Archive for the ‘Adaptations’ Category
…British film in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is “Love You More”, a short film directed by the artist Sam Taylor-Wood, and adapted by Patrick Marber from the very sexually explicit story he wrote for “Speaking With The Angel”. We at TreeHouse (the school received all profits from the book) are very proud.
I received two complaints about “Speaking With The Angel”, and the writers of both letters were unhappiest about “Love You More” and Irvine Welsh’s story. One of these outraged people wanted his money back. “Am I really that out of touch?” he asked plaintively. I told him that he was, and refused to give him his money back on the not unreasonable grounds that he’d clearly already read the book. He then wrote back again, saying that he would send TreeHouse their portion of the cover price if I would send him back the rest. At this point, I’m afraid, I decided that the correspondence was over.
Anyway, I am now going to ask Penguin to produce a movie tie-in edition of Patrick’s nine-page story, with a suitably shocking cover. It’s all in a good cause.
‘An Education’, the script I have been working on for a while now, adapted from Lynn Barber’s autobiographical essay, is finally set to become an actual film. We are fully funded, and shooting starts in a couple of weeks, with Lone Scherfig directing. And we have a really amazing cast: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, Rosamund Pike, Orlando Bloom, Emma Thompson…This, I think, is as good as it could possibly be, and gives the film an excellent shot at being something that people might want to see. And after all the frustrations of the last year or so, the apparently never-ending work on the script feels worthwhile.
…to milk my connection with Nicholas Hoult, the star of ‘About A Boy’ and ‘Skins’, for all it is worth. Nicholas kindly agreed to read the audiobook for SLAM, and the teenage girls in the audience for my reading at Lyme Regis told me that he was “hot”.
He would probably be the first to admit that he didn’t look hot in ‘About A Boy’. He was pretty odd-looking, which made him perfect for the role of Marcus. In Lyme, we watched a clip of About A Boy before the reading, and I sat there wondering if it was hard to have one’s geeky, gawky pre-adolescence preserved in celluloid like that. Did it put girls off? The answer, clearly, is a resounding ‘No’. But of course what happened to Nicholas Hoult is only a more public version of what happens to all adolescent boys and girls: we watch each other become suddenly more beautiful, and we forgive past misfortune very quickly. There’s something rather heartening about that.
…have a director for ‘An Education’ – Lone Scherfig, who made ‘Italian for Beginners’ and ‘Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself’. I should emphasise that this is no guarantee the film will get made. All one can say is that no film has ever been made without a director, so we have increased our chances exponentially.
…I spent with a screenwriter and a director, to talk about the film adaptation of ‘A Long Way Down’. The screenwriter, my friend DV Devincentis, also adapted High Fidelity; the director must remain nameless, simply because he’s not officially attached to the project, although both screenwriter and novelist would like him to be.
I have been told several times that ‘A Long Way Down’ would make a good film. It’s true that in the opening chapters there are four people standing on a roof, and that could be made to look pretty cool on screen. But after that, there are plenty of problems for DV to solve. There are four points of view in the novel, four different voices; you can’t film that. About big chunk of the book is back-story, the characters explaining how they arrived at their current predicament; you can’t film that, either, not without resorting to an excessive, clunky use of flashback. Most of the action takes place in rooms – one climactic scene takes place in a Starbucks basement. (Note to budding novelists: if you really want to make some money out of Hollywood, set all climactic scenes up a mountain, or at the bottom of the sea, or even on the ground floor of Starbucks, somewhere with windows.)
I enjoyed the few days we spent talking about the book, though, because I was made to talk about things I’m not usually made to talk about, namely, the thousands of tiny decisions that must be made during the writing of a novel. I seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about my work, during interviews and events, and yet somehow these things never come up – in interviews at least, the questions I’m asked tend to be about my career as a whole. And yet without these decisions, of course, there’d be no career.