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Will Hindmarch
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 12:02 pm:   

One day, Richard Morgan will be one of those writers whose stories are all available to read or to watch, I think. The producers of the "Aeon Flux" movie had this to say in a recent interview at www.chud.com:

"Q: What are you working on (with your partner) besides this?

Phil: Weíre working on another kind of science fiction movie for Warner Bros called Market Forces. Itís based on a British science fiction novel by Richard Morgan. Itís kind of a near future Ė 20 or 30 years in the future Ė when everything has become like Iraq. Itís a very political novel. Itís about a world run by Halliburton or Bechtel. Itís kind of almost a science fiction version of The Firm, where someone who is in one of these companies, the golden boy who has risen through the ranks, basically gets a conscience and starts to realize that people are trading off of misery and war and conflict."

Anybody else seen some news on Morgan movies? (I imagine there's not a lot that you can tell us at this point, Richard?)
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Matthius Hand
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 05:19 am:   

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006534/

This is Phil Hay's IMDb entry. No mention of Market Forces in pre-production, but it must be very early stages...

There was some mention ages ago about someone working on the Altered Carbon script, but I can't remember who that might have been.
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richard
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 08:23 am:   

Hi guys - the original writer on the AC script was John Pogue (of Ghost Ship and Rollerball the Remake fame) - but I understand he's now moved on to other things and they've got someone else working on it

As far as MF is concerned, you've just posted the full extent of my knowledge too. Still, it does appear to be moving forward faster and more definitely than AC - then again, it was originally a screenplay, before it became a novel, so maybe that's not so surprising. I feel for the people who are trying to shoehorn the complexities of Kovacs's universe into a two hour movie format. Not a task I'd like to take on at all!
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Matthius Hand
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 05:14 am:   

Ah, yes - I knew I remembered his CV being debateable to say the least.

And I agree on the 'filmability' of MF over AC. It reads much more like a screenplay than the Kovacs novels, obviously due to its origins.

If/when AC is/was made, I can imagine there would be a lot of stripping down involved - thinking about it, I think things like the Kadmin stuff, the Catholicism, maybe even the Riker sleeve stuff, would all come out. Not a good thing as a fan of the book, but perhaps neccessary for the change of format. Like you say - not an easy task at all...
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richard
Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 - 03:50 am:   

Well, I thought the Rollerball remake was pretty good - it had a gritty, noirish realism that I much prefered over the stylised filmed-in-seventies-o-vision take of the original. Also, I think it was making a different comment than the original. The James Caan movie was saying basically (and rather anaemically) that there's a violent tribal element in human nature that won't ever go away, even if you have a perfectly balanced and harmonious society. And that's fair comment, but it was a rather dull, tiring journey to get there. In contrast, the remake was slick, fast-moving and sexy, and it was saying rather more specifically that Big Screen Sport is a nasty, blood thirsty, money-grabbing game which treats players as disposable fodder while kidding them they're heroes, and views its audience as mindless idiots to be manipulated while kidding them it cares. The general social corollary to that is seen in the sweeping shots of million dollar prestige sports cars sweeping along avenues lined with beggars in cardboard boxes - in other words, while all these idiots are lined up cheering for their imaginary heroes, those who run society are fucking us all over big time. I think this is probably a more valuable message than that of the original movie, because it cuts so much closer to the bone of what's going on here and now in our own societies. In its own somewhat compromised way, its a call to revolutionary arms (whereas the Caan movie comes across more like some bloodless social scientist's assessment of abstract human nature). To m, the remake felt, above all, far more *angry* about things.

Ghost Ship, on the other hand, I agree, was a total piece of shit
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Sunday, March 13, 2005 - 05:19 pm:   

Richard-- on Amazon, looks like you're getting a lot of idiots posting negative reviews, mostly people who seem to disagree with social commentary in the book and are oblivious to satire.

Everyone else -- Go post some good reviews for Richard to balance out those bozos.
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richard
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 03:12 am:   

Yeah, I saw your effort to set the record straight there - thanks, mate, much appreciated. You and Harriet Klausner both.

But as I said over on the Woken Furies thread, I'm taking all those furiously negative comments as oblique compliments - because it's pretty clear that I got through to those people at some level, probably the political. If you sift the language, you can usually find the clue: "I should....know better than to buy fiction that has a 'suggested reading' post-script....that features Chomsky and Michael Moore" , "an anti-globalization tract very thinly disguised as a novel, and it is dumber than you can imagine" - I think it's clear where these guys are coming from.

The other, more considered lukewarm reviews, well, fair enough, clearly MF wasn't to everyone's taste, it is a departure from the Kovacs books, so I guess that's to be expected. Some people think MF is the best thing I've done, some couldn't see it. Equally, some people thought Broken Angels was better than Altered Carbon, some didn't. You can't please all of the people all of the time - and if you're any kind of decent writer you wouldn't want to anyway, because hopefully what you're doing is externalising a vision, just not churning out marketable product. Got to take the rough with the smooth, one man's horses are worth a poisoned chalice, better a cliche in the hand than nine proverbial stitches and marry in haste or something....
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JJA
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 10:56 am:   

No problem. If I wasn't so lazy, I would have written a real review rather than the basic rah-rah thing I posted. :-)

Incidentally, what's up with Amazon listing the phrases "cordoned zones" and "fucking zones" right under your name?

Oh, btw, on the Asimov's forum, there's been some discussion of you and your work (starting with someone whooping with joy for having received his copy of WOKEN FURIES). You can read it here: http://www.asimovs.com/discus/messages/2/2892.html?1110825671.

It kind of devolves at some point to a discussion on the nature of self and the plausibility of immortality via digital consciousness transfer (partly my fault), but still might be good for the ego. I think pretty much everyone who posted over there enjoyed your books.
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Will Hindmarch
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 10:36 pm:   

I'm thinking, now, that while Market Forces is a story about things that are quite topical for Americans, it's not quite a story that a lot of Americans want to hear right now. The American opinion of globalization is in flux. A lot of us aren't so sure what we think of money, ethics and the outside world right now.

So, it seems to me that Market Forces has landed in the minefield between the Left and the Right. It's story has a Leftist vibe, but its protagonist is reasonably Right-leaning. That's a great way to get an overreaction out of an American audience, I think. (Had it been Right-Right or Left-Left it probably would've been loved on one side and ignored by the other.)

That the book has provoked such extreme responses just means that it's working, in my opinion. Market Forces isn't a yarn in the same way that Altered Carbon was. Folks expecting that are gonna rattled, and only some of us like being rattled.

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