It seems as if Denis Villeneuve can’t keep his eyes from the stars. The director of 2021’s Dune has been signed on to direct another science fiction adaptation. This time the subject will be Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.
The project was picked up by Alcon Entertainment, who previously worked with Villeneuve on Prisoners and Blade Runner 2049. The rights to the novel had previously been under the control of Morgan Freeman and his partner Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment. The film has been a passion project of Freeman since the early 2000s, but the project was stuck in development hell for many years.
It seems as if the film is finally going to get its wings with this new partnership at last. Alcon will be financing the project. While co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce. Both Freeman and McCreary are still on the production team. The two had this to say in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the project.
“Denis’ vision for Rama felt completely aligned with Arthur’s wishes, so we are confident that teaming with our producing partners Andrew and Broderick at Alcon is the right next step in this over-20-year odyssey!”
Rendezvous with Rama follows a group of human astronomers in the 2130s. When a giant 31-by-12 mile cylindrical alien starship enters the solar system, the crew sets off to uncover its secrets. The novel was published in 1973 and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release. Arthur C. Clarke is most well known for his book 2001: A Space Odyssey, he assisted in the film adaptation with Stanley Kubrick and co-write the screenplay. 2001 would grow to become one of the most celebrated science fiction films of all time. Fans of Clarke or Kubrick might see this as a good sign since Villeneuve’s previous works, such as 2016’s Arrival, have been compared with the works of Kubrick.
Denis Villeneuve’s Eyes to the Stars
Villeneuve has certainly been making a name for himself, particularly with the success of Dune. Despite the tense back and forth around the film’s release, a sequel has officially been greenlit by Warner Bros. The film was initially scheduled for November 2020, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Villeneuve made frequent requests and statements in the meantime to promote the film theatrically. The film was eventually released on October 21, 2021, both theatrically and streaming on HBO Max. The film only adapted the first half of Frank Herbert’s classic novel, the sequel is expected to cover the second half and complete the story. Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove had this to say with The Hollywood Reporter on Villeneuve’s partnership for Rama.
“This is one of the most intelligent works of fiction in the genre; it poses as many questions as it does answers, and is a work for our time. It’s perfectly fitted to our friend and collaborator Denis’ brilliant sensibilities and specifically to his love and passion for science fiction. We are also pleased to work with Morgan and Lori, who have a long-standing passion for this IP.”
While Villeneuve is still hard at work in the sandy world of Arrakis, time will soon bring him to the wandering Rama. And hopefully, soon, audiences will finally be able to see it on the silver screen.