#screenwriting #film #director
Having written seven of the eight screenplays for the Harry Potter films, Steve Kloves knows a thing or two about adapting a novel for a feature film. Recently we learned that he was in talks to pen a new adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, and now it looks like he may have yet another adaptation project on the horizon, which he may also get to direct.
Variety is reporting that Kloves is in talks with Warner Bros. to write and direct the Mary Parent produced adaptation of William Landay’s legal thriller novel Defending Jacob. Compared to novels Presumed Innocent and Ordinary People, the story is set in an upperclass Boston suburb, and follows a district attorney who takes time away from his job in order to defend his son, who’s been charged with murder. Apparently, he’s less than certain over just how innocent his son is. Sounds like a pretty major conflict of interest on this case, but one that likely makes for an interesting story.
As a fan of the Harry Potter series, I should admit - knowing this likely puts me in the minority - while Order of the Phoenix was not among my favorite of the books in the series, the film proved to be one of my favorites in terms of how the story was adapted. Of course, Phoenix happens to be the one film in the series that Kloves didn’t write (Michael Goldenberg penned that screenplay). With that said, all of the films were great and given the rich world Rowling created, with increasingly complex character history and development as the series went on, adapting those books to a regular-length film that did the story justice was not likely to be an easy task. Kloves’ experience on those films may help him in adapting Landay’s novel. As for directing, his experience with that is limited to two films (Flesh and Bone and The Fabulous Baker Boys) years ago. Assuming this deal goes through, it should be interesting to see how he does not only in converting the novel to a screenplay but then getting to direct.”
#screenwriting #stage #adaptation
“Academy Award-winner Simon Beaufoy will adapt his screenplay for the hit film The Full Monty for a stage production, to premiere in February 2013 at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield, according to published reports. The production was announced by Sheffield Theatres’ artistic director Daniel Evans.
Additional information about the production will be announced at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk.”
Source: @seanbhood at Genrehacks
#screenwriting #film #screenplay
“Sometimes I do interviews on this blog in order to reach out to writers and filmmakers I admire. This is certainly the case with Ed Brubaker, author of the award winning graphic novel series Criminal, as well as Incognito and the recent series Fatale. He’s one of those comic book writers who, as the cliche goes, “transcends the genre” and get’s reviewed in the New York times. If you are a fan of hard-boiled crime fiction and loved the movie ”Drive,” you should click on the links above and check out his work.
Hollywood has noticed him too, and much of his original work has been bought or optioned. This is pretty common for popular novels and comics, but what interests me is that Ed himself has been hired to do the screenplay adaptation for one of his most outstanding stories Criminal: Coward.
Readers of Genre Hacks know that I’m obsessed with finding ways for storytellers to get their original work up on the screen. Ed graciously agreed to answer some questions about the advantages and challenges of adapting ones own work from one medium to another.
SH: When you started writing your Criminal series, did you think of the possibility of any of the stories eventually becoming films?
EB: Coward actually started as a screenplay idea. But I could never find the time to work on it, and I kept having other ideas for the character and other ideas for crime stories, and really wanting to do a crime comic series. So I ended up taking the basic germ of it, and using that when we launched CRIMINAL at Icon. When I wrote it, finally, like most writers, I hoped someone might like it enough to make it into a movie. But I didn’t write it as a “movie pitch on paper” like you often see in comics these past few years. I was building a world and exploring characters, and trying to make the best comic story, issue by issue, that I could.
SH: In my own career I been frustrated by the industry’s focus on “pre-branded” material (sequels, remakes, and adaptations.) Many writers are now writing original books or graphic novels rather than original spec scripts. I’m thinking of David Guggenheim (Safe House) made a deal to co-write his first novel, and Andrew Pyper, who just sold his unpublished book manuscript for The Demonologist to Universal. Would you recommend that writers with original story should try to prove their concepts in another medium in order to build a following and prove that the story works?
EB: Boy, I couldn’t say, really. I’ve been writing stories and comics for most of my life, so it’s kind of all I know how to do. I always envied guys like Shane Black or Scott Frank, who got to write all these cool crime movies. I just always did comics, from when I was a kid, and always wrote fiction. When I was in my 20s, I wrote movie reviews and articles for a living, while writing and drawing my own comics on the side, because it was just something I had to do.
It’s odd that we’ve ended up in a place where comics, which is a fairly low-paying field (compared to film or tv writing) have become part of the larger pop culture in Hollywood, and I feel fortunate now that pretty much every studio or production company has a few executives that are into comics. But that’s a real recent thing. I was coming down here 10 years ago, and that wasn’t the case. Back then it would be someone’s assistant, now it’s the head of the company, sometimes.
