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"... arise From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your 
scattered bodies go..."
-- John Donne



Poll on leaves Riverworld in the dust

 No News In Months

Alex Proyas, 
Executive Producer; Director
The Crow; Dark City

What we Think About This

He's actually not the director we would have thought of for this series, but the more we think about it, the more we like him.  The Crow remains a cult favorite, and demonstrates a director with a specific creative vision that is just cutting his teeth.  His next film, Dark City, was nothing short of brilliant, quite possibly the best dark sci-fi film to come out since Blade Runner.

But what makes Proyas perfect is not the fact that he can do sci-fi (and appears to enjoy it greatly), but that he can mix disparate genres into a cohesive central theme.  For instance, Dark City is not just a science fiction film.  Perhaps more so, it is a taut psychological thriller with overtones of paranoia and self discovery.  It is a journey from the darkness into the light of knowledge.  

Both stories revolve around a man's struggle with a seemingly insurmountable goal, leading eventually to a power shift from the dark designers and into the hands of the lab rats.  

Upon this close examination of Dark City and the Riverworld Series, the similarities between them become quickly obvious:  

  • Murdoch, the main character, is apparently accidentally awakened during a medical procedure.  Everyone else is unconscious as the Strangers prepare a new city for the people with new memories.  It slowly becomes apparent that Murdoch was not accidentally awakened at all, and has been pushed toward his destiny by a traitor within the Strangers' ranks.
  • Burton, the main character, is purposely awakened during a procedure in which all the humans around him are unconscious and unaware of what is going on around them.  The Ethicals are preparing these humans for a new world, with the populace completely unawares of the true goals of the experiment.  It slowly becomes apparent that Burton is being pushed toward his destiny by a traitor within the Ethicals' ranks.  

This examination is not to show that Proyas stole his ideas from the Riverworld series; rather, I aim only to demonstrate that he is the perfect director for this kind of project.  

Here's an excellent quote (from this site) by Proyas that not only highlights a potential personal reason for his interest in the Riverworld, but perhaps gives us a glimpse into his goals for the Riverworld television series (though he was not talking about the show directly):

"To me, the soul is really what makes us human. Is there a soul, and is that where humanity comes from? As an individual we dress and act in a certain way. But that's not truly who we are -- it is something else, a spirit from somewhere else that makes us what we are. That essence will go on and carry on past the physical life. I find it very hard to believe that you die and the lights go out and that's it. That's the most horrific concept of existence -- I can't accept that."