Monday, February 4, 2013

AMC has optioned The Sparrow (and Children of God)

Somehow this news passed me by until just this morning, but AMC has optioned Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow for a television series.

This is one my very favorite books and I have mixed feelings about it. Since this book only came onto my radar because of the great enthusiasm for it from book bloggers I figured you all would share my feelings!

On the one hand, AMC is better than say...NBC or something. Also, I do think the story is suited for television--I can really see it working as a series. (though I have some questions about how they would do it which I'll mention in a minute) I've always been sad that so much money got wasted on Avatar when The Sparrow is an infinitely more interesting and complex story about space and other cultures in space. It's hard, despite my knowledge and awareness that TV shows and movies are always different from books to not feel a glimmer of excitement about this. I mean I love this book. I love that maybe more people would want to read it and talk about it and discuss its ideas.


One of the things that makes the book so incredibly compelling is the use of flashbacks, we already know at the beginning that things did not go as hoped and there's a dual narrative, so to say...the present and the past. Also, the characters are some of the best book characters ever, I loved them all and their relationships with each other and I can imagine that I would love to see that on screen, but BIG SPOILER IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT they all die. And that would be a really hard thing to sell in a TV show, I think. Basically, I can imagine them using the premise of the book without telling the story of the book. And that's disappointing.

Also, it would need a big budget. And the fact that it's been optioned by AMC is worrying only because of their treatment of The Walking Dead a show about to see it's third showrunner in four seasons and despite being their biggest ratings winner they were willing to cut its budget for Mad Men.

I guess it would mostly depend on who is behind the show creatively, if they love this book in all its complexity like I do. You know? And of course it might never get made.

Any thoughts about this fellow lovers of the book? Any thoughts on people you would want to see working on this show either behind the scenes or on camera?

This is actually making me think I might read the sequel. I haven't before now, because I really didn't think it needed one, but I don't know, maybe it's time.


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