Will we see a great classic suffer another bungling adaptation?

Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of Earthsea, a series of high fantasy novels and short stories set in an archipelago of countless islands. First published in 1964, the award-winning series has continued until Le Guin’s passing in January this year.

Le Guin’s absence left a gap in fan’s hearts, but according to entertainment news website Deadline, they’d be pleased to know that film producer Jennifer Fox acquired film rights to Earthsea before her death.

Known for her roles in Nightcrawler, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Michael Clayton, Fox will be bringing Earthsea’s intriguing story to life in a string of live-action films.

▼ Book-to-film adaptations can be a hit or miss,
but history has shown that Earthsea ones tend to follow the latter.

American channel Syfy aired a TV miniseries based on Le Guin’s work back in 2004, which turned out to be a mere shadow of the original. The displeased author called it “A whitewashed Earthsea”.

Goro Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli then gave it a shot too in 2006, creating a jumbled, less-than-stellar anime film based on the first four translated books.

With such a troubling history of adaptations, Japanese netizens and fans of Le Guin’s novels voiced their concerns with Fox taking the reins this time:

“Please don’t do unnecessary things and just adapt it faithfully.”
“Will these be aired in Japan? I hope the story of
Earthsea will be properly conveyed.”
“Let’s pray it won’t be as disastrous as Ghibli’s remake.”
“The original story isn’t bad, but brace yourself if you’re expecting something polished like
Lord of the Rings. Live-action filming takes a lot of money. If the second half of the story can be completely made into an original scenario, I might watch it as a grand fantasy movie. Honestly, the second half of the original script is rubbish.”

Expectations for the film seem to be as low as it gets in Japan, due in part to Goro Miyazaki. Let’s hope Jennifer Fox avoids the pitfalls of her predecessors, lest she joins them as the third musketeer.

Source: Deadline via Cinematoday, Hachima Kikou
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