Thursday, January 27, 2011

Books and Movies

Maggie Stiefvater, author of Shiver, recently posted a blog asking people to stop sending her headshots and requesting casting information for the movie adaption of her novel.  You can read the whole thing here.

This leads to a few questions:
1) How much say should an author have in the casting of his/her own movie?
2) How much say should the potential audience have in the say of the casting of the movie adaption of their beloved book?

Personally, I think the problem stems from Stephenie Meyer and Twilight.  Yes, there had been plenty of converted books cast before and there had been plenty of speculation about casting choices.  I remember oh-so-long-ago when Daniel Radcliffe was cast as Harry Potter and the fans screamed both in support and anger.  But the real hard push by fans to have a say in casting came when Stephenie Meyer became a regular poster on her own website.  She posted actor headshots early on of people she thought were perfect for the roles.  She commented regularly on Catherine Hardwicke's casting choices.  When Kristen Stewart was cast, people were relatively happy.  But when Robert Pattinson was cast, the fans and fansites became incensed.  Flame wars erupted everywhere.  It was only when Stephenie herself stepped up and posted that she approved of the choice that people calmed down.  (Of course, I personally think that both actors were tremendously mis-cast since I love the books but HATE the actors' choices in their performances.)

Now, as more and more novels are being adapted (Shiver, The Hunger Games, the entire Twilight franchise, etc...) the fans seem to have an expectation that the authors are a part of the movie production.  While Meyer was very hands-on with Twilight and often posted about talking to the directors and the screenwriter, most authors sell the rights and lose control of their work.

So how much say should the original author have in the adapted work?  When does the author have to step back and let changes be made?  And who is the final decider of what works and what doesn't?

These things will bug me for days now.

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