Latest Publisher’s Lunch on why science fiction books are hard to film:
“It took almost 44 years to bring Isaac Asimov’s I, ROBOT to the screen and “the story bears little resemblance to Asimov’s work,” so the LA Times looks at how “Hollywood loves science fiction movies, but it’s seriously conflicted about science fiction books.” They say only two of the 51 novels to win the Hugo Award have been turned into movies.
One case study cited is the tortured path of the classic ENDER’S GAME, which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Optioned several times, right now it’s in development at Warner Bros., with Wolfgang Peterson attached to direct. Author Orson Scott Card says, “The problems that have plagued ‘Ender’s Game’ are the same that have plagued other award-winning science fiction books. Science fiction is set in a world contrary to our reality, so you have to have an explanation. And explanation time on screen is unbelievably dull.”