Not long ago I talked about Julie Taymor’s upcoming take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Sounds like a great idea, especially switching the lead, Prospero, to Prospera in order to cast Helen Mirren.
But that’s not the most drastic reworking of the story to hit film. Way back when, Forbidden Planet ‘updated’ the play, staging the psycho-sexual action on a faraway planet complete with a robot and everything. An update of that update has long been in the offing, moving from studio to studio like a syphilitic career intern. Now J. Michael Straczynski is tackling the project for Silver Pictures and Warner Brothers.
Forbidden Planet was more inspired by The Tempest than a direct adaptation; the question now is how closely Straczynski will hew to one version of the story over another. And also, given his recent output, whether it’ll be worth a goddamn either way. Let’s see how the final film (assuming we do see it) handles a CGI-rendered version of the beast out of Dr. Morbius’s subconscious. The flickering, line-animated original was so nicely understated and creepy.