But I’ve always thought, write the story in whatever medium you want to see it in. I did a pilot for Fox a year or so ago, and that was just an original idea I had for a TV show, not a comic idea or a novel idea. I think that’s important, to respect the audience and the material. If you do a book or a comic that’s just a movie pitch, its unlikely you’ll end up with say a Megan Abbott or Joe Hill novel, or a Neil Gaiman comic. You know what I mean?
So I would say, if you have an idea, make sure it makes sense as a comic, or a novel, or a web-series, whatever. Don’t just take your spec script idea and shove it into another medium. Novels and comics and movies have totally different languages, that make them all better at different things.
SH: Do you think we are reaching a time when it is common for the original writer of a book or graphic novel to also write the screenplay adaptation? (I’m thinking of Suzanne Collins are her involvement in the Hunger Games film.)
EB: I don’t know. I think I would’ve sold some of my books a few years earlier if I didn’t want to write the adaptations. INCOGNITO sold fairly quickly, and there’s been not even a hint of anyone wanting me involved in the scripting. Which on that one, I was fine with. But with Coward, and most of the Criminal books, I either didn’t want them adapted, or wanted to be involved, so I insisted. But I still get the sense, outside of independent producers, that screenwriting is this club that novelists and comic writers have to break into, through force of will. It’s certainly not something most producers or studios will suggest. They’d always rather have their own people or a writer they know, doing that adaptation.
But you look at someone like Will Beall, who got his start as a cop writing a novel, then adapting that book - LA Rex - and then got hired on Castle, and now is a fairly hot screenwriter just a few years later. So it…….”
Source: The Kansas City Star
#screenwriting #film #adaptation
The actors are caught somewhere in the middle of this quirky, unsatisfying film - a fractured fairy tale that alternates between amusing and infuriating with each new scene.
Still the fairest of them all, Julia Roberts portrays the Queen, who insists in the opening narration that we are witnessing the familiar story from her perspective. With the aid of a magic mirror, she has taken over a perpetually snowy kingdom and home-schooled its rightful ruler into submission. Said ruler is Snow White (Lily Collins of “The Blind Side”), and on her 18th birthday she takes a trip outside the castle to discover her subjects suffering poverty and “icy despair.”
Meanwhile, a handsome prince (Armie Hammer of “The Social Network”) runs afoul of seven thieving dwarfs on his journey to her castle. Charmed by his looks and wealth, the Queen plans to make the prince her fifth husband.
“Time for me to get rich … I mean hitched,” she quips.
But Snow White stands in the way, forcing the malicious monarch to take a more proactive approach toward ridding the kingdom of this potential adversary.
Since winning a 2000 Oscar for “Erin Brockovich,” Roberts has struggled to land a role that takes advantage of her earthy charm. “Mirror Mirror” is yet another awkward fit. She certainly looks the part and is plenty funny with her offhand barbs (she chides Snow White’s parents for bestowing the girl with “the most pretentious name they could come up with”).
Collins isn’t quite right either; her eyebrows are more filled out than her personality. She’s better as an Audrey Hepburn-style royal innocent a la “Roman Holiday” than she is when called upon to transform into a sword-wielding insurgent……”
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/30/3523711/mirror-mirror-is-cracked.html#storylink=cpy
Source: Belfast Telegraph
#screenwriting #television #drama
Fellowes, who was in Belfast yesterday to attend the Cinemagic and Titanic Belfast ‘Castaway’ short film competition awards held at the new Titanic centre, said he had expected comparisons to be made to his popular costume drama Downton Abbey.
But despite the first episode of Titanic receiving a drubbing from the critics, Fellowes denied that it was merely “Downton-on-Sea”.
He also said it was unfair to compare the ITV drama to James Cameron’s epic blockbuster, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which is being released in 3D next month to mark the centenery of the ship’s sinking.
Over four weeks, each episode of Titanic will focus on a different aspect of the tale, repeating the final hours in the run-up to the sinking, building a cumulative portrayal of the disaster.
Last Sunday’s opening episode introduced the viewers to the wealthy, upper-class passengers, but some critics were harsh in their reviews.
The Guardian branded it “Downton-on-Sea”, saying the dialogue was “cheesy”. The Daily Telegraph described the first episode as “a damp squib” but advised viewers to stick with it, saying next week’s episode was a vast improvement.
But Fellowes said he wasn’t annoyed by the negative reviews.
“To be honest, I was happy with the reviews I read. In fact, I thought a few of them could have been written by my parents, they were so positive……”