30 days of ideas – 22: The Stainless Steel Rat (the movie)
This one’s a really simple idea: a film adaptation of the Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison.
The books are science fiction comedy/action/adventure stories about a witty and charming con artist in the distant future, who is himself conned into working for an intergalactic law enforcement authority – the Special Corps, whose entire method is to send a thief to catch a thief.
The main character, ‘Slippery’ Jim di Griz is the eponymous rat, whose attempts to catch the bad guy, escape his new ‘employers’ (and the alternative of incarceration) – as well as his explosive interactions with his fellow criminals and his love interest – the even more sociopathic Angelina – would make for a fantastic, fast-paced action/comedy film.
It’s fun, funny – and stuff blows up
I was thinking about the books earlier today – and the comic adaptations of those stories in 2000AD, and went looking to see if anyone had made films of them. I was astonished to find out that nobody every had.
Not only do they have cinema written all over them, I had assumed that they were extremely well-known and well-loved, simply because I, and all my friends, had been really into them.
I think I was about 14 or 15 when I first read them, and particularly liked the first and third books, The Stainless Steel Rat (1961) and The Stainless Steel Rat Saves The World (1972). There are ten books in total.
Done right, it’d be ace – done badly, it’d still be fun
My idea is that if adapted and packed with snappy dialogue by good writers (think Joss Whedon), directed with a contemporary approach (think Dark Knight meets Hustle), and given a good cast – The Stainless Steel Rat could be an amazing cinematic experience.
But I guess with that combination, so could the phone book.
The novels are pulpy and kitsch – so it would be difficult to screw that end of it up too badly – but they’re a great deal of fun. There’s no ‘sanctity of the text’ here, as there was with something like Watchmen – but it has all the ingredients for a fantastic franchise.
Spaceships, con artists, time travel, romance, intrigue, explosions and cliffhanger moments every other minute… what’s not to like?
I’d love it if someone would make this. Please invite me to the opening.
Table of contents for 30 Days of Ideas
- The other way of following first
- Now we’re up and dancing
- 30 days of ideas – 01: Keymash
- 30 days of ideas – 02: Radio Alerts
- 30 days of ideas – 03: Only Famous (a romantic comedy)
- 30 days of ideas – 04: Modcasts
- 30 days of ideas – 05: Numberless Calendar
- 30 days of ideas – 06: SpringCleanr
- 30 days of ideas – 07: Street Gallery
- 30 days of ideas – 08: Smart Business Cards
- 30 days of ideas – 09: Recordings in Concert
- 30 days of ideas – 10: Vinyl scanner
- 30 days of ideas – 11: Photo Stack-and-Scan
- 30 days of ideas – 12: A Box of Cool
- 30 days of ideas – 13: Karaoke-Tube Celebstar Idol
- 30 days of ideas – 14: I Made You A Tape
- 30 days of ideas – 15: Newspaper download codes
- 30 days of ideas – 16: Pebble Splash
- 30 days of ideas – 17: Digital radio, somewhere useful
- 30 days of ideas – 18: Public domain music collection
- 30 days of ideas – 19: Blog cast-list automator
- 30 days of ideas – 20: The Retirement Pile
- 30 days of ideas – 21: Nationalise EMI
- 30 days of ideas – 22: The Stainless Steel Rat (the movie)
- 30 days of ideas – 23: WordPress Bandcampify template
- 30 days of ideas – 24: Rollercoasters as public transport
- 30 days of ideas – 25: Next-gen personalised music radio
- 30 days of ideas – 26: New Music Trust
- 30 days of ideas – 27: Tamagotchi Gardening
- 30 days of ideas – 28: Charity shop clothing subscription
- 30 days of ideas – 29: ‘Now Playing’ social music app
- 30 days of ideas – 30: House of Spare Ideas
- Mixtape for You by Ray Kuyvenhoven
- What can you do in 30 days?