"The greatest science fiction film never made?" the book cover asks. It's by no means a ludicrous question. In 1977 Warner Bros. hired Ellison to adapt Isaac Asimov's hugely famous robot stories for the big screen. Those connected but disparate tales did not easily lend themselves to film, so Ellison created a clever framing story, threw in some contemporary technology (the stories were first published in the 1950s) and yet still managed to stay true to the source material.
The studio, sadly, passed up the chance to make the movie (for reasons Ellison outlines here in another one of his biting and hilarious introductions). The published script, with fabulous illustrations by Mark Zug, is a delight. In mid-2004, of course, a movie titled "I, Robot," starring Will Smith and bearing only the faintest resemblance to Asimov's stories and vision, was released.
Forget it; this is both the authorized version and the artistic triumph, now playing in a theater of the mind near you.
In late 2004, the Costco chain store released what must be one of the more bizarre Ellison collectibles of all time: a shrinkwrapped bundle of the Will Smith "I, Robot" DVD (in letterbox or fullscreen editions) and a copy of Ellison's Illustrated Screenplay. The book's dimensions are slightly smaller than the Edgeworks Abbey/ibook trade paperback edition, but it includes all of the illustrations in full color.