“Each illustration is a little story. If you watch them, in a few minutes, they tell you a tale. In three hours of looking you could see eighteen or twenty stories acted out right on my body, you could hear voices and think thoughts. It’s all here, just waiting for you to look.” – from The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
Zack Snyder, hot off the success of 300 and currently prepping a big-screen version of WATCHMEN, has signed on to produce and direct a remake of THE ILLUSTRATED MAN. Alex Tse, who scripted WATCHMEN for Snyder, will adapt the screenplay, based on Ray Bradbury’s celebrated collection of short stories. The previous film version was made in 1969, with Rod Steiger in the title role.
Like Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man is an attempt to present an anthology of short stories as if they were a novel; in this case, the linking device is the title character. An unnamed narrator, while on a walking tour of Wisconsin, encounters the Illustrated Man, who is covered with tattoos that seem to come to life at night, telling stories that predict the future. The book contains eighteen tales (not counting the linking segments); the 1969 film adapted only three of these, spending more time on the interaction between the narrator and the Illustrated Man. Although interesting, the film lacked the sort of visual poetry necessary to capture the feeling of Bradbury’s writing; hopefully, the new version will have the magic spark that the original missed.