Friday, July 16, 2010

Living the Dream: "They're Making My Book Into a Film!"

Don't get all excited now. That's just the title of this post. Trust me, if Hollywood ever adapted what I write for film, I'd be too busy squealing like a little girl to blog about it. At least for a few days.

EDIT: Ok folks, THIS DID NOT HAPPEN TO ME. Oh, boy. Moving on.

I am eagerly awaiting the July 23rd Starz premiere of The Pillars of the Earth, and not just because of Ian McShane, one of my favorites from HBO's Deadwood, or the undeniable fact that both Rufus Sewell and Matthew MacFadyen are hot. Author Ken Follett is living the dream many of us writers entertain. It's the one that comes a distant second behind, "God, I wish someone would publish my book" - it's "Wow. It would be so cool if someone made my book into a movie!"

Since I know nothing about the process of securing film rights to a book, I'll instead talk about what we all see: the end result.  Unfortunately, film adaptations always tend to be less faithful to the source material in the book. It's probably just a difference required in the presentation of visuals rather than in print media. I always prefer to read the book before I watch the film. Guess what I just downloaded to Kindle for Blackberry and will be reading before Friday? My friend Gemi says this a huge book, but I bet I can complete it in time. The only novels I didn't read before they were adapted for film were the Harry Potter series; I had seen the first three films before I started obsessively reading the J.K. Rowling books last summer. Yeah, I was little late to reading Harry Potter. Oh well.

Back to Ken Follett - God, he must be so thrilled. And every single one of us who writes fiction has an inkling of how he must feel. When we write such intimate details of these people who live in our heads, it's almost impossible not to imagine what they look like, how they move and dress. It must be an amazing moment for a writer to see their vision unfold on the screen, peopled by characters they know so well.

What do you think about books that have been adapted for film? Have you ever found the adaptation is even better than the original? If you're a writer, who do you envision playing your lead characters in film?

1 comment:

Michelle Gregory said...

i loved the Lord of the Rings movies more than the books because i hate long passages of description. i also thought the way he told the story was better. The Narnia movies, i like both movie and book versions. The Tale of Despereaux, i liked the movie much better than the book.

a movie of my book? my son already told me he would do the movie, but he's 16, so that will be sometime off. i already have characters picked out, but i do that before i write, just to inspire me. you can find them on my Eldala blog (

unless it was my son doing it, i'd rather not have my book made into a movie. i've heard of the hassles the author has to go thru to get it on the screen. i don't want hollywood messing with my story.

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