I am nonplussed by Hayden Christensen’s success. With all the young actors struggling for roles in cutthroat Hollywood, how is it that he got in? I’m not trying to be funny here – I just don’t get it. If he were cast in a David Mamet film, and instructed to deliver his lines with no expression or emotion, he would still really suck, which means can’t even not act well. He made me cringe in Star Wars. Who keeps giving him parts, and why?
OK - enough griping! On a more positive note, I’d like to mention the great "jumper" story of sci-fi: The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester (1956). Like the Jumper characters, Charles Fort Jaunte discovers his talent accidentally. Trapped in a deadly laboratory fire, he suddenly finds himself 20 feet away from the blaze, next to the fire extinguisher. He and others develop this newfound skill, and pretty soon just about everyone learns to “jaunte” to any place on earth, provided they’ve been there once and can picture the place. The main protagonist of Stars is Gully Foyle, who is just a fantastic character. This is one of my favorite sci-fi books ever. It’s easily on my top-ten list, and is generally considered to be one of the best sci-fi novels. In fact, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m going to read it again.
They’ve never made a movie of The Stars My Destination, though I’ve read that there were aborted attempts. In 2006, Universal bought screen rights to the book, but I don’t know if they've moved on it. Gully Foyle is a complex and morally ambiguous character, and if Hollywood makes this book into a movie, I suspect that they’ll dumb it down.