William F. Nolan Dead at 93; New ‘Logan’s Run’ Remains a Mystery

From Henry Chamberlain’s graphic novel, George’s Run

William F. Nolan was one of the grand old men from the golden age of science fiction and horror spanning pulp fiction, television and the movies. Starting out as an illustrator in Kansas City, Nolan ultimately made his way to Hollywood and became part of a group of writers within the orbit of Ray Bradbury, and subsequently Charles Beaumont, all trying to break into television. As part of the inner circle of writers, casually known as, “The Group,” little by little, Nolan gained some ground. The Group, at its core, consisted of Charles Beaumont, John Tomerlin, Bill Nolan, and George Clayton Johnson. It is the chemistry between Bill and George that boosted each other’s morale and formed a lasting bond. Eager to strike out on their own, George and Bill decided to write a novel together that, in part, paid tribute to all the great science fiction stories they loved. That was to become the 1967 classic, Logan’s Run. It led to the 1976 cult classic major motion picture. But could these two hope to catch lightning in a bottle ever again the way they did with Logan’s Run? Ah, now that’s been an intriguing possibility over the years, all the way to this very day. The long running joke for decades has been that a Logan’s Run sequel is in development and just on the verge of moving forward. One project led to another and then another.

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Another adaptation of Logan’s Run is currently in the works at Warner Bros., and as recently as last month, Nolan was outspoken about how he wished for the new project to skew closer to the original book.

“I am not a fan of the idea that Logan should be female,” Nolan told THR. “Mainly because Logan’s story is his story. If there is another story, then that could be in a TV episode or something, but it would not be Logan’s story. That would be a different character. Just changing to a woman to be fashionable doesn’t work, and George told me he felt the same. George was always tougher on the movie than I was. Over the years I came over more to his side about it, which is why I’d like to see it remade with the current technology. I also think it would be a really good streaming series, like Westworld.”

But there’s a problem with this story. As George Clayton Johnson made clear to me in an interview I conducted with him in 2012, he had his own sequel in mind and it is entitled, Jessica’s Run. George was emphatic that the original novel was missing a third act and it was the continuation of Jessica’s story that would provide that much needed resolution. George made clear that he had written the script for it and it was ready when needed. In my interview, George makes clear that both men had equal rights to the Logan’s Run franchise; so either one, personally or through an estate, could still have a say in what happens next with Logan’s Run. Now both men are in the hereafter and have all the time in the world to keep waiting on what seems like the perpetual news of a forthcoming Logan’s Run.

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Filed under George Clayton Johnson, Logan's Run, Obituaries, pop culture, William F. Nolan

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