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Why Bradley Cooper’s Hyperion Movie Will Be Epic for Sci-FI Fans – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Why Bradley Cooper’s Hyperion Movie Will Be Epic for Sci-FI Fans



Bradley Cooper has been devoted to bringing Dan Simmons’ epic and thought-provoking science fiction novel Hyperion and its three sequels to life since the early 2010s. The books were written in the 1980s and ’90s and have been considered some of the most pivotal science fiction works ever written. Cooper sees the value in sharing these timeless stories with science fiction and cinema lovers, as well as scientists, engineers, sociologists, and futurists all over the world.

The Hyperion franchise follows the journey of six pilgrims on an epic adventure to face a horrifying enemy on a foreign planet. Hyperion is an enigmatic planet populated by little-known indigenous populations, transplanted poets, outcasts, and terrifying geological or engineered features. The planet orbits in the outreaches of the galaxy, which is now a multi-planetary system controlled by the interstellar Hegemony government. The pilgrims have been assembled by the government to travel to the Time Tombs and meet a destiny that will impact the whole future of the entire human race.

Cooper’s passion project has recently been greenlit as a major motion picture with Warner Bros. The project was initially set to be a television series, which might have been a better format for the expansive and extensive storytelling in the Hyperion novels. However, it’s difficult to imagine this epic on the small screen rather than the big one.

Much work will have to be done to craft this whole futuristic world into a digestible movie, particularly since the first book has seven different timelines. However, if there’s a man for the job, it’s Cooper. His previous work as a director and actor has been critically acclaimed, and his upcoming film Maestro is highly anticipated. Hyperion might have to wait, as Cooper’s next project is a film titled Is This Thing On? where he will direct and star alongside Will Arnett.

Adapting written works that aren’t the most well-known or understood can make it financially difficult. However, with the success of the Dune remake, there is hope that Hyperion will find its audience. The perfect time for Hyperion to fill the void left in the release schedule and capture the imagination of audiences everywhere. It might be beneficial for everyone awaiting the release of Hyperion to spend time enjoying the original novels, as reading them will expand one’s imagination and build excitement for the movie. One will wonder why it took so long to get a big-screen film in the first place.

Bradley Cooper has been devoted to developing the epic, heart-wrenching, and thought-provoking science fiction novel Hyperion and its three sequels since the 2010s. The books were written in the 1980s and ’90s by author Dan Simmons for over a decade, and Cooper sees the value of sharing these timeless stories. Following the success of the film adaptation of the also classic science fiction novel DuneCooper has brought his passion project all the way from television series at Syfy to, just recently, a major motion picture with Warner Bros.


Updated June 18, 2023: This article has been updated to include more relevant information regarding the development of Hyperion.

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There are so many reasons why this Hyperion film adaptation will be an incredible feat. It will be a spectacle for the ages and something science fiction and cinema lovers all over the globe, and indeed scientists and engineers, sociologists, and futurists can get very excited about. The Dan Simmons novels are some of the most pivotal science fiction works ever written. To see them developed by an accomplished producer and filmmaker like Cooper is a monumental development. Here is everything we know about its production so far, and all the themes we want to see leap from the page to the screen!


Why is Hyperion an Essential Read?

Stan talks to Dr. Ritter
Searchlight Pictures

Without giving too much away, the 1989 novel Hyperion is about six pilgrims on an epic journey to face a horrifying enemy, on a foreign planet, with total strangers and no frame of reference for what is about to happen. Hyperion, the planet to which they are traveling, is an enigma populated by little-known indigenous populations, transplanted poets, outcasts, and terrifying geological or engineered features. It orbits in the outreaches of the galaxy, which is now a multi-planetary system controlled by the interstellar Hegemony government, woven together and intimately connected by farcaster portals developed and run by a not at all understood, highly-evolved artificial intelligence unit called the Core.

On Hyperion exists a fierce, metallic, towering monster called the Shrike, and it guards Time Tombs or ancient vaults and palaces of stones and jewels that are somehow running backward in time along with the Shrike. Complicating it all is the huge swarm of Ousters — long separated, barbaric humans who ran to the furthest reaches of space to dabble in strange and inhuman practices now surrounding the pivotal Hyperion to take it for themselves.

