SF writer Harlan Ellison blasted Steven Spielberg’s efforts to film H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds in comments to SCI FI Wire at Enigma Con at the University of California, Los Angeles. “What annoys me is that Spielberg is such an egomaniac these days that it has to be ‘Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds,'” the outspoken Ellison said in an interview over the weekend. “No, you puss-bag. It’s H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, and it wouldn’t kill you to put his f–king name on it.”
Ellison, author of such books as I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, added: “That shows his arrogance. It’s like Disney. Disney didn’t write Snow White or Robin Hood or Bambi, but it’s ‘Walt Disney’s universe.’ It’s the universe according to frozen Walt.”
The irascible Ellison hosted a 90-minute lecture at the conference, which he titled “How Does SF Stay in Business in a World of Marching Morons?” He said that he does give Spielberg credit for directing 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. “Spielberg is only a craftsman, that’s all he is,” Ellison said. “He’s not a genius. He’s not a trendsetter. There isn’t one moment of any Spielberg film, with the possible exception of Doom, that matches the least moment of a Kurosawa film. Kurosawa was a blinding genius of cinema. His vision was astonishing.”
Ellison said that he has little interest in seeing remakes and added: “We live in a society that values less and less the original.”
hmm… would that be why no one’s going to the movies these days?