Deadline reports that 6th & Idaho, the studio owned by director Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), has acquired rights to adapt Clifford D. Simak's Hugo Award-winning novel Way Station into a Netflix film. Reeves recently made headlines as director of the upcoming Batman movie, which will star Robert Pattinson. Way Station is one of several films 6th & Idaho is currently developing for Netflix, including Animal Farm, Button Man, Idol, and Recursion. Deadline says writers are being sought to adapt Simak's classic novel into a "large scale sci-fi thriller."
Simak's 1963 standalone novel is notable for its optimism about the future of our planet and species. The action takes place at a farm in rural America where Enoch Wallace, once a Union soldier in the Civil War, acts as an innkeeper of sorts for a way station — a resting place where alien travelers can rest on their journeys across the stars. Enoch has been tending the way station for over a hundred years, but ages only in the uncommon instances when he leaves his home. His life as a way station keeper is rich with friendships, and with his sense that he is performing a noble duty which benefits the entire galaxy.
However, Enoch becomes conflicted when the alien he calls Ulysses, who recruited Enoch to manage the way station, proposes a disturbing solution to stop humanity from giving in to violent impulses and destroying each other. If humanity's memory were to be collectively wiped, could humans be saved from ourselves? Regardless, can Enoch stand aside and watch as Ulysses changes his species forever?
As The Portalist's Betsy Mitchell wrote in 2016 after reading Way Station for the first time, it's "a story that contains such intriguing ideas, relatable characters, and enjoyable prose that it continues to attract new fans many decades after its original publication." At this time, details about the Way Station adaptation are scarce. Nonetheless, it's exciting to hear that SImak's story will have another platform with which to connect to a new generation of sci-fi fans.
Can't wait for the Way Station adaptation? Download these Simak books today!