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Moon is a Harsh Mistress: The Script 
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Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:26 pm
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Location: Northern California
Post Moon is a Harsh Mistress: The Script
Bittersweet reading: we now can download the pdf of Tim Minear's complete script for Moon. Bittersweet, of course, because if we can read it, that means it will never be produced.

Some backstory: Minear is an extremely accomplished scriptwriter, having written for "X Files," and the Josh Whedon shows "Angel" and "Firefly." He is, by all accounts, the most libertarian of the Whedon-associated writers.

The script is posted on the web site of the "SoCal Browncoats:" fans of Firefly. I have no knowledge of how it found its way there, so I hope that it's been gifted to the site by Mr. Minear. I haven't read it, merely skimmed a few pages here and there. I look forward to reading it.

--Fred

first RAH: Beyond this Horizon

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"We all write that way today. But no one had written like that before Heinlein." ~ Robert Silverberg
"...the man who ... taught me to argue with the accepted version." ~ Samuel R. Delany


Thu Jun 26, 2008 6:48 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Post Re: Moon is a Harsh Mistress: The Script
This is a script to gladden the heart of any Heinlein fan. It's faithful to a fault. Which is reason enough that it won't get made. There are signs of this being a first draft - there are typos and spurious errors like mentioning zero gravity on the Moon, we pan up to the "scarred face of" a voiceover when we should be looking at a picture of the Warden, and it takes a while to get to the conflict (battle at the meeting), for a scifi flick, all of which makes me wonder whether there are later versions that have been smoothed out a bit.

It's carefully modernized but otherwise clearly written by someone who Gets It. Even to the point of including things that would have a hard time playing on today's screens. For instance, greeting every new comrade with a kiss is a very Heinleinian trait but it would make Wyoh play as a slut these days. I don't know whether the compressed Loonie patois would work on the screen. I hope so.

The main challenge for a TMIAHM screenplay is cutting out enough. In two hours you could fit a decent story about the Overthrow of Authority, or the Defense against Earth, but it's hard to do both. This script has the classic narrationitis of a novel adaptation. It still manages to get the job done, but the story arcs are awfully compressed. The marriage of Wyoh touched me the most even though the conflicts it was resolving were raced through.

Nitpicking time: Why should the Prof and Wyoh be surprised by a line marriage, weren't they common in Luna? And the story is absent any discussion about why Mike should be motivated to help the revolution.

The Prof is a nicely drawn character. Mannie and Wyoh also are not cookie-cutter characters. Let the casting calls begin. I'm thinking about Morgan Freeman for the Prof.

I think the major question of interest to sociology students is how a story of revolution by a society closest to our own in contemporary terms would be received. We have a government that spies upon its own citizens more than anyone since Brezhnev and would probably put the producer of this movie on the Do Not Fly list just for making it. Would people feel that it carried a seditious message? For that matter, did Heinlein himself either intend a seditious message or do we know his reaction to any suggestion that TMIAHM incited sedition? Certainly any administration is going to frame the American Revolution in glowing terms but with the admonition "Don't try this at home, boys and girls" and suppress mention of Jefferson's notion that revolution ought to be a regular occurrence.


Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:32 pm
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Heinlein Nexus
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Post Re: Moon is a Harsh Mistress: The Script
Peter Scott wrote:
Let the casting calls begin. I'm thinking about Morgan Freeman for the Prof.


Okay, for the BET version of the movie, I'll add Will Smith as Mannie and Vivica A. Fox as Wyoh.


Sat Jun 28, 2008 7:18 pm
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