Thu
Oct 10 2013 11:15am

Ted Chiang’s “Story of Your Life” is Coming to the Big Screen!

Ted-Chiang-Story-of-Your-Life-FilmTed Chiang’s acclaimed work  “Story of Your Life” is being adapted for film! The story, which is collected in Stories of Your Life and Others, won the 1999 Sturgeon Award and the 2000 Nebula Award for short fiction. It has a premise that should be perfect for the screen: when an alien race, the Heptapods, lands on earth, a linguist, Dr. Louise Banks, is tasked with learning their language. The catch is that the Heptapods have one language for speaking and another for writing—and studying the written language forces Dr. Banks to deal with questions of free will, determinism, and her memories of her daughter. 

The film will be directed by Nic Mathieu, who is known for his sci-fi inspired work in commercials, and produced by Shawn Levy, a writer, director, and actor best known for Night at the Museum and Real Steel. (He also made his acting debut in MST3K episode Zombie Nightmare.)

“Story of Your Life” was adapted by writer Eric Heisserer, and Bleeding Cool happily points out Heisserer’s dedication to the project here. You can read an interview with Chiang here at Boing Boing.

9 comments
Jeremy Preacher
1. Jeremy Preacher
Oh, man, I so badly want to be optimistic about this. I *adore* that story.
Stefan Raets
2. Stefan
Oh dear. Fingers crossed. That's one of my favorite SF short stories of all time.
Emmet O'Brien
3. EmmetAOBrien
I'm having great difficulty seeing that working, because to my mind the real genius of that story is in the use of language at a scale that does not directly translate into the film medium.
JReynolds
4. JReynolds
I also love this story and re-read it from time to time. It's hard to imagine how they can get the main 'reveal' at the end of the story onto the screen.

Perhaps they'll concentrate on car chases and explosions. That always works. [shudder]
Chuk Goodin
5. Chuk
I love Chiang and this is a good story but yeah, I don't know how it's going to be as a movie...
Del C
6. del
I would have thought "Understand" was more suited to the Hollywood treatment.
JReynolds
7. Gerry__Quinn
I can see how the reveal could work in a film. Short version: show episodes from the daughters life along with the mother's face.
Marie Bar
8. triggerhippie77
I've always thought that this story would make a good movie and always imagined Sigourney Weaver as the linguist. I have already in my mind one way of how to build up the story toward the reveal . It'd be fun to see a heptapod's sentence unfurling stroke by stroke on the big screen.
JReynolds
9. steven g
This film is not being directed by,Nic Mathieu. But by Denis Villeneuve. Who directed "prisoners".

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