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Director of BOYS DON'T CRY to direct Arthur C Clarke's science fiction epic CHILDHOOD'S END!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with one of the most exciting announcements I've seen in a while. Kimberly Peirce, the director of the amazing BOYS DON'T CRY... as an emotionally taut and telling story as has been told in years... is in final negotiations to direct Arthur C Clarke's wonderful CHILDHOOD'S END. Serious science fiction fans have loved this book for nearly 50 years now, and it is nice to see a director with such a strong sense for HONEST storytelling... who can wrench such emotions and create such tension to be brought to this project.

My only question right now is who is doing the screenplay. The article in Hollywood Reporter states that there is no screenwriter yet, but one will be brought on soon. Well, it has long been known that Clarke wrote his own screenplay for CHILDHOOD'S END. I've read this myself and loved it. This is the man that co-wrote the greatest science fiction script of all time... ahem2001ahem... I hope they at least look at and talk to Clarke about the possibility of using it. If they need a copy, they can go buy one HERE!!! Folks, this is absolutely the sort of science fiction news I love waking up to hear!

Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 1, 2002, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Brillian Decision!

    by EricAlan69

    I just read this on The Hollywood Reporter, too, and am *very* excite. Peirce's "Boys Don't Cry" was a masterfully directed emotional blowout, and I honestly can't wait to see how she'll handle one of Clarke's most enduring works. With Ang Lee directing "The Hulk", and now this....I absolutely *love* it when quality talent gets to helm a genre property. Bring it on!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 8:02 a.m. CST

    er "BrillianT"....

    by EricAlan69

    not "Brillian". I got all excited! // e.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by PandaJoe

    I always thought this book would make a much better HBO mini-series. I mean the decades the book spans will be tough to do, not to mention the diffculty of resting on a main character since the characters come and go over time. As a mini you could have, say, three nights of two hour movies and have the time shifts inbetween the parts. But hey, what do I know? Pierce rocks.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 8:48 a.m. CST

    Boys Don't Cry...

    by JohnnyBarrett

    ...was the most square, bland PC load of pandering, pity-the-protagonist filmmaking I've seen in years. If the subject matter wasn't so off-putting, people would undoubtedly see it for the after-school-special that it really is. Hillary Swank won an Oscar for dressing like a boy, the same way Meryl Streep wins an Oscar for doing an accent. Apparently, acting doesn't require insight or imagination, it need only provide a reasonable facsimile of something real. God forbid anyone actually surprise or entertain an audience with a "serious film." Anyway, I hope this doesn't come to pass. Arthur C Clarke is too great to withstand the interpretation of a 2nd rate moralizing director.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 9 a.m. CST


    by Aronld Scazziger

    Well, first lemme state that I don't have a problem with female directors. But, as far as I am aware of Mrs. Peirce's career, I never would have thought of HER directing a Sci-Fi EPIC. I'm not familiar with this novel, so does it require heavy f/x? Or is it more like a drama, where you don't see the aliens (Barry Levinson's 'Sphere' pops up in my mind, where the threat is not visualized, too. We all know that this movie failed on many levels.) So right now, I can't decide if she is a good choice. I think she has quite an appealing style of directing her movies, but the burden of an EPIC in this genre differs way to much from her previous work.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 9:45 a.m. CST


    by Aronld Scazziger

    You are disrespecting me? Let's go outside!

