Remembering Ray Bradbury And His Film Legacy

By Ryan Rigley

Today is certainly a sad day for mankind. The world has lost one of history’s greatest sci-fi writers, Ray Bradbury, a man whose works included “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” and “The Martian Chronicles.” Passing away at the age of 91, Bradbury lived a long and fruitful life that is truly something to be admired.

Although he was primarily a novelist, Ray Bradbury had quite a significant effect on the movie industry. In fact, he was probably more influential to film in general than you’d initially think.

Click past the jump for our list of Ray Bradbury’s greatest film achievements!

» Adaptations
There have been a ton of Bradbury classics adapted for film throughout the years, most notably being Francois Truffaut’s rendition of “Fahrenheit 451.” Bradbury even wrote the screenplays for adaptations of other authors’ work, like Josh Huston’s “Moby Dick.” To this day, Bradbury’s works remain in scattered development stages all across Hollywood; Paramount with “The Martian Chronicles,” Warner Bros. with “Illustrated Man,” and Universal with a “Fahrenheit 451″ remake!

» The Ray Bradbury Theater
Much like Rod Serling and Alfred Hitchcock, Ray Bradbury had a television series with which he gave us one standalone science fiction or fantasy story per episode. Spanning six entire seasons, each of the show’s 65 episodes were written by Bradbury himself. Most of these episodes were based on short stories or novels that Bradbury had written in the past.

» First 3-D Movie
In 1953, Ray Bradbury wrote the original treatment for “It Came From Outer Space,” Universal’s first ever 3-D movie. Based on Bradbury’s short story “The Meteor,” “It Came From Outer Space” tells the story of an alien spaceship that crash lands in Arizona and has an adverse effect on the local townspeople. Unfortunately, the actual screenplay for the film was written by Harry Essex, so suffice it to say it lacks Bradbury’s literary genius.

» On-screen Appearances
What better way to influence movies than to appear in them? Bradbury made several movie cameos throughout his life, most often appearing as himself. In addition to introducing each episode of “The Ray Bradbury Theater,” he appeared in the made-for-TV movie “Corwin” and the movie “Rick and Famous” as “Literary Party Guest.” That’s a hell of a lot more than you could say for the average novelist.

» Science Fiction Credibility
Before Bradbury came along, science fiction was merely something that you could read in a pulp magazine. Now, however, it’s a genre all its own. Classic sci-fi franchises such as “Star Wars” and “Star Trek” would never have been as immensely successful as they are had it not been for Bradbury. Even Steven Spielberg has been quoted as referring to Bradbury as “my muse for the better part of my sci-fi career…. On the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination he is immortal.” Indeed Bradbury will be sorely missed by people around the world of all ages.

Share your favorite Ray Bradbury memories in the comments below and on Twitter!