A 2022 Prometheus Best Novel finalist heads to the silver screen

Prometheus Award winners or finalists don’t make it to the screen that often, so it’s promising news when another is reported to be on its way.

Director Taika Waititi (Creative Commons license)

Deadline.com recently reported that Oscar-winning film director Taika Waititi is is in talks to direct a film adaptation of Klara and the Sun, by Nobel-prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro.

Klara and the Sun, a poignant near-future fable about an A.I. robot tasked with caring for and befriending a human child, was one of five Best Novel finalists for the 2022 Prometheus Award.

The upcoming movie is likely to garner a lot of attention – if only because Waititi, an Oscar winner for Jojo Rabbit, has become a major Hollywood player.

Waititi directed Marvel’s popular sequel Thor: Love and Thunder, released in July, and is scheduled to direct the next Star Wars movie next year.

But what will Waititi – known for his quirky vision and oddball sense of humor – make of Klara and the Sun?

And will his film version focus on the relatively subtle libertarian aspects of Ishiguro’s novel? Or will it minimize such themes in favor of Hollywood melodrama, mega-heroics and special effects?


Only time will tell, but here’s the LFS capsule-review description of Klara and the Sun, which highlights the themes we can hope will be reflected in at least some significant part on screen:

Set in a near future when commercial development of A.I. robots make them affordable for affluent-family servants and companions, this poignant fable by the Japanese-British Nobel-Prize-winner subtly explores existential questions about self-awareness, intelligence, agency, servitude, foundations of liberty, and personhood.

Told through the limited, fallible eyes of its gentle title character, this story explores her childlike thirst to comprehend the world, conceiving a solar-energy-related proto-religion and embarking on a secretive quest to save her ailing girl charge.

Just as few people glimpse Klara’s awareness while virtually all remain blind to her potential personhood in a culture increasingly antagonistic to AIs, Ishiguro intentionally leaves readers with few clues about Klara’s true nature.

This hauntingly ambiguous meta-libertarian tragedy evokes the ancient tragedy of widespread slavery, once commonly accepted and only recently abolished via the universalizing liberal/libertarian commitment to dignity, self-ownership and freedom for all.

Note: For more about this novel, read the Prometheus Blog review of Klara and the Sun.


Based on the Deadline report, we likely won’t have to wait that long to find out just how faithful the film will be to the novel.

The project reportedly is already in development, with Dahvi Waller penning the original draft of the screenplay and Waititi planning to make Klara and the Sunhis next film to direct – even before Star Wars.

Interestingly, the Deadline article speculates that the central title role of Klara is likely to attract some very talented and up-and-coming actresses: “The role is certain to become one of the more sought-after parts for a actresses in their 20s given the awards pedigree Ishiguro adaptations have garnered.”

Meanwhile, Next Goal Wins, Waititi’s next filmstarring Michael Fassbender, is set for release this fall.


* Prometheus winners: For the full list of Prometheus winners, finalists and nominees – for the annual Best Novel and Best Classic Fiction (Hall of Fame) categories and occasional Special Awards – visit the enhanced Prometheus Awards page on the LFS website, which now includes convenient links to the full set of published appreciation-reviews of past winners.

* Read “The Libertarian History of Science Fiction,” an essay in the international magazine Quillette that favorably highlights the Prometheus Awards, the Libertarian Futurist Society and the significant element of libertarian sf/fantasy in the evolution of the modern genre.

Watch  videos of past Prometheus Awards ceremonies, Libertarian Futurist Society panel discussions with noted sf authors and leading libertarian writers, and other LFS programs on the Prometheus Blog’s Video page.

Join us! To help sustain the Prometheus Awards, join the Libertarian Futurist Society (LFS), a non-profit all-volunteer association of freedom-loving sf/fantasy fans.

Libertarian futurists believe that culture matters! We understand that the arts and literature can be vital, and in some ways even more powerful than politics in the long run, by sparking innovation, better ideas, positive social change, and mutual respect for each other’s rights and differences.

Through recognizing the literature of liberty and the many different but complementary visions of a free future via the Prometheus Awards, the LFS hopes to help spread better visions of the future that help humanity overcome tyranny, end slavery and war and achieve universal liberty, respect for human rights and a better world (perhaps eventually, worlds) for all.

Published by

Michael Grossberg

Michael Grossberg, who founded the LFS in 1982 to help sustain the Prometheus Awards, has been an arts critic, speaker and award-winning journalist for five decades. Michael has won Ohio SPJ awards for Best Critic in Ohio and Best Arts Reporting (seven times). He's written for Reason, Libertarian Review and Backstage weekly; helped lead the American Theatre Critics Association for two decades; and has contributed to six books, including critical essays for the annual Best Plays Theatre Yearbook and an afterword for J. Neil Schulman's novel The Rainbow Cadenza. Among books he recommends from a libertarian-futurist perspective: Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist & How Innovation Works, David Boaz's The Libertarian Mind and Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress.

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