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 12:00 AM, 11-JANUARY-08
 
Imagine, Uni Eye Lensman Books

Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment and Universal Pictures are negotiating with the estate of legendary SF author E.E. "Doc" Smith for film rights to Smith's seminal Lensman novels, Al Trestrail, Smith's grandson and manager of his estate, told SCI FI Wire.

The series, first published in the 1930s, is considered one of the earliest serialized SF sagas, and Smith is widely considered the father of the "space opera" genre. The Lensman series has been cited as a primary influence by many of today's authors and filmmakers, including Star Wars' George Lucas and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski.

Imagine and Universal are negotiating for an 18-month renewable option, Trestrail said in an interview. "The option would be for 18 months, with another 18-month extension available if needed," he said. "This is being negotiated now. One can only assume at that point if they believe it will be a profitable venture they would move ahead with at least one film."

Smith was a major writer during the pulp science fiction era, starting in the late 1920s. The Lensman series began in 1934 with Triplanetary, a novel serialized in the pages of the magazine Amazing Stories. That novel spawned several sequels.

The series spans millions of years, recounting the struggle between the good Arisians and the evil Eddorians. The books chronicle the rising role of humanity in the ultimate battle as seen through the eyes of the protagonist, Kim Kinnison, who comes to control a key artifact: the lens, a bracelet that bestows telepathy and other powers.

(Universal is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.)
 


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©2008, SCI FI. All rights reserved.

 
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Source: Nielsen Galaxy Report, 12/17/07 - 12/23/07. Fewer than 10 listings appear because fewer than 10 different SF&F original series aired on broadcast networks this week.