How Hollywood’s Unoriginality Could Revive Great Ideas

Hollywood is adaption-crazy. This is somewhat understandable: Hollywood is risk-adverse and adaptions build buzz. Could you imagine “The Hunger Games” done without the book buzz behind it? The recent spate of “Fairy Tale” adaptions is a case of a seemingly safe trend, one that delivers and gets people’s attention (“It’s Hansel And Grettel In SPACE!”)

However at some point, Hollywood is going to tap a lot of big adaptions out as well as strip-mine our culture. Admittedly I see it taking 5-10 years, but somewhere in that point they might start looking at “lesser” properties. Such properties may be easily available, have enough buzz/mindshare to be worth it, and after awhile people may just be sick of “remade from something I heard of before.”

This is something I think could be a good thing.

There’s many things I remember reading and seeing over the years that may not be famous, but could make delightful adaptions.

“The Cenotaph Road” series by Robert Vardeman, erratic in quality (and at times taste), the simple idea is a series of fantasy worlds connected by the tombs of heroes, whose heroism leads to a gate between realities. Yeah, “Sliders” with giant spiders and headstrong heroes, money in the bank.

Or the “McGill Feighan” series by Kevin O’Donnell. A series where an infant is temporarily kidnapped and swallowed by an amoeboid alien who then just let him go? The infant grows up to be a “Flinger,” natural teleporters who bind a rather erratic galactic alliance together? The fact that his kidnapper may have been sent by a being some think of as God? Yeah, sign me up!

I’m sure you have a lesser-known, obscure, but brilliant property you’d love to see adapted. I can see Hollywood, when the Big Names have played out and the big trends have disappointed them, taking a look back. I can see them seeking for that mixture of “tested” but not “big name.”

This could actually be good. It brings attention to things that deserve it, and it may, if possible, force Hollywood to consider that horrible thing “originality.”

OK maybe I’m going a bit far, but still, a man can dream.

If this trend happens, you, progeeks, might be there to make it work.  You know the obscure properties, the technologies, the marketing potential.  Heck, you might even be able to prepare some public-domain projects now . . .

So what out there is obscure but worth Hollywood attention?

Steven Savage