For his feature debut, director-screenwriter Dan Rush built Everything Must Go around the central concept of Raymond Carver’s 1977 story “Why Don’t You Dance.” But Carver’s story, as Rush puts it, is “pretty dang short,” so he had to make some bold creative choices to beef up the narrative. (Some other notable Carver adaptations: Robert Altman’s Shortcuts and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne). It’s a bold choice, generally, for any filmmaker to adapt Carver’s work. His stories typically center on disaffected, working class individuals in a gray-skied America; he writes with economical prose (kept even snappier with the help of editor Gordon Lish), and his characters rarely say what they mean. Rush spoke to me about the tall task of creating a cinematic arc out of a very short Carver story, and his decision to cast Will Ferrell in the main role of Nick Halsey. Everything Must Go is available on DVD Sept. 6. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Film Adaptations (21-30 of 41)
One of Hollywood’s most esteemed fanboys won’t be attending Comic-Con 2011 this week. But David S. Goyer says he has a good excuse: He’ll be working on director Zack Snyder’s forthcoming Superman relaunch starring Henry Cavill — the superhero opus most likely to be the biggest story of next year’s Comic-Con. “It would the height of irresponsibility to break away at this point to go to Comic-Con,” the Man of Steel screenwriter (also a key member on Christopher Nolan’s Batman team) told EW in an interview last week. (The film, slated for release next year, begins shooting next week.) Not that the Hollywood hyphenate isn’t capable of multi-tasking. Goyer is also currently brainstorming a new Godzilla flick and adapting his just-published sci-fi novel Heaven’s Shadow, co-written with author and TV producer Michael Cassutt. The book, set in the near future, has rival groups of astronauts – American (in a ship called Destiny) and an alliance of Russian, Indian, and Brazilian interests (in a ship called Brahma) – racing toward a mysterious “near Earth object” (wittily dubbed “Keanu”) hurtling toward our sun. The premise seems vaguely Armageddon-ish, but takes a surprising, challenging, mind-expanding leap into 2001: A Space Odyssey territory. It’s smart, serious, crackerjack-paced sci-fi, expressed through relatable characters and drama that will entertain hardcore geeks who love well-researched Big Ideas and anyone who likes spacey escapism.
French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr by starring in a film adaptation of Big Sur, joins the ranks of James Franco and Sam Riley in playing a beat writer. Published in 1962, Big Sur is the autobiographical novel of a celebrated young author who flees the literary hub of New York for a cabin on the coast of California. Josh Lucas will co-star as Cody Pomeray, a Neal Cassady-type character, and Kate Bosworth will also have a role. READ FULL STORY »
Thriller author Michael Connelly has seen a couple of his characters embodied on-screen at this point—Clint Eastwood played Blood Work‘s Terry McCaleb, while Matthew McConaughey just took his turn as street-smart defense counsel Mickey Haller—but his most popular creation, Los Angeles homicide detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch, has remained solely in book form. Connelly introduced Bosch in 1992′s The Black Echo and has since written 15 more novels featuring him, sometimes alongside other characters like McCaleb and his half-brother Haller. With the release of The Lincoln Lawyer, EW asked Connelly whether there was anyone in Hollywood he could see taking on the role in a movie version, and the author suggested Billy Burke, who plays Bella’s sheriff father in the Twilight saga.
“Something about him…he’s got the mustache,” says Connelly. “Whenever I see him in movies, he’s very close to how I picture Harry Bosch.” Connelly admits that if they ever make a movie from one of his Bosch books, the producers would probably want to go for someone a little more A-list, but, hey, you never know. The author seems to have a particularly good nose for this kind of stuff: He totally called McConaughey’s casting. “Back when I was watching Tropic Thunder, where McConaughey plays an underhanded Hollywood agent, I said to my wife, ‘He could play Mickey Haller.’ That was the first time I thought about it, and then maybe a year later I got that message that it was McConaughey.”
