Sunday, September 30, 2007

Book to Movie Adventures

I have not poked the wound that is the movie formerly-known-as-The-Dark-is-Rising-formerly-known-as-The-Seeker: The-Dark-is-Rising now-known-as-The-Seeker in a while.

NPR has done a story on the controversy along with a lovely interview with Susan Cooper herself. (You MUST listen to this!) Is it just me or does screenwriter-who-doesn't-like-fantasy John Hodge sound a tad touchy and defensive about what he did to this book?

NPR producer and Cooper fan, Alison MacAdam, has written an eloquent essay on the subject. She beautifully expresses our fears about the upcoming movie:

I'm afraid the movie will steal future readers, too. Often films can reintroduce books to a new audience. That happened with The Lord of the Rings, which hit the bestseller lists when the movies came out. But it's pretty clear The Dark Is Rising was not adapted with such reverence for the books. The director has said in interviews that he had never read The Dark Is Rising before the movie project, and the filmmakers have said the story had to be changed to appeal to kids today.

Fox/Walden and Tom Hanks are producing Jeanne DuPrau's The City of Ember and while that book does not have the iconic status of Susan Cooper's series hopefully, they are not unaware of the fallout from mishandling and bungling a beloved story.

An interview with director, Gil Kenan , has him actually expressing affection for the source material:
The good folks at Playtone handed me this glowing manuscript that had just arrived from the publishers called City of Ember. I read it and it destroyed my brain and put it back together again because it hit all the points that I wanted to tell in a story. It is exactly the kind of movie that I wanted to make.

So it’s funny, my relationship to this book, because I actually devoured the book that night. Then as soon as I finished it I kind of -- a path for the film took place and it wasn’t totally symmetrical. There’s things that you’ll see in this film that take real turns and most of them involve taking a book that’s very wordsy in it’s puzzle-solving and making it visual.

Finally, cinematical is reporting on the filming of Elizabeth Goudge's The Little White Horse. The movie title is currently The Moon Princess.

says Ioan Gruffudd, Tim Curry, Natascha McElhone and Juliet Stevenson will star in addition to Dakota Blue Richards (The Golden Compass.)

I pray they get Maria's bedroom at Moonacre right. I remember thinking that it was the most perfect room I could ever imagine.


Em said...

Ohh, I can't wait to see the movie version of The Little White Horse. I probably wouldn't have noticed the movie cause of the title change. Thanks for giving us a heads up! :-)

Camille said...

I never knew another person who had read The Little White Horse until I started this blog. I remember the sly humor of the story. It will be interesting to see how they translate that to the screen.

Elaine said...

I simply ADORE this book. I have written about its illustrator over on my blog. The bedroom at Moonacre yes, it is perfect, and I adored all the characters, Loveday Minette, Sir benjamin, Miss Heliotrope, the Old Parson oh how wonderful

When I read the first Harry potter book and came across the description of the sweet shop with all the fantastic sweets such as Chocolate frogs et al it reminded me strongly of THe little White Horse and all the detailed descriptions of food etc and lo and behold in an interview on BBC a few months later, JK Rowling said it had been one of her favourite books and still was. Has anyone also read Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge? another magical chidlren's books. In fact, all of her books are marvellous. I feel a blog coming on...