Wednesday, October 21, 2009
from book to film: adaptations
People often ask me when the movie version of Faking It will be released. Some are joking, while others are dead serious. I confess that there's a rough draft of a screenplay (very rough) sitting in a drawer in my apartment. It was the first collaboration between my writing partner and me, almost four years ago (four years? geez, how the hell did that happen?). In addition to my aspirations of getting an agent and reaching a wider audience with my novels, having my books turned into films would be pretty neat.
My fear, however (and yes, I do think of these things) would be that it wouldn't be done well. That the characters would be miscast, or the jokes would be delivered poorly, or that they'd film in Wilmington and pass it off as Long Island to save money (take that, Dawson's Creek!). I wonder what novelists think of film interpretations of their work? What did Stephen King think of Carrie, or The Green Mile, or Shawshank Redemption (which was actually a short story), or any of his other novels-turned-movies? What did Jennifer Weiner think of In her Shoes?
Then there's the issue of preference. My experience is that whichever you encounter first is the one you prefer. I much prefer the movie version of Chocolat to the book (which I read years after seeing the film, one of my favorites), and not just because Johnny Depp was much sweeter to look at than the novel description of Roux. I preferred Redford's The Natural. And it was the film All the President's Men that sparked my ongoing fascination with Watergate.
The Social Network is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires. Apollo 13 was based on Jim Lovell's book Lost Moon. I enjoyed the former to the later in the second example, and chances are that even if I read The Accidental Billionaires first, I'll still enjoy the film more.
Didn't care for the Harry Potter films as much as the books (and I refused to see them until I read the books). Haven't even seen Twilight. No desire to see Lord of the Rings. Prefer Bridget Jones books to the films (although how can you not fall in love with Colin Firth?)
So, here's my question (more than one, actually): What are your favorite film adaptations of books? Are there any film adaptations that completely ruined the book experience for you? Are there any you would refuse to see? Are there any films that you prefer to the book? Which did you see first? Are there any favorite books that you would love to see made into a film or even a tv series? If so, why? And who would you want to see cast in those films? Are there any films you would love to see made into novels (for example, would I love When Harry Met Sally as a novel)?