Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Is it a film yet?

Red Riding Hood: a stinker
The question I get asked the most is whether The Taker books are going to be turned into a movie or television series. It's pretty natural, when you like a book a lot, to think of it in terms of something visual. After all, you've played it in your head as you've read it, you can just picture what it will look like, and so having it made into a movie seems like the next logical step.

While it seems that it's the norm for books to be turned quickly into a movie or such, it's worth remembering that this isn't always the case. It took Diana Gabaldon's Outlander (a book The Taker has been compared to many times, I'll add) 26 years to be made into the series on Starz. I haven't watched it but have plenty of friends who adore it, and so it seems it was well worth the wait to have a producer come along who was going to do it justice. An even better example is Game of Thrones, George RR Martin's epic fantasy. GRRM himself said he never thought the books would be make it to the screen. He'd been a screenwriter and knew the constraints of the media, but he wanted to write something very big and sprawling and rich, knowing that it would be too expensive to capture in a movie or series. Luckily for us, someone at HBO wanted to give it a try and perhaps changed the playbook on what makes successful television.

We had early studio interest in The Taker but no sale. My agent at the time passed along that he'd been told, which was that the story, jumping around in history as it does, is hard to make work in a film. Also, historicals are expensive and so Hollywood doesn't like to make them. And lastly, for some unknown reason, as it was being discussed in Hollywood it got associated in some way with the 2011 film Red Riding Hood. Why, who knows: perhaps because it was dark and fairy tale-ish. I understand this happens: as producers discuss a book, they come up with some movie that they think is similar in some way. Only Red Riding Hood bombed. So suddenly no one was interested in The Taker anymore.

I only bring this up because, as I said, there is always interest in whether there's going to be a movie. I have to admit, this question always irks me a little because I would (of course!) love to be able to tell readers "yes". And if there ever is a deal, believe me, you'll hear about it. But I'm afraid some people make judgments about a book if there isn't a movie deal, and that couldn't be more unfair. Because--as we've seen with Game of Thrones and Outlander--it might be that the most difficult books to make into film are the ones that are most worth it, but you have to be patience and wait for the right visionary to come along, the one who can see exactly how it must be done. Then it will be well worth the wait.

2 comments:

  1. Gosh Alma! I just finished the last book of The Taker Trilogy finally today. And while I love your books I have never had the thought pass me on how Lanore or Adair would look like for film or a TV series.

    Although now that you mention it this is a series that would be very entertaining. Yet when I read I am sure whatever stars out there would destroy my vision of how I thought of as Adair and Lanore in my mind's eye, so I worry. It very much happened with the Twilight books.

    And wow that you should mention The Taker being connected to the Red Riding Hood movie. I saw the movie. It was really good for me! But anyway, Amanda Seyfriend, who is the lead protagonist in the film is seen in various The Taker fan circles as a viable actress to portray Lanore. I am not sure I agree but since she is known I can see why others would want her as Lanore. That might be the Red Riding Hood connection.

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    1. Hi Cassandra! Yes, I think Amanda Seyfried might have had something to do with it. Sounds funny, right, but her name had come up when my former agent passed along information from the film agent. Oh well!

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