The producers of the 2016 film Arrival have picked up the rights to adapt a short science fiction story: The message by Ken Liu, who has all the features that have brought Denis Villeneuve's film so much acclaim.
The story follows an archaeologist who reunites with his estranged daughter on a mission to a distant planet to study an extinct extraterrestrial civilization. The couple encounters a number of problems on the planet that relate to the demise of the aliens and their own relationship.
The Hollywood Reporter says that 21 Laps and FilmNation's Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Aaron Ryder will produce the adaptation and that they are currently working on finding a director and screenwriter for the project.
Liu originally published the story in 2012 Interzone magazine. It is not available to read online, but you can listen to an audio version StarShipSofa (after 18 minutes). Liu commented at that time (there are a few small spoilers for the story on that link) that he was inspired to write the story partly because of his own experiences as a new parent: "Communicating with your child is as challenging as trying to communicate over thousands of years, over millions of miles. "
Arrival, based on a story by author Ted Chiang and directed by Villeneuve, a linguist followed as she was recruited to help communicate with aliens arriving on Earth, unexpectedly changing the relationship with time. While films first met are often animal feed for large action scenes loaded with special effects, Arrival went in the opposite direction by telling a deep personal and emotional story, balanced against the spectacle of aliens arriving on Earth.
Laps and FilmNation earned a lot of Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. (It won for Best Sound Editing). The message has all the ingredients to repeat that success: the relationship between the father and his daughter, set against the backdrop of ancient extraterrestrial ruins, with a mysterious problem that they must confront at their core. It is clear that they hope that this story will bring something of the same recognition.
This project is only the last of Liu & # 39; s to be picked up for customization. AMC is working on an animation series based on its short stories Pantheon, while his debut novel, The grace of kings, was a option for the creation of a film franchise a few years ago. More recently, Netflix has changed its story Good hunting for his animated anthology series, Love, Death + Robots earlier this year.
Disclosure: Liu contributed to a short story for a book that I edited, War Stories: New Military Science Fiction, back in 2014.