In a message dated 7/16/04 11:44:00 AM,
<< Why are so few of the books we discuss here made
easy pop fly. mine.
Maybe I'm unaware of the written source of one or two more,
but most are still original screenplays.
not anymore. most thrillers these days are adaptations. right
now, it's tough to sell an original, no matter how good,
simply because there's no
"pre-sold" aspect. it's a marketing driven business.
Sure, a lot of the original noirs were also original
screenplays, but many, and most of the best known, were
adaptations. And many (most?) of the vintage authors we
discuss here had their work filmed -- Hammett, Chandler,
Cain, Woolrich, Goodis, Thompson, Hitchens, Hughes, Gardner,
etc, etc. Many were even drafted to write for
that was then. this is now.
However, Robert B Parker aside (and in his case, on the
little screen), very few of the current authors we discuss
here have had their work put on the big screen. And, Clint
Eastwood productions aside, it's seldom a big budget film
when they do. Three Willefords have been made. Lansdale had a
story (indie) filmed, of course, but what about his Hap and
Leonard books? They seem custom made for the screen. And
although Pelecanos books have been optioned, not one has been
This seems very odd to me, especially since so many
contemporary crime writers are so cinematic in their
description and pacing. For instance, Douglas Winter's Run is
essentially a movie on the page, a fleshed out screenplay. I
can't believe no one has made it into a movie.
someone may have tried. and failed.
Is it simply movie economics -- why pay for a book and
adaptation, when you can just buy an original screenplay? But
we often hear of books that have been optioned, so they've
paid for the book. Or is it that movies once saw themselves
as piggybacking on the popularity of a book, but Potter/Ring
aside, few books are thought to be popular enough for
Hollywood to assume the popular audience would know them? Or
is the reading public and filmgoing public thought not to
ultimately the reason you don't see more of your favorite
books reach the screen is because it's almost impossible for
ANYTHING to reach the screen. this may seem odd since your
local cineplex has an endless stream of product, but take a
close look at what these movies actually are. in very rare
cases are they marketed as "based on a novel by..."
the reason ANY movie gets made is due to a rare confluence of
events equal to catching lightning in a bottle, and has very
little to do with how good the script is, or the book it was
based on. in these days of multi-media conglomerate owned
studios, you better have sizzle if you want to sell your
steak. movies no longer get made because a story has to be
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