Spike Lee’s been in the news for the wrong reasons lately, but the Miracle at St. Anna trailer is interesting enough to help everyone move on. Now the announcement that Spike has optioned the book The Time Traveler: One Man’s Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality, by one of America’s first black Ph.Ds in theoretical physics, might wipe the slate clean.

While a memoir, not sci-fi, the book has certain fantastic leanings.
Author Ronald Mallet’s father died when he was ten, and young Ron soon
decided he’d build a time machine to save his father. Following through
became a lifelong obsession; he’s still working on it (and funded on
the project!) now.

The story has been told in an episode of This American Life
(it’s the second story in this link, provided by Troy) as well as in Mallet’s book, but Spike’s storytelling could make the
third take worthwhile, especially if he goes outside the norm in
visualizing young Mallett’s time travel hopes.

I’m not quite the Spike Lee fan that Devin is — he’s just made too many bad movies — but there aren’t many American filmmakers as fascinating as Lee. When he’s on point he can weave politics and culture into unlikely stories without going abrasively didactic. Added to the two steps into new genre ground represented by Miracle at St. Anna and Inside Man this could indicate that Lee is willing to both stretch himself a bit and make movies that audiences actually want to see.