I’m all for supporting fan projects to do with China Miéville’s works, and this one looks pretty cool. Mythos Films and director Joshua Gates are adapting China’s short story “Familiar” into a short film, and have turned to Kickstarter to get funding for their practical effects. Here’s the link to the project’s Kickstarter page.
I’m very much in favour of the recent movement to bring back practical effects in a big way (see, for instance, the crowd-funded horror film Harbinger Down, as well as the myriad practical effects going into the new Star Wars film). It’s getting to be a rare art-form these days, but there’s just something about well-made practical effects that shine over CGI. You just need to compare John Carpenter’s incredible The Thing to its recent, forgettable CGI prequel to see what I mean.
The director of this short film feels the same way:
The Familiar was never meant to be shot with digital effects. It must be brought to life with real tools, real parts. It must live. It must breathe! […] Each component will be hand crafted with love and rendered using the latest in animatronics and puppetry.
That’s awesome. “Familiar” is a gross, body-horror-esque dark fantasy story, and this approach to film-making is going to serve it well.
So far on the campaign page there’s a creepy trailer, which captures the tone of the original story, as well as some concept art. I’m sure there will be more updates as the campaign goes on. It ends on November 16, and I wish them all the best with the fundraising!
Check out the brand new trailer and 3-minute clip from the upcoming TV adaptation of one of my absolute favourite fantasy novels, The Magicians by Lev Grossman.
I’ve blogged a few times in the past about this project, but I’ve decided I won’t be bringing exhaustive coverage or analysis in the future — I just don’t have the time. I will continue to make quick posts like this for things like trailer releases, and my thoughts on the show when it finally airs in January next year.
Anyway, this new footage looks amazing, and I am totally thrilled for the series to begin!
Edit: And here’s the 1-hour long panel about the show at New York Comic Con.
Just a quick update: BBC have issued a press release confirming that they are going ahead with making a four-hour miniseries based on China Miéville’s The City & the City. Exciting! I talked a little more about my thoughts on the project when I first caught wind of it back in February. Check out the press release and my older post for more info.
It will come to BBC Two in the near future… fingers crossed for next year. Maybe next we’ll hear some casting news, which will be exciting! I’ll bring all the updates as the project continues.
In tentative, but potentially exciting, news, it’s been revealed that screenwriter Tony Grisoni is adapting China Miéville’s novel The City & the City for the BBC as a four-part drama. This news comes from a recent article on Screen Daily — I went a step further and dug up Grisoni’s keynote, in which he announces the project, on Youtube. He only mentions it right at the end, and doesn’t actually say anything further about it, but the video is worth watching anyway if you’re interested in television drama.
Grisoni is probably best known as the screenwriter for Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, as well as a handful of other Gilliam projects. I’m not very familiar with his work, but hearing him talk about writing for TV in that video reassures me that the story will be in good hands.
If this goes forward, it won’t be the first adaptation of the novel; in 2013 it was staged as a play at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago. I would have killed to see this play! Hopefully there’ll be renewed interest at some point, and some other production company will stage it in the future.
I’m keeping all fingers crossed that the TV production becomes a real thing! It will be fascinating to see how they visually represent the “seeing” of the separate cities. I’m hoping for a kind of dark, moody adaptation, rather like the excellent Swedish/Danish crime drama Bron/Broen (AKA The Bridge). Talking of which, wouldn’t Kim Bodnia (who played Martin in that show) be perfect as Tyador Borlú? I’m picturing it now, and I like it.
Hopefully I’ll be bringing further news and updates on this project in the future. So keep on reading Out There Books!