My heart goes pitter-pat with a mix of both anticipation and dread whenever a classic sci-fi book is optioned. Even when I haven't read the book in question (and believe me, I know I need to read more Robert A. Heinlein), I know the bookshelves of the world are lined with great movie material. But I also know how devastating it is when the studio mangles a beloved book.

And here's one that could go either way. The Hollywood Reporter says that Alex Proyas and Phoenix Pictures have optioned Heinlein's The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag. It's the story of a man who, when asked what he does for a living one evening, realizes he has no memory of any of his daytime activities. He hires a private detective agency, run by a husband and wife team, and their investigation becomes a rather terrifying one. (Having not read this book, I'm trying to skim through descriptions without spoiling it -- but it sounds scary.)

The novella has been one of Proyas' favorites since childhood. "I read this story as a kid, and it really stayed with me. It's part of my creative DNA." (It had to have inspired Dark City.) From what I've gleaned of the story, it's right up his alley -- and he's penning the script, so there will be no wild departures like we saw with I, Robot. And it's about time Heinlein had his name on the big screen again. I know there has to be some Jonathan Hoag fans out there, so chime in with your thoughts.
categories Movies, Cinematical