Very stoked about this. This is probably one of my top ten all time favorite books (like Star Wars, though, the sequels don't exist in my universe, the first book was the ONLY book).
Morgan Freeman's production company has owned the rights for a long time, and he's been waiting for the right director. I think Villeneuve is the one. He is a master of perspective cinematography, and perspective is what Rama is going to be all about - how to properly capture the scale of the interior of the ship.
I don't know why some of you think this is anywhere near as difficult as Dune to bring to film. Rama (the first book) is not a dense read - maybe you guys are thinking of the later books? It's a very simple story, it's just the scale that's involved, and the massive reliance on CGI that will be necessary to make it work (I am so looking to their vision of tri-legged cleaner bio-bots!), but all that is totally doable now with today's CGI technology. What will make it or break it will be the artistic design choices.
I just hope they stick to the novel closely, and don't try to 'Hollywoodize' it. I think Freeman respects the IP enough to do it justice. The problem is that the book ends with a LOT of questions, and the Hollywood bean counters don't like screenplays like that.
- “The planet is fine. The people are fucked.” -George Carlin