Jess Massa and Rebecca Wiegand are not only poster-girls for modern day dating, but also for 21st century book publishing. These best friends came up with a theory on “dating in the post-dating world” called “the Gaggle.” In a nutshell, the idea is that in a time when traditional dating relationships can’t be expected, women now have a group of guys in their lives who fulfill different romantic roles. Massa and Wiegand turned their idea into an interactive blog (wtfisupwithmylovelife.com), YouTube series, popular Twitter feed, and they even have a movie currently in development with New Line (screenwriters Emily Cook and Kathy Greenberg are attached), which will most likely be reminiscent of recent rom-coms with large casts, such as He’s Just Not That into You and Valentine’s Day. With an already strong brand and film option behind them, Massa and Wiegand, with A-list literary agent Alex Glass, shopped their Gaggle idea for a book, with Massa as author and Wiegand as co-creator. Massa told me exclusively they made a “significant six-figure deal” after a hotly contested auction among six interested publishers, with editor Kerri Kolen at Simon & Schuster coming out on top. Slated for spring of 2012, Massa will pen the book, giving a whole picture of the current dating world and its changing values, and describing the types of guys a girl might find in her Gaggle. Also exclusive to the book will be a rundown of a guy’s Gaggle of girls. READ FULL STORY »
As a huge nerd, the Oscar category I anticipate most each year is Best Adapted Screenplay. There’s something uniquely creative and scholarly about deconstructing a book line-by-line, condensing several scenes into one, inventing devices to lend greater truth to the narrative, and building with images the unspoken words that authors have the luxury of telling readers outright. I like imagining how beaten, dog-eared, and annotated the screenwriter’s copy of the source material must be, and the adapter’s inevitable hours of turmoil of having to sacrifice beautiful scenes for the ruthless economy required of a good film.
It bothers me when people say, “The book is always better than the movie.” It’s a blanket statement I think people say to sound smart, but it’s simply not true (unless you’re talking about Harry Potter). The Devil Wears Prada the movie was leagues better than the charmless book by Lauren Weisberger. The Godfather films will long outlast Mario Puzo’s pulpy potboiler. In the hands of screenwriters and directors who aren’t afraid to take risks, a film adaptation can elevate the source material into a new stratosphere. READ FULL STORY »
'Red Riding Hood' director Catherine Hardwicke and novelist discuss the film and book - EXCLUSIVE video
a novelized adaptation in advance of the film — today, in fact — written by first-time author Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. Blakley-Cartwright, Red Riding Hood director Catherine Hardwicke, and screenwriter David Johnson discuss the film and the writing process in some exclusive clips, featured in the enhanced e-book edition of the novel. Check them out below. READ FULL STORY »The upcoming cinematic reinvention of the classic fairy tale, starring Amanda Seyfried as the crimson-caped protagonist, looks to be a long, long way from Grandma’s house and a lot closer to the violent psycho-sexuality of those fraternal creeps, the Brothers Grimm. While the script was written for the screen, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is releasing
Bob Fingerman says that during his spell dwelling on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in the mid-’90s he came to the conclusion the area was not exactly the liveliest place on earth. “It felt zombie-like in a lot of ways,” says the writer and artist. “You’d see lots of old women eating alone in diners. There seemed to be a quality of just waiting for death.” Way to big the burg up, dude! “This is why I don’t work for the Upper East Side Board of Tourism,” laughs the now Upper West Side-dwelling Fingerman. “‘Come and see the living dead!’”
The author’s old neighborhood provides the setting for his new book Pariah, in which the inhabitants of an apartment block attempt to survive a zombie apocalypse. While the novel is not short of gore—the very first page finds the driver of a colliding taxi cab bursting through his windshield “like a meat torpedo”—the result is as much social satire as it is splatterfest. “The living grow accustomed to the zombies,” says Fingerman. “I think New Yorkers are very resilient and that carried through to these characters. The other thing is that I figured, ‘The ones who weren’t resilient? They’re all dead.’ They got eaten!”
Fingerman has considerable experience in the horror genre. Pariah is actually an unofficial sequel to Zombie World: Winter’s Dregs, a comic book miniseries he wrote in the late ‘90s, “back before zombies were cool.” He also penned the 2007 vampire novel Bottom Feeder and has a short story featured in the new collection The Living Dead 2, alongside contributions from Max Brooks and Walking Dead scribe Robert Kirkman.
Who better then, as we drag our zombie-infected carcasses towards Halloween season, to recommend five horror novels? You can check out Fingerman’s picks after the jump.
Harvey Pekar was one of the most important, idiosyncratic, and eccentric writers that the comics medium has ever produced. He ushered in a new age of autobiographical realism to comic books and graphic novels, writing scripts that were illustrated by artists such as R. Crumb, Gary Dumm, Dean Haspiel, Drew Friedman, and Rick Geary. He enjoyed a brief period of TV stardom as an occasional guest on David Letterman’s NBC talk show, and his READ FULL STORY »
Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, has reportedly bought the movie rights to Tom Rachman’s much-buzzed-about novel The Imperfectionists. Published in April, the book is an endearing comedy of manners set at a fictional English-language newspaper in Rome. Though some early reviews were mixed, Janet Maslin of the New York Times loved it, saying the novel was “a splendid original, filled with wit and structured so ingeniously that figuring out where the author is headed is half the reader’s fun.” Fueled by word-of-mouth praise, The Imperfectionists is beginning to take off; it’s now showing up on some best-seller lists.
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