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From Sci Fi To Sci Fact: Ferret Cloned; “The Running Man” Remake

Mad scientist's lab device consisting of two egg-shaped capsules and a computer terminal in between.

Cloning has been a theme in a lot of science fiction and horror. However, it became a reality more than ever during the past week with a ferret clone. Also new this week is the announcement of a remake of the ‘80s movie, “The Running Man”. (Yes, another remake. Or is it?)

Dead Ferret Cloned Into a Live One

This week the ideas of “Frankenstein” and “Jurassic Park” became more science fact than science fiction. Thursday, the US Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) disclosed to the world that they successfully cloned a black-footed ferret that had been dead for more than 30 years. The ferret’s cells had been frozen through the decades. Then, recently, scientists developed an embryo from them and placed it in a living ferret that, in turn, gave birth to the clone Elizabeth Ann. She is the first clone of an endangered North American species. CNN  says that scientists cloned the dead ferret for reasons of rescuing the black-footed species from going extinct. FWS plans to produce more black-footed ferret clones.  

While this is a fascinating big step up in preserving a member of nature, I personally feel it’s ironically imposing artificial means of reproduction onto animals and so disrupting nature’s course. It’s humanity’s technology trying to do the work that the larger entity called nature has been doing before we humans every existed. For all we know, it can have consequences that are up there with corporate-produced pollution that’s killed both humans and animals. As much as I’m a fan of “Frankenstein” and “Jurassic Park”, I’m no fan of implementing mad science in real-life. The science in science fiction can serve as an offering for the future but also as a warning for it. 

Three copies of an image of a tyrannosaurus rex.

New “Running Man” Film Adaptation

A new movie adaptation of Stephen King’s 1982 novel, “The Running Man” (written under the pen name, Richard Bachman), will be produced through Paramount Pictures. An earlier movie adaptation was released in 1987 which starred Arnold Schwarzeneggar. Yours truly saw it once about a year after it had been in theatres. And once was more than enough. I still hate the movie to this day. Like the problem with too many of Schwarzeneggar’s films, it was very chauvinist and violence-oriented, sacrificing story and character because of that. Not to mention that it was very sadistic and narcissist. 

In most cases, I’m skeptical when it comes to remakes. However, because I felt the original “Running Man” movie was made so poorly, this new adaptation that’s to be directed by Edgar Wright may be an exception. That said, I’m almost ready to agree with “Deadline” when it says that “This [new movie] won’t be a remake of the 1987 film” because Wright, who “will co-write the story with Michael Bacall, . . . will be much more faithful to King’s bestselling novel.” The earlier movie was not that faithful to the book. Bacall will write the screenplay and Simon Kinberg will produce.

I haven’t read the novel, but, judging by its synopsis, it appears to be much more sympathetic in its characterization of the protagonist than the 1987 movie. The protagonist seems to be portrayed as self-sacrificing out of love of his medically challenged daughter. Impoverished and unemployed, he decides to become a contestant of a government-run death sport gameshow in a futuristic dystopia. In the 1987 movie, the protagonist was sadistically forced into competing in the game and so the movie was no more than a violence exploitation film. The new movie will be fitting for our own time of reality TV obsession, hopefully warning us of its consequences.  

Newsletter Update

I’m still trying to get together the first issue of the newsletter, “Night Creatures’ Call”. I’ve been behind because the tools at MailChimp that I’m using to produce the newsletter with are difficult to use. Many of the instructions are not as clear as they could be and so I’ve had to figure out on my own how to use many of the tools. I will continue keeping you updated here and at my Facebook page. If you haven’t done so yet, you can sign-up for my newsletter here.  

Do you think the cloning of animals has too many potential Frankensteinian or Jurassic Parkian consequences? Do you think a remake (or new version) of “The Running Man” movie adaptation is due and should be more faithful to Stephen King’s novel of the same name than the original movie was? Feel free to leave your answers in the box below.

Until next time . . .


  1. Never read the story but I knew the movie was nothing like it. Saw it in theaters and thought it was just okay. I've always liked Richard Dawson though,
    What's the line in Jurassic Park? So preoccupied with whether or not they could they didn't stop to think if they should? Yes, that definitely comes to mind.

    1. Oh yeah, Richard Dawson was the game host for Family Feud in real life (and so played the game host in the movie) wasn't he?

  2. The ethical question was raised in JP because of that preoccupation, if I remember correctly.


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