  • I haven't seen Boys Don't Cry, and I don't intend to...not because I dislike the story (hell, I live in Nebraska) or the direction or the performances, but it just doesn't interest me. I will accept that Kimberly Peirce did a great job in handling this tragic story of rank injustice, whatever you think of transvestites (because Teena Brandon never deserved the fate she suffered--God-damned rednecks!) ******* However, I wonder just how well Kimberly Peirce can handle something like Childhood's End, which is a major science fiction classic. I truly hope she used Clarke's screenplay, or at the very least considers it, maybe works with to improve it where needed. Otherwise, it could turn out to be a mish-mash of the original story, which, albeit a classic, is VERY BORING. And I can say that from the point of view of a longtime, dyed-in-the-wool SF fan. Who the heck chose Kimberly Peirce as the director anyway? And before they have chosen a screenplay or screenwriter? Geeezzzz, Hollywood!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Childhood's End is MY FAVRITE Sci-Fi Book

    by PKD

    I read it in high school - quite by accident - we were doing an independent reading assignment and I wanted to read Catcher In the Rye - but I was sick that day and they all got spoken for - I was so pissed - but I LOVED Childhood's End - one of the most emotionally complex Sci-Fi stories I have read to this day.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 10:27 a.m. CST

    so let me get this straight

    by thatguamguy

    The studio execs have hired somebody with one low-budget film under their belt to do a fairly high budgeted film (think of the cover of "Houses of the Holy", based on this book) based on an intelligent sci-fi novel? WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE CELEBRATING THIS??? This is exactly how Hollywood fucks projects up! They hire somebody who is in no position to say no to them and then slowly stupid up the film and lower the budget. Don't you recognize the signs?? I can almost guarantee this film won't happen, and I can't imagine it being any good by the time the studio's done with it.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Sorry, Bounce?

    by Heleno

    Mentioned in the same breath as Three Kings? Dost mine ears deceive me? Anyway, if classic sci fi is what the studios are after more power to their collective elbows! Its about time we got some more Clarke and Asimov and the rest on screen. Problem is, I agree with the above comments on the average Joe MOviegoer - the ones who genuinely thought that LotR was one film, the guy who came out of Royal Tenenbaums saying that his favourite bit was the lesbian scene. Clarke is really intellectual sci fi, and this is never going to do Star Wars business. I'm sure they're aiming for the slow-starting, long-burning cult market instead. If they ever deliberately aim for such a thing, this would be the time.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Low Budget to Big Budget = Good

    by Saluki

    I don't see the logic in someone claiming that someone should not go from a small film to a large project. Just look at the Wachowski Bros. From low budget "Bound" to big budget "Matrix" with stunning results. Granted, they made the source material, however this process is often what many directors have to go through. Prove yourself vaild enough to make a good small film and then "Kick/Punch it up a notch!" Oh well, I don't know this director or material, so I could just be talking out my...

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 11:33 a.m. CST

    So is MARILLION going to do the theme music?

    by SCOTT1458

    stick with the BBC radio adaption.....this will fail.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 11:50 a.m. CST

    "Boys Don't Cry" Director?

    by tbrosz

    Look for a scene where the humans discover Karellen is just a guy in a rubber suit, and kill him! Sorry, cheap shot. After seeing Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" I'll have a tough time prejudging directors in the future.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Unlimited Potential

    by jalora

    Okay, I just love this book to death. It's quite possibly the greatest piece of science-fiction ever. I can't wait to see some Overlords on their home planet! Can you imagine the dramatic tension you can get with those ships streaking down out of the clouds, when Karellen makes his appearance, when you first glimpse the Overmind? This movie has the potential to be amazing! Now, let's get going on Asimov's CAVES OF STEEL, starring Bill Macy as Lije Baley and Jude Law as R. Daneel Olivaw!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 12:10 p.m. CST

    is there cross dressing in this one too?

    by Tall_Boy

    I hope so.

  • If it gets the greenlight and starts principle photography the PR people will have scream that "Independence Day" and "V" ripped off this story. And Fluffygreycat, I had the same thought (SPOILER):" How DARE one society tell us we can't evolve anymore so we can be absorbed by an energy blob." I got your back when we storm the saucer.-----later-----m

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 12:37 p.m. CST

    so what...

    by SuperFinn it about then? pisses me off when everyone is supposed to be familiar with the story just because the book is fairly well known.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 1:06 p.m. CST

    "V" was like Childhood's End

    by peter303

    "V" was both a mini-series and regular series on US TV. The "borrowed" many of Clarke's ideas such as the initially benevolant aliens, ships over each major city, reptilian aliens, etc. Clarke's story was too intellectual for a continuing series. "V" had to spice up things (or damage them) with action conflict.

