an excellent template for the pacing and format of a Foundation series, especially since such a series would have to focus more on deep, complex characters and clever writing over high octane action sequences.

The Earthsea Trilogy

Ok, ok - I realize that this high-fantasy classic has already been adapted into both this SyFy Channel miniseries and this animated film (from Studio Ghibli's Goro Miyazaki, no less!) However, I feel that the only way to do justice to Ursula K. LeGuin's masterpiece is with a full-scale, feature-length film trilogy. A beautifully realized epic, Earthsea tells the story of the young wizard Ged, AKA Sparrowhawk, as he rises from simple farm boy to Dragonmaster and Archmage of the known world - and of his battle with the dark side of wizardry. We all know that great power = great responsibility; but in the world of Earthsea, where magic has the power to literally unmake the world, this is especially true.

The geography of Earthsea consists of many small islands and archipelagoes, as its name suggests. It has been speculated by some that LeGuin's world exists in the far past, before the formation of continents (like Tolkien's Middle-earth) or in the distant, post-cataclysmic future, when the land has been broken (like Game of Thrones' Westeros). Either way, LeGuin makes heavy use of duality in her epic: water and land, night and day, male and female, illness and health, life and death. This contributes to a feeling of great scope and space in the author's world, and my most salient issue with both of the earlier adaptations is that they attempted to cram the entire plot of three books into one work. Earthsea is a world that needs to breathe in order for it to feel legendary, and therefore I am calling for a big-screen adaptation done right.

Marvel 1602

There's been plenty of debate flying around recently, on Moviepilot and elsewhere, if there will ever be a time when all the great Marvel characters show up together on the silver screen. Now that we are in the middle of a golden age for comic books at the box office, a crossover or two seems like a no-brainer; however due to the character's film rights being owned by different, rival studios, that has always been an unlikely proposition. But! there are always rumours, and with coincidences like Quicksilver's presence in both Days of Future Past and, presumably, Age of Ultron, fan interest in an ensemble flick or two is running higher than ever. If such a miracle were to ever come to pass (knock on wood) my hope is that 1602 would make it to a theatre near you.

Written by geek-culture colossus Neil Gaiman, 1602 is a what-if story dealing with hypothetical situation of emerging super-humans in the 17th century Europe - 400 years earlier than usual. Featuring classic superheroes and villains such as Dr. Strange, Nick Fury, Daredevil, Captain America, Xmen/Brotherhood of Mutants, Doctor Doom, and many others, the characters must contend with hatred of "witchbreed" (as they are known to the public), plots against the Crown, betrayal, and of course the impending apocalypse. Somehow they must band together to stave off the end of the world, and discover who among them is responsible for such an event... The use of alternate timelines in Days of Future Past sets a precedent for an alternate timeline/reality story, and - let's face it - a 1602 movie would be badass.

In conclusion:

Honourable mention goes to The Martian Chronicles, The Wheel of Time, Batman Beyond, Moon Knight, Robert Silverburg's Face of the Waters, The Once and Future King, and many, many more. What's your favourite geeky franchise? Would it be amazing as a film? Why or why not? Who would you want to be involved? Go crazy in the comments, but remember:


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