Thursday, 7 November 2013

Art that has inspired movies: The O'Neill Cylinder and Elysium

If you've listen to our Elysium podcast, then maybe you noticed us compairing the look to the Elysium space station for the elite to films such as 2001: A Space Odyssy. The film's design was by Phillip Ivey, and he has stated that his major influence was Syd Mead, who's designs were used for Aliens and Blade Runner, those notorious grimy looking sci-fi films. What Ivey doesn't explicitly say is that the films Elysium bares a striking resemblance to the O'Neill Cylinder. Which is weird, considering how similar the two are.

The physicist Gerard K. O'Neill came up with the O'Neill Cylinder for his 1976 book The High Frontier: Future Colonies in Space. With brilliant illustrations by Don Davis, Chesley Bonestell and Rick Guidice, the book was a exploration of how humans could colonise space in the 21st century.

Already a major influence of programmes like Babylon 5 and Mobile Suit Gundam, and games like Policenauts and Vanquish, I'm suprised that nobody from Elysium has come out and said about the O'Neill Cylinder, as it is blazingly obvious. Unless, of course, they were all watching Babylon 5 when researching the film.


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