  • But Saluki beat me to the punch. Anyways, there's nothing that says Peirce (sp? But that's how it's spelled all over) can't pull this off.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Good book but...

    by Criticlysm

    C'mon, we're not even supposed to have any idea what the aliens look like until halfway through the book. What ends up being the main conflict, while incredibly thought provoking, is just simply not going to sit with movie audiences at all. The idea of the Overmind is just not viscerally satisfying. Maybe art house audiences, but then this needs a much larger budget than an indie flick. I'm sorry, good book, but a nightmare to adapt. (Maybe a miniseries like V, but hen budget again.)

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 2:22 p.m. CST

    You 'intellectuals' shouldn't knock "Joe Moviegoer"

    by Otto Parts

    ...because this fact may have escaped your collective attention, but Joe is the guy for whom movies are made, not just in Hollywood, but anywhere. No one has EVER called a meeting of filmmakers and said "I really want to make a movie for a handful of pseudo-intellectual talkback nerdlingers, I think we could at least break even". NO, NO, NO. All of you should think about your 5 favorite films and ask yourself if you honestly believe that NOT ONE person who could be described as an "average moviegoer" liked the movie, or could potentially like it, if they ever saw it. It pisses me off when twaddle like Titanic breaks all those BO records, but there are plenty of films which we all love, and which do pretty well at the box office. And to even raise an issue such as "this film won't do Star Wars-level business is beyond pointlessness. So, you mean this film won't become one of the hugest pictures of all time, therefore there's no point making it???!? Pardon? And who, pray tell, is going to ask "what was the devil doing there?" If this movie ever does get made, surely one of the principal challenges will be to explain how [SPOILER]our preconceived images and concepts of God and the Devil are a result of future memories which echoed back in time [I think Clarke says something like "reverberated around the closed circle of time"]; in fact most of the film's narrative would have to deal with this factor, so I think you'll find that the only people asking "why was the devil there" will be characters in the frickin' movie! Give the moviegoing public SOME credit, people...

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 3 p.m. CST

    The Matrix got nothing to do with it

    by thatguamguy

    You're talking about two completely different things. Before they did Bound, they established themselves in Hollywood as big-budget writers. Granted, the result was "Assassins", which most people completely ignore but, from what I remember, wasn't that bad. Anyway, my point is, they had a studio and they brought them a script and *got* a big budget approved and then fought to direct it themselves. This project is an example much closer to the "Three Kings" analogy, which for the record was Russell's third film. And suffered budget cuts all throughout, which Russell had to fight constantly (despite having stars backing him). What I am saying is that in order to get the budget that the book would neccessitate to do it even half right, the studio will attempt to force various changes onto the script (which unlike The Matrix or Three Kings has not even been written yet, unless they go with Clarke's which I think we all know is not going to happen). The director is in no position to argue because she has done one movie that cost two million dollars. They can fire her fairly easily and not many people will blink. So, I re-iterate, what's the reason to celebrate this film now? What indications have we ever had from any studio that any film like this would be made properly? Hell, even Stanley Kubrick opted in the end to just make up a new story inspired by Childhood's End (and with Clarke's help) rather than adapt what he thought couldn't translate properly.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 3:04 p.m. CST

    To Fluffygreycat

    by rubby

    Umm, I'm a Christian, Fluffygreycat and I foresee no problems with Childhood's End being made into a movie. I'm a fan of Clarke's 2001 novels so I was wondering what to read after I had finished reading Shatner's Trek novels but thanks to this awesome news posted on AICN (thanks gang) I now know what I'm gonna read next, I have a copy of the book and plan on reading it before the film comes out. I haven't seen BOYS DON'T CRY, it's on my must-see film list so I can't speak about the director being hired so I have no complaints about it. For a while yes I heard this was going to be a mini-series and even a movie picture but the director slated to do it passed away (forget his name). As for the whole V/ID4 comparisons, Clarke has discussed this in his up-dated foreward to the novel. I don't see the problem, people will notice the similarity but they'll find out that this film is unique unlike V or ID4. I hope to enjoy reading Clarke's novel, will give you my thoughts on it when more news of the project is posted and eagerly await this new film.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Am I alone in thinking...

