Bryan Singer Will Bring a Classic Robert Heinlein Sci-Fi Novel to the Big Screen

By  · Published on March 4th, 2015

Warner Bros.

With a new adaptation of Starship Troopers on the way, perhaps we’ll see a new wave of popularity for author Robert A. Heinlein. Will it finally bring more movies of his works? Will I finally get to see “Stranger in a Strange Land” on the big screen? At least for now there’s another book from that period of Heinlein’s career in development in Hollywood: “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bryan Singer is producing the adaptation, which will be scripted by Marc Guggenheim (Green Lantern) and boringly retitled Uprising.

The libertarian story involves a Moon colony that revolts against the rule of Earth. That might make it sound like a simple retelling of the American Revolution or like a reverse Elysium, but neither comparison would do the Hugo-winning book justice. The lunar surface is actually home to a former penal colony and so its people are mainly criminals and their offspring. The hero is a computer technician who befriends the Moon’s dominating computer system, HOLMES IV (“High-Optional, Logical, Multi-Evaluating Supervisor, Mark IV”) after it becomes self-aware.

Nowhere does the initial report clarify that Singer will be directing the movie, which if so would be another break from the X-Men franchise following next year’s X-Men: Apocalypse (interestingly enough: in the comics, Apocalypse had a moon base). Chances are, though, this will be yet another sci-fi adaptation he doesn’t wind up helming, just like the Logan’s Run remake and the Battlestar Galactica movie that doesn’t seem to be a priority but is at least still currently moving forward with a script turned in.

As producer, Singer is part of a team comprised of relative nobodies, such as Lloyd Braun and Thor Halvorssen, neither of whom has any notable credits. But there is a studio behind the project, Twentieth Century Fox, and with this being the third major option of the rights to the 1966 novel, I’d think this time there’ll be a real push for it to be made. We’ll see.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.