Skip to main content

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.
Credit: Pixabay.com


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.
Credit: Pixabay.com


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 . . .


Comments

  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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?

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

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

4 Online Sci Fi and Fantasy Conventions for a Shelter-In-Place

Credit: Pixabay.com I know, it’s the third Saturday of the month and that we are supposed to have our Book-To-Movie this evening. It was supposed to be a review of “The Invisible Man” and its movie adaptations, including the new one that released at the end of last month . However, I wanted to refresh myself on the 1930s original and had to request my nearest library to order it on loan. But when it came I wasn’t able to pick it up because the library closed to take precaution against the Coronavirus. So I’m postponing the Book-To-Movie until the library re-opens which is impossible to say when that will be. I may, however, do a Book-To-Movie for another book in the next week or two, so keep tuning in here. Well, a book and movie review isn’t the only thing that’s being cancelled due to today’s version of the black plague. Because so many cities, ones here in the Sacramento region included, are going on shelter-in-place, sci fi and fantasy conventions are getting cancelled e

Book-To-Movie: Stephen King’s 'The Raft'

Credit: Pixabay.com It's the third Saturday of the month and so that means it's time for another Book-To-Movie ! In a Book-To-Movie we review a book and its movie adaptation. One of the reasons I as a horror fan don’t read a lot of Stephen King’s work is because most of it consists of novels that go more than 400 pages. I have a short attention span when it comes to reading, ironically since I consider myself an avid reader, and so I normally won’t read a work that is much more than the equivalent to a 350-page mass market paperback. The other reason why I don’t read a lot of King’s work is that, as literary scholars will tell you, a lot of his writing is poor. However, he does have some good writing in his works, especially his earlier stuff, including his short horror tales. So if I read anything by Stephen King it’s usually his short stories or novellas. One of his collections I’ve read is Skeleton Crew which includes some of his good, or at least bette

Science Fiction and Afrofuturism

Credit: Pixabay.com This weekend saw the release of the Black Panther movie which I plan to see Monday (since that’s a holiday). That is, if I can find a copy of the 1970 issue, number 74, of Avengers that co-stars the African super hero and read it by tomorrow. I just finished reading the previous issue that I purchased a couple of weeks ago not knowing it was going to be a two-parter. I don’t like to simultaneously watch a movie and read a book (including comic book) involving the same character since doing so causes me to confuse the storylines. But the movie, Black Panther , is perfect timing—February is Black History Month. It’s great to see more science fiction stories featuring black characters, since the genre has traditionally been very white. There are a lot of great African-American sci fi and fantasy writers and not just in recent times. There are ones going as far back as, believe it or not, the beginning of the 20 th century with W.E.B. DuBois . Y