    by BigJackieV

    ...that Clarke is overrated? At least from a STORYTELLING point of view? 2001 (the film, anyway, never read it) is just as much spectacle as it is philosophy. 3001 is more of the same. Childhood's End is full of amazing, provocative ideas... but as a two hour (hell, give it three hours) movie? I'll give it another read, but it's going to be damn tricky. And, like 2001, lots of philosophy. Well-suited for a novel where you can absorb things, but for the plot/image/sensory-based form of movies? I'd rather Fincher adapt Rendezvous with Rama. The last time anyone did anything Clarke-esque on screen was Speilberg (or was it Kubrick?) at the end of AI. I know, not a great comparison, but remember how well that ending went off with both average folk and the more intellectual among us. It was a bold, conceptual, philosophical ending that left most everyone going "What the fuck!?" Granted, most everyone who's read the book thinks of it as genius already, but how well can it be translated? Someone get Rama out of development hell!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 3:30 p.m. CST

    Clarke's books...

    by Sabreman

    I read most of Clarke's work up till his recent ones, and the feeling I always get from them is that, while they are intellectually provocative and packed with ideas, it often seems as though he writes fiction purely to get theories or ideas across. This results in his characters being fairly, well, characterless. I don't think I ever cared for a character in a Clarke novel except possibly the main characters in the Rama books, and apart from the first they were co-written with Gentry Lee. On another point someone raised - I do think that certain religious sectors will get in a mighty twist over this story, I don't mean regular sane people, I mean barking fundamentalists. But then who gives a shit what they think? Oh, hang on, isn't the President one?

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 4:55 p.m. CST


    by sopranofella


  • Feb. 1, 2002, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Aliens in the movies

    by 84 Charlie MoPic

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 6:03 p.m. CST

    News like this is why I go to this site...

    by Rindain

    This is a fucking dream come true. Childhood's End has always been one of those "they'll never do it" dream movies, a la Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, etc. Now let's hope for The Martian Chronicles and a Foundation trilogy!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 7:08 p.m. CST


    by jeff bailey

    Give someone credit for at least trying to give the property to an interesting director rather then fucking Roger Spottiswoode or Steven Hack...I mean Herek. But the problem with things like this are that the filmmakers are usually not sci fi fans (and look at Pierce. Does she look like a girl who reads science fiction?) and thus end up having contempt for the genre elements. A prime example of this is Rollerball (the first one). Jewison clearly didn't care if he made a decent sci fi movie. He just wanted to get his old Hollywood liberal agenda in. Then for some reason directors like this fall back on cliche and rarely have anything interesting art directionwise. Check out Fleder's "it's all blue so it must the future" vision in Imposter. Well, I hope Pierce can straddle the line. But remember Kim, Kubrick LOVED sci-fi for what it was.

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Asimov, anyone?...

    by Gregzero

    Well all this Arthur C. Clarke stuff is well and good, but I've always been of the opinion that as far as character development is concerned, Issac Asimov was the way to go. So I think a good idea would be to make some more movies based on HIS books. Oh, and don't put Robin Williams in 'em anymore!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 9:43 p.m. CST

    The look of the aliens is supposed to be a surprise? Then how c

    by Elgyn6655321

    The copy I read in high-school clearly showed a devil-alien holding a baby right on the cover!

