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George Clooney bringing cyberpunk classic The Diamond Age to Sci Fi Channel - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 2:31PM
Diamonds are a geek's best friend.Sci Fi announced that George Clooney will be part of the creative team bringing the retro cyberpunk book 'The Diamond Age' to the channel. Neal Stephenson will adapt the miniseries from his novel, which I'll basically sum up as the adventures a young girl goes through as she comes into the possession of a talking "smartbook." Clooney and partner Grant Heslov will executive produce.

This is one of my favorite cyberpunk novels, and it may be blasphemy to some of you, but I like it a lot more than William Gibson's 'Neuromancer.' I'm glad Stephenson is writing this, and it'll be interesting to see what they manage to come up with. It's a fairly epic book in scope, following a girl from a very young age and stays with her as she blossoms into womanhood, so thankfully it's getting a miniseries treatment, and not "movie of the week" status.

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I get so scared when an author adapts his own work. It's such a crapshoot, and nothing in a Neal Stephenson novel makes for easy adaptation. It's even worse with a TV movie: Usually they're horrible, but Sci-Fi has a better track record than most.

That being said, The Diamond Age is such a complicated novel loaded with such complicated themes that it's tough to imagine anyone else adapting it. And it's such a good novel that the potential for a really great adaptation exists. I just hope everyone involved realizes that they're gonna have to bring their A-games to do it justice. And if they do, then sign me up, I want to see the diamonds bloom.

January 15 2007 at 3:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I too have re-read both Snow Crash and The Diamond Age in the past year (actually, listened to unabridged audiobooks), and agree that The Diamond Age stands the test of time much better. It is a more richly textured book, and the characters have a depth that those in Snow Crash (or Zodiac, or his Stephen Bury novels) lack.

It is fantastic that Stephenson himself is writing the treatment. I only hope he stays on-theme a bit better than Douglas Adams did when given the opportunity to adapt his work for other media.

January 13 2007 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How many elements of the story will be culled for the sake of getting it all on tv. I honestly cannot see them including The Drummers in any way, and without them how do you end the story?

January 12 2007 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

I too would love to see Snowcrash on film (it would have to be a mini-series, making it a movie would take out too much) but would the Multiverse (created when AOL and BBS were all that were widely known as the internet) work in our current internet laden world?

January 12 2007 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Snow Crash was the better novel, but this material would make a better mini-series.

January 12 2007 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great news! This is always the first book I recommend to young women and teens getting into scifi. It's a great depiction of a woman in a genre that often sidelines or pigeonholes us gals.

January 12 2007 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wonderful news! I've wanted something by Stephenson to get adapted for ages, and knowing that The Diamond Age is going to get made is very cool news.

Off topic, but upon rereading Snow Crash, the book loses a lot of its initial wow factor. I like The Diamond Age for it's more mature theme. Good pick, Clooney.

January 12 2007 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shoot, would love to see a Snow Crash, but this is still exciting :)

January 12 2007 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love this book, and I remember trying to think about how it would work in a movie setting (maybe around the time of "Gattaca," when dystopian future movies were en vogue). The scale of the story does seem to demand a miniseries framework, and it'll be interesting to see if George can avoid the shlock factor that tends to mar Sci Fi's cinematic endeavors (much respect for their series, though).

January 12 2007 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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