Literature & television have met up many times over the years. From 1977’s Roots based on the novel by Alex Haley (another version of the miniseries came back to TV in 2016), to 1994’s miniseries version of The Stand and another miniseries in 1997 based on The Shining; both based on Stephen King novels.
Now, it appears as though literature and television will collide once again.
It was reported recently by entertainment website CinemaBlend, that an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s weird and brilliant novel, The Sirens of Titan, is being eyed for adaptation to TV. The individual who wants to undertake this (rather large) project? Dan Harmon.
That’s right, the celebrated creator of shows like Community, and the more recent smash hit Rick and Morty, has stated that he wants to bring The Sirens of Titan to the small screen. Harmon has also long-credited Vonnegut’s work with being a source of inspiration, and helping him to understand and appreciate science fiction.
For those who might not be too familiar with the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan tells the story of Malachai Constant; the richest man in a futuristic and dystopian version of the United States of America. Constant, who believes that his good fortune come from divine intervention, soon meets a stranger named Winston Niles Rumfoord, who seems to have the same level of wealth. It’s then revealed that Rumfoord can (and does) exist among all of space and time, alongside his faithful canine companion, Kazak. While Earth and Mars are embroiled in a huge interstellar war, Constant and his new “friend” travel to distant planets via a phenomenon known as the “chrono-synclastic infundibulum” (say that five times fast), and the story just gets more strange from there.
The Sirens of Titan is a weirdly funny, deeply philosophical, and dark look at the topics of free will (or the lack thereof), omniscience, and the purpose of human history. It was also nominated for a Hugo Award following its publication in 1959.
This is not the first Vonnegut work to be brought to film or TV, however. Some may remember films such as Mother Night, Breakfast of Champions, and Slaughterhouse-Five; all of which were adapted from novels written by the American author.
With Dan Harmon’s talent for creating hit shows, those of us who love the written word have hope that he will be able to do justice to Kurt Vonnegut’s novel. Harmon will be working on The Sirens of Titan alongside Evan Katz, who executive-produced the Keifer Sutherland series, 24. These guys have been some heavy-hitters in the world of TV, so we’re looking forward to good things.