Pierce to pitch $70 million CHILDHOODS END epic to Universal

MTV say that Arthur C. Clarke's 1953 novel Childhood's End is one of the best sci-fi works of the last century. I've never read it but I don't mind taking their word for it. After all, Clarke is the author who gave the world 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, a movie that predicted many false things but was adapted into one of Kubrick's very best films. And if BOYS DON'T CRY helmer Kimberely Pierce gets her way, End will soon be added to the filmic canon of Clarke adapted works which surprisingly have been few and far between. The word is that Pierce has got a draft for an adaptation and she is waiting to see if Universal want to go ahead with it. The stumbling block seems to be the minimum budget of $70 million which Pierce has set for the script and with Sci-Fi generally on the decline with the general public and replaced by comic book movies... it's not an easy sell. The book is a complicated work to explain in just a few paragraphs (wiki plot summary is huge) but in short it's a futuristic novel where aliens have invaded Earth but instead of killing everyone they have helped prolong life, end wars and bring peace and humanity to the planet. Their presence brings forward a forth age in human evolution and children born after they arrive exhibit special telekinesis and telepathy powers. Opening with scenes reminiscent of INDEPENDENCE DAY (the space ships around the globe's major cities, but instead not to destroy us), the novel written just before the space race really kicked in is a critique of man's desire to delve into space and how insignificant we all are in the ground scheme of things... when high power outside of our planet surely exist. Sounds rather cool but again at a $70 million minimum budget, it might take Universal some balls to go with it. You just have to look at Danny Boyle's SUNSHINE (admittedly, made on a far lesser budget) to see that big epic sci-fi narratives don't guarantee cash. And Pierce herself is quick to talk about other projects to MTV so you almost feel doubtful that she will be able to convince Universal that there is money to be made here. Shame really, we are in such a sci-fi glut that we need projects like this to spark a revival in the genre.

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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.