The Pros/Cons of a DiCaprio/Ridley Scott Brave New World

Leonardo DiCaprio owns the movie rights to that classic novel of a dystopian future, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? He sure does ... and who'da thunk it? And now word is that DiCaprio is teaming up with no less a science fiction legend than Ridley Scott to finally get this book up on the big screen. Can it possibly work?

Pros:

1. The book's been adapted before for TV but not as a feature film, so it could feel really fresh and vital, and not likely to cause audiences to moan, This? Again?

2. The book's potent satire on consumerism, conformity, education-as-indoctrination, and casual sex over meaningful emotional relationships could well ring even harder and truer today than they did 80 years ago.

3. Ridley Scott took another smart, complicated science fiction novel -- Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? -- and transformed it into Blade Runner without watering it down.

4. Leo and Ridley together again. Their previous collaboration, Body of Lies, was fantastic.

Cons:

1. Huxley's 1931 novel is of that thinky stripe of science fiction: It's not all spaceships and aliens and lasers, it's about people talking about ideas in a future world where much may have to be explained for movie audiences. I fear that either inane and unnecessary action sequences will be added to give it more blockbuster potential, or that the ideas will get lost in dull chatter between characters. Or both!

2. See No. 2 above. The satire might be too potent and hence could be the first of the novel's vital ideas to get cut. Though there'd really be no point to the movie without them ... but when has that ever stopped Hollywood?

3. See No. 3 above. A lot of people -- me not among them -- think Blade Runner is pretentious tripe. I don't understand that attutide, but the fact that the film is considered a classic today doesn't mean Hollywood won't be wary of making a "literary" science fiction movie.

Will Ridley Scott's Brave New World Work?(polls)


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

MaryAnn Johanson gets her think on at FlickFilosopher.com. (email me)