Ringworld on Film (Larry Niven)

Discussion in 'Larry Niven' started by padders, Jan 2, 2001.

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    padders

    padders System Lord of ASciFi.com

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    Reported in tv zone issue #269

    "Phil Tippett, the Oscar-winning animatior and special effects creator whose work has graced such outstanding Science Fiction films are The Empire Strikes Back, Robocop and Starship Troopers, it to make his directorial debut with a feature-film adaption of Larry Niven's Ringworld.

    Based on Niven's first book in his series, the film details the discovery of an ancient, million-miles-wide habitable ring-like structure constructed by aliens and which surronds Earth's entrie solar system.

    Tippett told the Holywood Reporter, "we are going to pull out all the stops. using CGI to create a roller-coaster ride of thrills, adventure and fun. We are going to take moviegoers to a place never before seen or imagined." "

    Intersting.. but around Earth? um... there is not meant to be any planets are there?
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    There is a full discussion of whether this film is actually being made, whether the ringworld can be around the Earth or a mistake in the reporting, how that could be possible if it is, and the implications to the films' version of known space versus Larry Nivens book version @ http://www.listproc.bucknell.edu/cgi-bin/archdex?list=larryniven-l

    Sometimes Larry Niven himself posts replies here.
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    According to Nessus who hosts the Larry Niven Web Ring:
    It looks like the project is going to go ahead. So far the producer/director team of Phil Tippet (Starship Troopers) and Robert Mandell have been named. Another rumour, which hasn't yet been confirmed is that Yun-Fat Chow (an Asian actor starred in Anna and the King opposite Jodie Foster) has been approached about playing Louis Wu in the film.
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    Yun-Fat Chow has reportedly now read the Ringworld books and is reportedly 'interested' in playing Louis Wu in a film version. He is quite old for the part. Louis Wu, although over 200 years old, is meant to look like a 20 year old due to his use of Boosterspice and medical technological advances. At least he is Asian, so there is some continuity there.
     
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    Tabitha

    Tabitha Save Angel!

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    Any more recent info on this? I have just re-read the book.
    I think Chow Yun Fat would be a good Louis. It would be hard to find many people in their twenties that could convincingly act like they had 200 years of experience under their belts - I think an older actor would be preferable.
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    The link to the archive I gave is now dead, because it was moved. I'm still subscribed to the list though so I get news.

    Apparently, when Larry Niven made the comments that he did, at a conference, nothing was yet finalised. The person who holds the rights to the film was upset about this being leaked out, and they withdrew. So, now it is permanently on hold.

    I think that I read another news report that Chow Yun Fat had read the script and made some comments on it though, so it wasn't just Larry Niven's fault that it leaked out.

    Whoever, owns the film rights sounds like a ... well I'm not allowed to tell you what I think. Hollywood -- It's really all about money and acting like spoilt children, as usual what fans want counts for nothing.
     
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    Tabitha

    Tabitha Save Angel!

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    Do you think that making this on film is actually possible? I mean in the book, all the characters repeatedly talk about just how hard to process the idea of such an enourmous land mass is. I think it might just get ruined...

    Although with lower expectations a tv series might be something I could see happening.
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    There must be an actual script in existence somewhere, so I guess the answer is yes.

    If you just mean about showing the size, they only explore a very small part in the first 'Ringworld' book, so nothing difficult there. Special effects would show the Ringworld off into the distance to give scale.

    I think a TV series would be a good idea though. More time to develop the characters, and visit more maps on the surface.
     
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    The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Zelazny's Worlds

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    I think the book has great visual potential that wouldn't be realised in a TV Series, though may do in a film, as someone pointed out, there would be more scope for character dev in a series

    I think a CGI world might seem unspectacular, if a dir can come along and make something as visual as say 'Tron - Steven Lisberger - 1982' then i'd run along
     
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    Lensman

    Lensman Space Opera Lover

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    If you think it has to be "unspectacular" just because it's CGI, check out the "world-building chamber" scene in the feature film "Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". A lousy film overall, but that scene--!

    Heavy use of CGI is the only way to do justice to Ringworld. Two of the main characters are decidely non-human aliens, and I'd hate to see Speaker represented by a man in a fur coat. Doing justice to Ringworld would require a huge FX budget. There's no way it could be done properly for TV.

    I question a film version of this novel will ever be done properly. The budget would be so high it would need to be a "blockbuster", and those all have a large amount of action. Ringworld is more about the mind-stretching ideas and concepts involved, not so much about action.
     
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    Chmee

    Chmee 100% Angry Bunny

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    The Ringworld series is one of my favourite of all time. I know that if a film were to come out i would go and see it immediately but i wouldnt want one i would be terrified that they would ruin it.

    i think its best left to our imagination.
     
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    Ice fyre

    Ice fyre Dark Lord

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    I think a Ringworld film could be possible I think a series would be much better though, imagine a series with a good budget (Dr Who has shown that good effects can be done on a relitivley tiny buget compared to a Summer blockbuster) my idea would be a series taking us through some known space events.

    First season Protector with some of the Gil the ARM stories interspersed, maybe having the protector storyline underpin the series as an ark. That would require some re working as I believe they are quite far apart.

    Second series Ringworld itself some ground work with some of his later Known space ideas maybe the great man himself could write a couple of wee new stories, knowing his sense of humour (I think he's quite funny) giving us an excuse for some great animtronics CGI and a little model and Matte work?

    Directors? Maybe Mr Jackson would be finished with his innumerable LOTR work some time, maybe he would like a crack at some TV work, Straszynski (sorry if thats spelt wrong) after his work on B5 just dont let him write!:eek:

    Any thoughts?
     
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    Dave

    Dave Wherever I Am, I'm There Staff Member

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    I think it's a franchise that still cries out for a TV or movie series to be made. I would also worry about them dropping it and breaking it though. It would need someone like Peter Jackson who faithfully adapted LOTR and the King Kong remake. I'll glad you resurrected this thread as I had forgotten about the film project (and I no longer subscribe to the list - which has moved servers again.)
     
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    yngvi

    yngvi I am not a Malmsteen

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    I would go and see a film of 'Ringworld' as long a it had a good budget etc. The plot is actually quite simple so I don't think it would have to be cut too much, but as long as it turned out to be a good tale I would take it for what it is.

    If it turned a few new people on to Niven's written work it would be a bonus!
     
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    Ice fyre

    Ice fyre Dark Lord

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    The problem with a film is it would leave the aduience with a great deal of confusion. As I mentioned a series could be used to play out the Gill the Arm short stories and others. I think the short stories he has written could explain things like how the Kzin were first encountered and Ringworld could be a film in itself providing the end of the story.
     
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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    Commercially the Man-Kzin War stories might be more viable. Scary aliens and space battles galore!
     
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    mikodragonfly

    mikodragonfly New Member

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    I seriously doubt that anyone could pull off a movie encompassing the scope of Ringworld without eliciting mostly disappoinment, anytime soon. Still, if someone makes it - I'll watch it.
     
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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    The Ringworld movie project keeps dying, which is too bad.
    I think that with today's technology the Ringworld is ripe for a "300" type of treatment. This showed that middle grade actors and lots of CGI can make an entertaining movie.
     
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    iansales

    iansales Active Member

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    Er, 300 was rubbish.
     
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    Roadkiller

    Roadkiller New Member

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    While I don't agree, that's also irrelevent.

    The point is that with relatively little money a film could be made that would do Ringworld some justice. 300 (whatever you think of it) was filmed in a warehouse in Montreal. Almost everything except the actors was added later with CGI. It had a distinct look and was very popular.

    Ringworld could easily be done the same way.
     

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