Just a few short weeks since science fiction luminary Ray Bradbury passed away, there is already a movie in the works about the author's life. Deadline reports Joe Mantegna, star of the TV series "Criminal Intent," is producing a documentary about the legendary writer titled "Live Forever." Mantegna will narrate the documentary and stars such as Edward James Olmos and Malcolm McDowell will appear in the film.
Bradbury needs little in the way of introduction. Most people have heard his name, and both fans of science fiction books as well as movies know of his contributions to the genre. Bradbury, born in 1920, watched many of his stories find make their way to the movies, with countless more films influenced highly by his writing.
Two of the most famous sci-fi efforts in the '50s were based on Bradbury stories: "It Came From Outer Space" and "The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms." The first movie was an early 3D picture about an alien spacecraft that crashes into the earth, the residents of a small town acting strangely shortly after the incident. The second movie was a wonderful stop-motion effort by Ray Harryhausen about a dinosaur thawed and brought back to life to attack humanity.
Bradbury's work was also seen in the television series "Ray Bradbury Theater" from 1985-1992, as well as adaptations of his more popular novels, "Something Wicked This Way Comes," "The Martian Chronicles," and "Fahrenheit 451."
"Ray Bradbury: An American Icon"
"Live Forever" is not the first documentary to study the author's life. In 2007, "Ray Bradbury: An American Icon" hit DVD, telling the story of Bradbury's career using old interview footage and photographs.
While the documentary is not a feature length film, it covers a lot of interesting facts in the man's life, straight from the author's mouth. Rod Steiger ("In the Heat of the Night") narrates.
"Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson"
One of the more recent attempts to take a popular literary figure and breaking him down in a documentary came in 2008 with the nonfiction "Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson." Director Alex Gibney took a look at the career of the revolutionary writer and pieced together a no-holds-barred feature about the highs and lows of the gonzo journalist. Johnny Depp narrates.
"Gonzo" is one example of a literary documentary done right. With Joe Mantegna on hand and the production having the authorized use of Bradbury's estate, there is no reason "Live Forever" can't be just as entertaining.
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