Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Novel to film adaptations, or, drop the Susan Cooper and move away slowly.

They're making a film of Susan Cooper's book The Dark is Rising - and many people (warning: spoilers!) are incensed at the Hollywoodisation of what is a very English book. I'm surprised by the casting: Merriman Lyon, who I always imagined as an Ian Richardson-looking figure, is being played by Ian McShane. Yes - Lovejoy. Here's what he has to say about the book:
"I know they sold a few copies, but I couldn't read it very well. It's
really dense. It's from the 70s, you know?"

To use kiandra_fire's expression, as a student of English Literature my response to this is *headdesk*. Repeatedly. It's a young adult book! Yes, there is a lot of description, the sense of place is important and it may help if you know a little about the pagan/pre-Christian gods of Britain ... but dense? She has another great phrase that made me giggle ruefully - this emotional threat is directed at the filmmakers:
I hold this book very dear to my heart. If this movie decimates the book for me,
my heart will catch the shrapnel. I'm not saying I'll sue for emotional damages,
but please know I will be in pain.

By contrast, Neil Gaiman is very happy with the film of his novel Stardust - the challenge seems to lie in marketing it, though.

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