Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cat's Cradle

GM! I'll start off my posts today with this bit of news from Varity concerning a new Leonardo DiCaprio project:

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Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way production company will develop and produce a feature film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's classic dystopian novel Cat's Cradle, in partnership with manager-producer Hillard Elkins' Elkins Entertainment.

Variety says the project will be written by James V. Hart (Sahara) and his son Jake Hart (Glengarry, Bob Ross).

The book is described as follows:

As John, the narrator, researches the background for his book on the atomic bomb, he becomes fascinated by Dr. Felix Hoenikker. Hoenikker is the archetypal scientist, isolated from human contact, dedicated to his work, and completely without moral awareness. Like the child's game cat's cradle, which is meant to amuse but only terrifies his son, Hoenikker's scientific games are anything but harmless.

Ironically the atomic bomb is not even Hoenikker's most devastating creation. Working on the rather innocuous problem of how to get soldiers out of the mud, he synthesizes "ice-nine," which is both better and worse than expected: It would freeze the water so soldiers stuck in the mud could lift themselves out, but this freezing action would continue until every bit of water on earth was turned into solid ice-nine.

At his death Hoenikker's secret substance is entrusted to his children, who are predictably irresponsible and use the power of ice-nine only for their personal advantage. Vonnegut shows sympathy for Newton, Angela, and Frank Hoenikker, frail human beings who are simply incapable of the moral strength and wisdom demanded of them, but this makes the satire even more powerful: Mankind continually refuses to acknowledge what may be called its terminal stupidity and therefore perpetually threatens its own existence.


Hart and his son are also co-writing the feature The Omega Stone for Critical Mass Entertainment and Hart is adapting Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for Baldwin Entertainment.

This sounds like a promising project.


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