When Ray Bradbury passed on June 5, there was a tremendous outpouring of memories and tributes from all over the world.
From President Obama and Steven Spielberg, to regular every day people who came in contact with Ray, it’s clear the world really misses him, and will continue to enjoy his literary legacy for many years to come.
Now Deadline and Giant Freakin Robot report that actor Joe Mantegna, who stars on Criminal Minds and who is also the voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons, is planning to produce a documentary on Bradbury titled “Live Forever.”
The documentary will be produced through Mantegna’s company, Aquaviva Productions, and Mantegna will narrate it as well. The documentary is being prepared for December, and it will include interviews with Malcolm McDowell, Edward James Olmos, Dennis Franz, Roy Disney, Hugh Hefner, and Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of deep sea explorer Jacques Cousteau.
While a 90 minute version of Live Forever is slated to hit theaters, there is also a report that a four hour version may also play on TV. This all sounds pretty sweet so far, and the more tributes to Bradbury the better, yet we all know it’s his legacy to literature and storytelling that will always be the tribute that keeps on giving to the world.
In fact, I was further reminded of Bradbury’s incredible impact when I looked at the back cover of The Bradbury Chronicles, the authorized biography written by Sam Weller. As Spielberg said, “Ray Bradbury’s most significant contribution to our culture is showing us that the imagination has no foreseeable boundaries,” and as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak felt, “You have to place [him] on a pedestal for making us have dreams of wanting to do somewhere in life.”
And Stephen King caps it off nicely with, “Well, of course, without Ray Bradbury, there is no Stephen King, at least as he grew.”
Not to mention Bradbury should also be a big influence on writers in another way. He’s had tremendous influence without having a best-seller, or at least he’s claimed he’s never had one, which proves success can come if you stick around long enough.
As Bradbury told Lawrence Grobel in Playboy, “I’ve never had a best-seller in my life. In paperback The Martian Chronicles sold on an average of 100,000 copies a year in a twenty-five year period, but that’s not a best-seller. It’s taken twenty-five years to sell two million copies. A best-seller is a thing that sells in two months or a year. You learn, over the years, to be whatever Fate decides you are to be. You go with your talent and the love of people who really love you. That love compensates for a lot.”