Focus Features to Adapt Robert Silverberg’s How It Was When the Past Went Away


Focus Features has plans to adapt for the big screen Robert Silverberg’s science fiction novella How It Was When the Past Went Away, Variety reports. Originally, published in the 1969 anthology, “Three for Tomorrow,” the story takes place in the aftermath of an event that causes mass memory loss. Selfless scribes Alex and David Pastor will provide the screenplay.

“A loony with a bunch of nifty drugs puts amnesifacients in San Francisco’s water supply,” reads the story’s description on the “Quasi-Official” Silverberg website, “The city starts to fall apart as people forget who they are, who they’re married to, where they work. The drug effects everyone a little differently, with different memories lost to differing degrees. The story is told in true disaster-movie tradition, with a multitude of characters from different walks of life followed through the crisis. There’s the artist so in debt he can’t afford the tools of his trade, but doesn’t remember his monetary problems or that his wife left him. There’s the crooked stock broker with millions worth of illicit transactions kept only in his head. There’s the grieving man who lost his family in a plane crash. There’s the nightclub performer whose act is that he remembers everything.”

The Twilight Saga producers Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen are attached to produce the big screen take with Vince Gerardis executive producing.