Thursday, April 22, 2021

Snow in the Desert on Netflix


I've told this story before (some artwork in that blog post) but I might as well tell it again here. Many years ago, while mucking about on the internet, I found a video on You Tube called 'Rockfish'. This was excellent CGI (for the time) of a guy using some heavy equipment to go fishing through a planet's crust and catch a huge creature like a byblow of a Dune sandworm and one of those horrors from Tremors. I noted an email along with the video so sent a message saying something along the lines of, 'Excellent video; actors will soon be out of work'. I didn't expect a reply but got one from this guy called Tim Miller, thanking me and telling me he has some of my books on his shelves. . .

During subsequent exchanges I learned that he was the boss of Blur Studios in Venice California. Hollywood baby! He roped me into a 'Heavy Metal' project. This was basically something of a similar format to Love, Death and Robots that had been done before, though I had never heard of it. Tim asked me if I had any short stories. After my reply, and the huge attachment, he selected quite a number of stories. He also had me write some more for the project. For example one request was, 'Could you do a orcs and elves battle based on Rorke's Drift?' which I provided. Another of the stories was Snow in the Desert (bottom left now in the image below).


This project was to be sold to Paramount, but there was some sort of parting of the ways. It then got hawked around for a while, but eventually died. Apparently it was shown to Tom Cruise, who said that Snow in the Desert would make a good film just by itself. In the end Paramount bought idea of the project without the stories, so that was the end of that.

Tim Miller then moved up in the world, directing Dead Pool. He then got the possibly tainted chalice of directing a new Terminator film. I got roped into that too as an advisor, along with others like Greg Bear, Neil Stephenson and Joe Abercrombie. Flight out to LA and meetings in a room around a glass-topped table mounted on a horizontally-sliced aeroplane wing at Skydance. James Cameron sitting across the way laying out what he thought he wanted. All quite ego boosting, though I didn't appreciate it at the time since I was suffering from horrible anxiety.

The new Terminator film tanked. The reality, I think, is that people are tired of endless remakes and franchise extensions. I certainly am and I was then, but this did not impinge on my 'take the money and run' attitude. 

Tim Miller returned to another project he had also been working on throughout this and that was Love, Death & Robots. He wanted to use the stories he had from me in the first season, but overly cautious lawyers advised against that, since even though unpurchased by Paramount it seemed, since they took the idea of Heavy Metal, they might have some claim on them. This thankfully was resolved for season 2 and now you get to see Snow in the Desert on Love, Death and Robots.

I don't know what to expect. My only input was the story and those directing it have doubtless put their stamp on it and made changes. Maybe I won't like it. I'll find out soon since soon I will be getting to see it. But my attitude is still 'take the money and run' along with the knowledge that no matter what is done with one of my stories, the story itself will always exist in its original form. This may also work to boost my other sales, since Netflix as over 200 million subscribers.

Onward and upward!

2 comments:

Nick Mele said...

When I saw that "Snow in the Desert" was one episode of the second round of Love, Death and Robots, I was quite excited. And then my current issue of Analog came with another story by you! It's a good week.

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