Amazon is cancelling a planned adaptation of the Banks Culture series

I am totally fine with that. These are books that I like very much, and I’m not confident that anyone could pull off the video adaptation, and even if they made a good movie/series, it would be a different experience. It could have been a great experience, but there are ten books and only ten books, and Jeff Bezos is skimming off enough profit from them without also owning a video adaptation.


  1. chrislawson says

    Some of the Culture novels could be great adaptations. Player of Games comes to mind as a fundamentally cinematic novel. But I doubt anyone less than a truly extraordinary director could get The Hydrogen Sonata to work. And it might even defeat a great director.

  2. Elladan says

    Blast! And I was so looking forward to seeing what Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, did with a series about a communist utopia where money is considered a sign of poverty.

  3. birgerjohansson says

    Slightly OT
    Bezos and his business methods are well known in Sweden
    Amazon is about to establish itself here, and the labor unions have wowed to stop it from exploiting Swedish workers.
    Toys R’us tried to do their thing a couple of decades ago, and they soon learned shit they can get away with in ‘Merica don’t work here.

  4. nomaduk says

    I would have liked to have seen Consider Phlebas, because I think that could have been done reasonably well by a good writer and director. The rest, mmmmmmaybe not so much.

  5. PaulBC says

    On second thought (I had a kneejerk) I think a lot of Banks’s novels could be adapted to film very well as long as you had the special effects budget. While the ship minds are beyond human comprehension in principle, they have to communicate with humans just as in the novels. Scenes involving planetary engineering could make stunning visuals (the shell world in Matter). I also agree that Player of Games could work as a movie.

    The inevitable problem with all adaptations is that readers will find it at odds with their idiosyncratic imagining. But OK, we know we have to deal with it. The avoidable, but unlikely to be avoided problem is it’s a crapshoot whether the filmmaker “gets it” at all.

  6. F.O. says

    Yeah, I don’t want the TV show to sell a watered-down, sanitised-for-capitalism version of anarchist-communist utopia.

  7. F.O. says

    @birgerjohansson may I ask where in Sweden are you based?

    I live in GBG and am not too happy of the direction Sweden has been taking in the last decade or so.

    (Still have to go a long way before we’re fucked like in the US, but I don’t see how we can steer away)

  8. wzrd1 says

    Just as well, they’d likely butcher the entire concept of the Culture and I’d have a SLAP drone following me around.
    It’s a shame that Banks returned to the GCU Arbitrary. ;)