300 director Zack Snyder and producer Frank Darabont are teaming together at Warner Brothers to adapt writer Ray Bradbury’s classic short story collection, The Illustrated Man.
Bradbury’s book is a collection of unrelated short stories linked through the framing device of a tattooed storyteller whose tattoos come to life, telling each story. Published in 1951, the book had been previously adapted by director Jack Smight with Rod Steiger in the title role.
Snyder will direct while Darabont, Denise Di Novi and Snyder’s wife Deborah will produce. Snyder will also receive a producer’s credit. Alex Tse – who also scripted Snyder’s next film, Watchmen, which is currently set to start filming later this fall – will be handling the screenplay.
The book contains several of Bradbury’s most famous short stories including “The Veldt,” “Marionettes Inc.,” “Kaleidoscope” and “The Man.” In fact, one of the failings of the first film adaptation was that it only adapted three of the 18 stories in the book- “The Veldt,” “The Long Rain” and “The Last Night Of The World.” It seems that Snyder and scripter Tse have a hard job ahead of themselves deciding which stories to adapt. Unless they are planning on a five hour movie, they will invariably leave out a few good ones. It seems to me that this material would be better suited to a made-for-television miniseries, but that was said about Watchmen as well and Snyder seems to have that project well in hand.