From the people who brought you Fargo, an adaptation I never thought I would ever see. Seriously – I never considered that anyone would attempt to create a visual version of Cat’s Cradle.
There are many books that are deemed impossible to adapt. This is not a ‘book reader hates the movie version’ problem. You get those. But some books are written in a way that go beyond general visual interpretation. For example, Game of Thrones is penned with a lot of rich image and character cues, making it easier to translate to a TV series. Other books are far more stubborn.
Stanley Kubrick thought Perfume (and its obsession around smell) couldn’t be made (that turned out to be wrong), American Psycho got a close-as-damnit version, Catch 22 really tried but ultimately failed to get the novel’s message across and The Naked Lunch… well, my hat is off for anyone even trying.
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut’s strange, absurdist blend of sci-fi, religion and doomsday thoughts is such a novel. It is one of my favourites, though I haven’t read it in years. Still, even then it struck me as very hard to visualise – even compared to Vonnegut’s other books (and that says something).
Still, someone has the rights and they plan to make a television version. But it’s in good hands: Noah Hawley, the showrunner for the Fargo television series, is on board with FX to create a limited run (mini series) of the novel:
Hawley will write and exec produce the project, which is being produced by FX Productions and exec produced by IM Global. The famed 1963 novel, which examines issues concerning science, technology and religion, was a key component of IM Global Television’s inaugural development slate when it was announced in April.
This marks the third collaboration between FX and Hawley. In addition to Fargo, which is currently in the middle of its second season, Hawley is on board to write and exec produce the cable network’s comic book pilot Legion. FX Productions signed Hawley and his 26 Keys banner to a two-year overall deal in 2014
The book is about a lot of stuff, but some of it centres around a substance called Ice 9 – which is quite capable of destroying the world. Yet Cat’s Cradle, like its namesake, has many threads to follow. Vonnegut was also known for being an unconventional storyteller – his stuff doesn’t fit neatly into the three-act structure.
I’m not getting my hopes up: this project could go either way. Personally I think it will fail. But Stanley Kubrick was wrong, so I certainly might be too…
Last Updated: November 23, 2015