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Boston, U.S.A. - In the two-way mirror that often is a reflection of life or art, another trend is forming. The worlds of literature and Hollywood are colliding again, this time with a focus on cryonics, the science intended to reanimate people after death and freezing.
The debut novel from Bruce E. Spitzer, Extra Innings , about baseball great Ted Williams returning to life through cryonics, was published last month by Bear Hill Media. Extra Innings was featured recently in Sports Illustrated Magazine and ranked in the top 25 on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list for sports fiction.
A cryonics movie, Freezing People is Easy, is in pre-production in Hollywood and will shoot in the fall, reportedly starring Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken.
Inspired by Bob Nelson’s memoir We Froze the First Man and an episode of Chicago Public Media and Public Radio International’s This American Life, Freezing People is the story of Nelson’s first cryonics attempts in the 1960s. Errol Morris will direct. Producers include Steven Zaillian and Garrett Basch of Film Rites. Toronto-based Entertainment One announced that it will distribute the picture worldwide.
TV got into the act last winter when Larry King announced on CNN that he wanted to be cryonically preserved. Can reality TV be far behind?
Unlike Freezing People, which looks back at the beginnings of cryonics, Spitzer’s Extra Innings looks forward, featuring Ted Williams reanimated in 2092. In real life he was cryonically preserved after death in 2002. In his imagined return, Williams plays again for the Red Sox, bats against a robot “Botwinder” pitcher that he abhors pilot’s jets for the Marines, and struggles in a future world beset by global warming and flooding.
“The narrative resonates with the consequences of the major issues we face in our world today—the steroids debate in sports, global warming, corporate greed, technology run rampant, and the moral ambiguity of war,” says Spitzer. “It’s a societal and personal journey. Flawed in his first life, Williams must decide in the second, what’s more important: the chance to win his first World Series or the chance to be a better man?”
Extra Innings, adds Spitzer, is not only about science, baseball, redemption, and the quest for meaning in this life and the next, it’s humorous as well. “Similar to what we’re likely to see in Freezing People, you can’t help but poke a little fun at the idea of returning to life after being frozen.”