Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Morgan Freeman: RENDEVOUS WITH RAMA Still In The Works!

MTV got a chance to talk to Morgan Freeman during the recent RED junket and he confirmed rather clearly that Arthur C. Clarke's RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA is still in the works.

Freeman: "That's a gotta be done movie. We just have to figure out how to do it. We've been trying for 15 years now to get a script, and you would think that it is easier than it is? It's not. It's really hard. (David) Fincher is still part of that conversation."

Check out the whole interview (rather short) below:

Here is the storyline from the novel (POTENTIAL SERIOUS SPOILERS):
The "Rama" of the title is an alien star ship, initially mistaken for an asteroid and named after the king Rama who is considered to be the seventh avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu (Clarke mentions that by the 22nd century, scientists have used the names of all the Greek and Roman mythological figures to name astronomical bodies, and have thus moved on to Hindu mythology). Asteroid 31/439 is detected by astronomers in the year 2130 while still outside the orbit of Jupiter. The object's speed (100 000 km/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate that this is not an object on a long orbit around our sun; it comes from interstellar space. Astronomers' interest is piqued when they realize that this asteroid not only has an extremely rapid 4 minute rotation period but it is quite large in size for an asteroid. An unmanned space probe dubbed Sita is launched from the Mars moon Phobos, and photographs taken during its rapid flyby reveal that Rama is a mathematically perfect cylinder, 20 kilometres in diameter and 54 kilometres long, made of a completely featureless material. In other words, this is humankind's first encounter with an alien space ship.

The manned solar survey vessel Endeavour is sent to study Rama, as it is the only ship close enough to do so in the brief period of time Rama will spend in our solar system. Endeavour manages to rendezvous with Rama one month after the space ship first comes to Earth's attention, when the giant alien spacecraft already is within Venus' orbit. The 20+ crew, led by Commander Norton, enters Rama and explores the vast 16-km wide by 50-long cylindrical world of its interior, but the nature and purpose of the starship and its creators remains enigmatic throughout the book.

The only lifeforms are the cybernetic "biots" who completely ignore the humans, and who are busy all about the spacecraft, appearing to be prepping Rama for a major upcoming maneuver. After several adventures and misadventures, including a 1 gigaton nuclear missile fired from Mercury with the intent of destroying Rama, Endeavour is finally forced to leave a few weeks later as Rama moves too close to the Sun for Endeavour's cooling systems to compensate. Rama is then flung out of the solar system toward an unknown location in the direction of the Large Magellanic Cloud, harnessing the Sun's gravitational field with its mysterious "space drive" for use in a slingshot maneuver.

I REALLY hope this thing gets made. Freeman has earned the right to champion a movie like this to fruition and quite frankly it deserves to be made. This classic novel belongs on the big screen and in stereoscopic 3D!

More when I get it... Thanks for the heads up Adam!

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