Rendezvous With Rama is one of the great classics of science fiction*; written by Arthur C Clarke and published in 1972, Rama is about a giant, cylindrical space ark that flies through our solar system in the 22nd century. Realizing that the strange alien artifact will blow right through our neighborhood and be gone, Earth sends an exploration party who manage to enter the ship and discover a bizarre and amazing landscape inside. Rama is an incredible book because of the way it refrains from giving answers to many of the questions it raises, imbuing the novel with a sense of great cosmic and spiritual awe. It’s a perfect companion to Clark’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Rendezvous With Rama has also been one of the great unmade science fiction films, languishing in development for decades. Most recently it’s been in the hands of David Fincher and Morgan Freeman, but I thought their involvement had come to an end. Not so, it seems: Freeman has told MTV Movie Blog that he and Fincher are still attached.
“It’s a very intellectual science fiction film, a very difficult book to translate cinematically.” Freeman said. “[At least] we have found it very difficult to translate, to get ready for film.”
“There are no guns, no explosions,” he said. “Although it’s fiction, it’s all based on pure science.”
“But it’s worth doing,” he added, clearly delighted at the thought of his adaptation making its way to the big screen. “We’re still at it.”
I was never sure that Fincher was the right person for this cerebral, almost abstract story, but after seeing Zodiac I have no doubts any more. Fincher isn’t just right for the movie, he’s perfect for it. Too bad Zodiac hasn’t convinced anyone else of anything, since nobody went to fucking see it. Still, just the fact that Freeman and Fincher are still kicking around Rama makes me happy.
*and like many of the other great classics has been marred by unnecessary and inferior sequels.