  • Feb. 1, 2002, 11:52 p.m. CST

    Clarke's Disclaimer

    by emvan

    Several folks have noted that they disagreed with Clarke's notion of the end of humanity. Well, so did he! The book says something like "The opinions expressed in this book are not those of the author." Pretty remarkable. Done right, the end of this movie could be everything the end of A.I. wanted to be but wasn't; the second time I read the book, I was on the verge of tears throughout the last of the three sections, as the last surviving humans mourned the loss of their children, grown unnattural as they prepare to become part of the Overmind. Anyway, I thought BOYS DON'T CRY was the best movie of its year, and I also wonder whether the total ripoff of the novel's opening by ID4 (I would say "that execrable piece of crap ID4," but that would be an insult to crap) has permanently spoiled it.

  • Feb. 2, 2002, 2:21 a.m. CST

    The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city...

    by brianim8

    --intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: Unify Earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

  • Feb. 2, 2002, 4:09 a.m. CST

    This One Could be hard to pull off...

    by elecam

    As noted earlier the images of the ships appearing over the major cities has been used (taken from CHE by Independence Day) and they are already ingrained in the "film vocabulary". It could be tough to pull that off again. I would look forward to the scenes where the human (I forget his name) goes to the Overloard planet. If done right it could be stunning. Here's to Hoping.

  • Feb. 2, 2002, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Sounds peachy!

    by Wild At Heart

    I've not read this book, but as described ( thanks guys, I'm not afeared of spoilers - keep spoiling away ) it sounds absolutely fascinating and quite adult. Personally, I'd also love to see a full-length feature based on Clarke's "The Shining Ones", a short story about the evolution of super-intelligent squid. This could be a great showcase for some serious sub-aquatic cgi - dammit, I have NO intellectual pretensions about this, I just want to see somebody digitally create a 200 foot squid and have the beastie menace a deep sea industrial vessel. Let's go on this Hollywood! Back on topic, it'll be interesting as to how this venture will be marketed. If it succeeds maybe someone will get around to adapting "A Canticle for Leibowitz", a novel of apocalypse and rebirth. Over the years I've often mentally constructed scenes from this book as my little internal sci-fi epic dream project. I can tell you it's a frikkin' masterpiece- well in my mind anyway.

  • Feb. 2, 2002, 11:02 a.m. CST


    by CraigSchmidt

    Wasn't David Fincher going to direct Childhoood's End? I remember reading that he and Morgan Freeman had already made a short film (like a trailer or something) and that Fincher would start filming within 2 years.

  • Feb. 2, 2002, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Martian Chronicles= awesome-ness.

    by Yeroc7890

    Ray Bradbury's novel holds the exalted status as being the best Sci-Fi book ever. I've never read this book, CHILDHOOD'S END, but judging by what I've read here I probably will now... cooool. Of course, I read that "The Martian Chronicles" was a miniseries a long time ago, which seems wrong... I really hope it's wrong, anyway... that seems as wrong as Stephen King's IT miniseries. *shudders* Terrible.

  • Feb. 3, 2002, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Childhoods End ideas

    by Bowman

    Kurt vonnegut described 'Childhoods End' as the only work of genius to come out of the sci-fi genre. Whether you agree with the assessment or not ( I don't ) it is a weighty endorsement. Childhoods End addresses the sense of failure and loss felt by those who are surpassed by their children. Centrally, it articulates the thought that we are often prisoners of our own fears and inhibitions. It does that with space invaders, forked tails and telepathic children. Boys Don't Cry did an amazing job of expressing what lengths someone would go to to simply belong, connect with others. It took unfathomable behavior, sexual fraud, rape, denial and murder and gave a potent , belivable human face to each desparate act. When thinking of this movie being directed by Kim Pierce think less V and more Village of the Damned. A classic small picture about parents horrified by their children. If that ain't you cuppa tea, ther'e's always the thrillride bravura of Michael Bey and his ilk to numb you into submission. (Con Air 2, we were stupid enough to do it again!) Oh, and Harry, seeing you reenacting the infamous gopher scene from Basic Instinct is one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen.