The Trouble With Adaptations
November 30, 2010
Hollywood seems to have exhausted their resources. As far as blockbusters go, there doesn’t appear to be very many original concepts. Now, I understand that the screenwriting industry is brutal. More often than not, people are hired to write screenplays for adaptations of other, already-published works, such as novels or plays, and not deliver their own original content. Surely, the world isn’t completely out of original ideas. Hollywood, however, has begun production on films based on books that haven’t even been published yet.
I Am Number Four is a book by Pittacus Lore (a character from the book, and pseudonym for authors Jobie Hughes and James Frey) and was released on August 8, 2010. In June 2009, almost a full year before the release of the book, Steven Spielberg of DreamWorks Pictures (not that he needs any introduction) bought the rights to the manuscript with the intent to produce it, and have Michael Bay (Transformers, The Island), who brought Spielberg the manuscript, direct the film. Instead of Bay, D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) took over the project, which began filming on May 17, 2010 with the national release slated for February 18, 2011. You can view the trailer here - fair warning, we're going to say its PG-13, just in case... and you might recognize Dianna Agron from Glee.
Now, I love movies. I’ve always been captivated by films with fantastic cinematography and stunning visual effects. But if a book is going to be adapted, I think that there should be a good amount of time between the release of the book and that of the film, say maybe five to ten years? Not six months. Fans of the book will hardly have enough time to truly be fans of the book. They won’t be able to go to the film and say "I’ve been a fan of this book for years." Most people will go to see the movie with no knowledge of the story’s origins because the book won’t even be a year old. There has to be time for a book to develop a fan base, or the book will have no chance of being remembered. This is my opinion. I plan on seeing the film, mostly because I can’t resist projects with name "Spielberg" and "Bay" attached to them at the same time. But, I am going to read the book first. I suggest you do the same.
Blue Ridge Branch