Arrival Screenwriter Eric Heisserer Adapting Another Ted Chiang Novella

Eric Heisserer, who adapted Ted Chiang’s Hugo-nominated and Nebula-winning novella “Story of Your Life” into the acclaimed film Arrival, is returning to source material he clearly has a knack for. His next project will be to adapt Liking What You See: A Documentary, about a futuristic technology that erases discrimination based on beauty, as a television series for AMC.

Heisserer tweeted the news during San Diego Comic-Con:

Liking What You See is one of several pieces of short fiction, alongside “Story of Your Life,” in Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others. Presented in the form of a documentary, it features arguments for and against calliagnosia, a simple (and reversible) procedure that removes ingrained biases against certain appearances. A selection from the novella gives you an idea of Chiang’s speculative future:

A calliagnosic perceives faces perfectly well; he or she can tell the difference between a pointed chin and a receding one, a straight nose and a crooked one, clear skin and blemished skin. He or she simply doesn’t experience any aesthetic reaction to those differences.

[…]

So calliagnosia by itself can’t eliminate appearance-based discrimination. What it does, in a sense, is even up the odds; it takes away the innate predisposition, the tendency for such discrimination to arise in the first place.

With the project being developed at AMC, it’s likely that the adaptation would be presented as a limited series, in keeping with the documentary format. But we’ll know more once more information comes out about the project.

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