Have Spacesuit – Will Travel

David Reynolds Has Spacesuit, Will Travel

Hell in a Handbasket notes that Warner Bros. is going to adapt this Robert A. Heinlein SF novel into a movie.

This was one of my favorites as a kid, and I just read it to my kids about a year ago. (In fact, I mentioned it on MO at the time because there was a replacement for the UN in the story, which takes place in the near future.) It’s from Heinlein’s earlier period, and is just plain fun. And amazing, since it was written before man had flown in space.


  1. The track record for Heinlein movie adaptations is abysmal. Philip K. Dick got at least two great movies, I think that it’s a cosmic injustice that we are saddled with %$#&^&#$#ing Verhoevan’s Starship Troopers and the mediocre Puppet Masters. I hope they never make a movie out of Stranger in a Strange Land, but a solid adaptation of hugo winning Double Star or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress would be great. Any of the juveniles except for Rocket Ship Galileo would be decent fodder for a movie, but particularly Red Planet, Citizen of the Galaxy, and Starman Jones. Also, Beyond This Horizon and the first half of Glory Road. And frankly, I’d still like to see a real version of either Starship Troopers or Puppet Masters. The shorter works have potential – just think what would happen if some indie moviemaker type made a creepy film noir version of ‘The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag’ or someone did a spy/action thriller based on ‘Revolt in 2100’ Really, short works make better movies. A page of a movie script is equal to about a minute of film time. And also roughly equivalent to a page in prose. So, for a two hour movie, you need about 120 pages of text. Anything more, and you have to start cutting. Get a really big novel, and you have to cut a lot. Heinlein’s novels in the early days tended to be short, and in principle could be adapted more easily than say, Dune. (Also, his early novels were better, imho.)

  2. As an individual who has read every Heinlein book over the course of a lifetime, I agree that the existing movie adaptations are bizarre and disappointing. On an optimistic note, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel is one of the great Heinlein works. If this were to succeed, there could potentially be 50 other great movies in the works. Hollywood Sci-Fi productions are mostly either horror or suspense stories in disguise, and truly disappoint authentic science fiction enthusiasts. Perhaps a successful adaptation of a Heinlein novel could rectify that problem for 50 years to come!