Thursday, September 3, 2009

Adaptation News (now in glorious black & white)

While this first one isn't actually an adaptation of anything, it does involve the publishing world, so I figured you naval-gazing industry folk would forgive the thematic lapse. Anyway, CBS has purchased the script for Open Books, a sitcom about a big city editor and her wacky friends. It's written by Will & Grace alumna, Gail Lerner.

USA Today has an interview with Juno director Jason Reitman about his new film, Up in the Air, based on the 2001 novel by Walter Kim. The film is about "a charismatic ax man hopscotching the country downsizing companies and occasionally delivering motivational speeches about the virtue of a relationship-free life," and stars George Clooney.

Steven Spielberg is developing a film of Michael Crichton's posthumously published novel , Pirate Latitudes, an adventure story set off the coast of Jamaica in 1665. My suggestions for financial success? Jurassic Park-level sfx, Johnny Depp as the dreadlocked, eyeliner wearing, male lead, and lots of Bob Marley music. My suggestion for critical success: Don't do it.

A while back I posted a piece about Hollywood's unsuccessful attempts to adapt Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? Last Wednesday, two of the folks responsible for these ill-fated attempts -- actor/director Ben Stiller and Permanent Midnight author, Jerry Stahl -- spoke to The Huffington Post about their trials and travails attempting to bring Budd's masterpiece to the big screen. Click here to read.

And now my obligatory Where The Wild Things Are post, via The Museum of Modern Art has announced the first-ever exhibition to focus on Spike Jonze, "celebrating his work as a director, producer, cinematographer, writer, actor, choreographer, and sometime stuntman." Among the many music videos, skateboard films, mini-documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters to be screened is a short film Jonze made with Maurice Sendak during the production of Where The Wild Things Are. If, like me, you can't make it to NYC to bow down in front of one of your cinematic idols, yesterday's NYTimes had a nice, looong piece on Jonze and his WTWTA film.