Where are all the original science fiction movies? Zoe's Tale author John Scalzi rails against the sequels and tweakels coming in 2009. But then he makes a point I haven't seen anyone make before.
Original, major science fiction releases for 2009? Well, there's the super hero deconstruction tale Watchmen in March and James Cameron's whatever-the-hell-he's-been-up-to-for-a-decade Avatar in December, plus the animated spoof Monsters vs Aliens. But while casting no aspersions on the potential quality of either Watchmen or MvA (I'm looking forward to both, actually), those movies are thematically "meta," which is to say they rely on us having sucked down enough superhero and monster flicks in the past to get what they're trying to do. Basically, we have to know the genre to get the story, and that means Avatar is the only big scifi movie next year that we're walking into totally blind.
Scalzi is totally raising the bar here — asking for movies that aren't just part of an existing franchise, but don't rely on our knowledge of past genre works. But in the vanishingly unlikely event that Hollywood is listening, I hope they follow his suggestion. A slew of new science fiction films that are open to anyone who loves movies, regardless of their knowledge of monster movies or superheroes, would only be good for the genre in the long term. And they'd almost certainly be more thought-provoking and challenging, just by virtue of creating their own sub-genres from scratch. Yes please. [AMC]