Stephen King’s works often translate horribly to screen with only rare exceptions. The same goes for author Michael Crichton whose riveting novels like “Congo,” “Sphere,” “Timeline,” and “Eaters of the Dead” became steaming piles of cinematic dung.
There were moderately decent adaptations of “Rising Sun”, “Disclosure” and “Jurassic Park”, yet even in these cases they pale compared to his novels (‘Jurassic’ is a brilliantly dark adult horror novel, far from the kiddie flick the Spielberg film became).
Now, with Disney seemingly never developing his pretty decent thriller “Airframe” into a film, and all his works post-“Timeline” deemed increasingly terrible (anti-global warming work “State of Fear” has become a much hated piece of work), cable channel A&E has gone back to his first true classic – 1969’s “The Andromeda Strain”.
Whilst we’ve previously reported on the planned mini-series during its production last Summer, now the official site has opened with an extended trailer for the two-night event scheduled to air sometime this Spring. The good news is, aside from a cringe worthy line by Ricky Schroeder that is totally out of place (you’ll know it when you hear it), this looks like it follows the novel quite closely for once. Robert Wise’s previous film adaptation in 1971 was well shot and still solid, but the technical aspects have badly dated in ensuing years.
Ridley and Tony Scott produce the project, Mikael Salomon directed, and the likes of Benjamin Bratt, Eric McCormack, Daniel Dae Kim, Viola Davis, Andre Braugher and Ted Atherton star in the story of a team of scientists hastily assembled in an underground facility to investigate a contagion. A U.S. satellite has crashed near a small town in Utah and some kind of plague has killed everyone – with the exception of an old drunk and a baby. The team race to find a cure and answers to why those two survived, even as the military rushes to take more drastic measures.
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