Culture

End-of-‘16 Sci-Fi Roundup: Starship Troopers Redux and More

Casper Van Dien in ‘Starship Troopers’/Image © 1997 TriStar Pictures

In this latest pop culture round-up: Robert Heinlein is surging with Starship Troopers, ‘Y: The Last Man’ has found its showrunner, ‘The Inhumans’ are coming to ABC, and more. Let’s have a look.

According to an exclusive from the Hollywood Reporter in early November, the sci-fi classic Starship Troopers is on deck for another adaptation. The 1959 Robert Heinlein novel was originally adapted in 1997 by Paul Verhoeven. Despite the mixed success of its initial release, that film became something of a cult classic in the mold of Verhoeven’s other ultraviolent sci-fi satires like “Robocop” and “Total Recall.” The story centers on a young soldier named Johnny Rico as he moves up through the ranks of a futuristic military fighting a race of alien bugs. Columbia Pictures is behind this latest adaptation and are reportedly looking to hew more closely to Heinlein’s original novel.

Speaking of Robert Heinlen, November was a good month for the celebrated writer. Besides the Starship Troopers news, Heinlein’s most famous novel – Stranger in a Strange Landis now in development as a TV series for Syfy. Like more than a few of Heinlein’s works, Stranger in a Strange Land debuted to decidedly mixed reviews but eventually became an incredibly influential piece of sci-fi fiction. The novel tells the story of a man born on Mars – Valentine Michael Smith – who returns to Earth. Stranger in a Strange Land follows Mike’s interactions with the people and cultures of Earth and the ways that he ultimately transforms them.

The first official trailer for “Ghost in the Shell” – a reimagining of the seminal 1989 manga – debuted at a global launch party in Tokyo in November 13. White-washing controversy aside, the atmospheric and action-heavy trailer should leave fans excited for the upcoming adaptation. The film will pull elements from the entire Ghost in the Shell franchise including the various anime and the original manga by Shirow Masamune. For better or worse, director Rupert Sanders is not backing away from the casting controversy swirling around the film and is standing by his decision to cast Scarlet Johansson as Major Kusanagi, although the character will simply be called “The Major” for the film. When pressed on the issue, Sanders called Johansson the best actress of her generation and “a cyber punk queen.” Tell us below in the comments: Where do you stand on the casting?

In an interesting bit of news from Marvel Entertainment, an eight-episode TV series based on The Inhumans is in the works at ABC and the first two episodes of the series will premiere in IMAX theaters in 2017. The Inhumans, originally created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1965, are an isolated superhuman race with particularly unique abilities. The Inhumans has been at the center of a large push from Marvel over the last couple of years featuring prominently in several comic book events, their own ongoing series, and in ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Beyond the IMAX partnership, what’s most intriguing is that, according to the Hollywood Reporter, the series will not be a spin-off of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” nor is it thought to be related to the planned “Inhumans” feature film that Marvel recently pulled from its upcoming roster.

Finally, FX’s adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s classic series, Y: The Last Man, has found its showrunner. Michael Green, who is also the showrunner for the upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, will also co-write the script with Vaughn. The sixty-issue, critically acclaimed series follows a man named Yorick Brown and his pet monkey – the only two male mammals left on the planet after the mysterious and simultaneous death of all other mammals with a Y-chromosome. The long awaited project is still in development, but is reportedly being eyed for a series adaptation.