Ray Bradbury hits the big time -- With Mel Gibson set to direct a new version of ''Farenheit 451,'' the sci-fi author is busier than ever

By Beth Pinsker
Updated March 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

”I’m going to be 80 next year, I have three movies coming out, and I’ve had three new books in the last two years,” says Ray Bradbury, proudly. The sci-fi scribe’s work is suddenly hot material in Hollywood: Mel Gibson is slated to direct a film of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (the 1966 version was directed by Francois Truffaut), and the author is working on a big-screen version of The Martian Chronicles (it was an NBC miniseries in 1980). Bradbury also adapted his 1958 story ”The Magic White Suit” as the straight-to-video The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, starring Joe Mantegna, Edward James Olmos, and Esai Morales as cash-poor Los Angelenos who buy a suit that magically changes their lives — but not in the way they expected. ”I love writing, that’s why I keep working. And I love movies,” says Bradbury. The feeling seems to be mutual.