Related: Bradley Cooper’s Best Action Movies, Ranked

The six pilgrims have been assembled by the Hegemony government, according to the algorithmic recommendations of the explicitly trusted Core, to travel to the Time Tombs and meet a destiny that will impact the whole future of the entire human race. Because of the specific and precarious ways in which each of the Pilgrims’ lives have already been intertwined with the Shrike and Hyperion, the journey is both emotionally fraught and fatally dangerous, and the results are the explosive confrontations of humanity, technology, and the ultimate intelligence of the Creator itself.

Hyperion explores the nature of God, gods, religion, artificial intelligence, humanity as creators, humanity’s fate in the broader universe, the legitimacy of consciousness, and pretty much everything in between these topics. The book launched the Hyperion Cantosa franchise of four novels. Hyperion was followed by The Fall of Hyperion in 1990, Endymion in 1996, and The Rise of Endymion in 1997. The books are an essential read for anyone plagued or even mildly curious about the fate of humanity in our increasingly complicated and threatened world and are an exceptional, absolutely outstanding narrative achievement.

Making the Hyperion Books a Big-Screen Reality

Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine
Warner Bros. Pictures

Bradley Cooper has allegedly been committed to adapting this tale for the ages since the early 2010s. Perhaps the success of 2021’s Dune gave studios the motivation they needed to ensure Hyperion becomes a story fresh in the minds of all during this critical time in history. Graham King of The Rum Diary and Tomb Raider 2 will be producing alongside Cooper.

The project was initially set to be a television series, which might have been a better format for the expansive and extensive storytelling in the Hyperion novels. Still, it’s difficult to imagine this epic on the small screen rather than the big one. Much work will have to be done to craft this whole futuristic world into a digestible movie, particularly since the first book has seven different timelines, but if there’s a man for the job, it’s Cooper.

Hyperion is filled with interesting, original, and engaging characters that need to be cast with enigmatic actors. There is an extensive list of potential artists who could portray these characters, and it’s worth speculating which one Cooper might take on as he generally also lends his astounding acting talent to his directorial work. Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star is Bornwas both a box office hit and a major awards player landing eight Academy Award nominations and winning Best Original Song. Cooper’s next film, Maestrowill be released in 2023 by Netflix and will see Cooper both direct and play legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.

Hyperion might have to wait. It was recently announced that Cooper would direct and star in Is This Thing On? The movie is set up at Searchlight Pictures and will see Cooper star alongside Will Arnett, who is also set to pen the screenplay. That film appears to have taken priority over Hyperion, where no development has been made.

What Challenges Are There?

Taylor Kitsch in a scene from John Carter
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

While big sci-fi adventure films have a large audience to support them, adapting written works that aren’t the most well-known or understood can make it financially difficult. Disney adapted a similar classic science fiction novel into the film John Carter. While many fans found the film to be a wonderful adaptation, the movie is one of the most high-profile box office flops of all time. Perhaps it was because of poor marketing, or maybe it was because not enough people were interested in the original story.

However, the remake of Dune has been widely praised, despite the less popular original film. It is hard to identify what exactly the difference is. There is a chance that the newer Dune attracted the attention of younger audiences with the casting of stars Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. In that case, Hyperion will need to pay extra attention to what stars will help spread the word about the film and bring in a new audience to experience the story.

Related: Underrated Sci-Fi Movies of the ’60s, Ranked

While many sci-fi adaptations have failed to live up to expectations, it may be the perfect time for Hyperion. Dune has sparked more interest in the genre recently. Both Star Wars and Star Trek have been largely absent from the big screen, with the next Star Wars not releasing in theaters until at least 2026. This is the perfect time for Hyperion to fill the void left in the release schedule and capture the imagination of audiences everywhere.

It might be beneficial for everyone awaiting the release of Hyperion to spend time enjoying the original novels, as reading them will expand one’s imagination and build excitement for the movie. One will wonder why it took so long to get a big-screen film in the first place.

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