COMMENT: Make great movies and produce Part II, Part III, Part IV and more!

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In the theater world, how do producers decide on a sequel and after the second film, when do they decide to produce a third, a fourth and so on? With more, here is Dr. Larry Burriss, professor at MTSU…


VERBATIM: “Two questions often asked in the film world are: how much can you modify the original source material while still remaining true to the original, and which version of multi-version movies is the “real” version?

We have seen these questions pondered, and unanswered, in Peter Jackson’s versions of “The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.” At what point could films no longer legitimately retain their titles, and which of the multiple versions of the films themselves can be considered canonical?

This question is again being debated with Apple TV’s reimagining of Isaac Asimov’s trilogy, “Foundation”, “Foundation and Empire” and “Second Foundation”. And especially trying to superimpose a social commentary from 2021 on a story from the 1940s.

At the heart of Asimov’s story is the ascendancy of science and reason over superstition and delusion. But critics have tried to tie the original to the current debate about “following the science” and the accompanying question, whose science?

What about the current ethical debate on cloning? Well, critics have pointed out that the name of one of the central characters in the book is an emperor named Cleon, whose name is an anagram of “clone.” And in the television series it is a succession of clones, named, curiously, Dawn, Day and Dusk.

There is also a terrorist attack that kills millions of people, forcing the government to crack down on civil liberties.

The allusion to the growth, maturation and destruction of the empire and the contemporary terrorist attack is about as subtle as being hit by a Mack truck.

Then there is a monolith that kind of hangs in the sky and obstructs anything that comes close to it.

It all probably sounds at least somewhat familiar, but nothing similar is found in Asimov’s originals.

Of course, any work of classical literary fiction can find its relevance today. The problem arises when modern critics attempt to impose current ideas on stories unrelated to the future.

– I’m Larry Burriss. “


About Dr Burriss

Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At graduate level, he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He is a graduate of Ohio State University (BA in Audiovisual Journalism, MA in Journalism), University of Oklahoma (MA in Human Relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in Journalism) and Concord Law School (JD). He has worked in print and broadcast media and in public relations, and has published extensively in academic and popular publications. He has won first place nine times in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest. Dr. Burriss’ publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photographs, radio news, legal issues related to the use of social networking sites by adolescents, legal research and Middle earth.

Dr Burriss has served as Director of the School of Journalism, Dean of the College of Mass Communication and Chairman of the Senate of MTSU Faculty. He was appointed by Governor Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.


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