Monday, June 21, 2010
Would Distant Cousin Make a Good Movie?
Many and many a reader have told us Distant Cousin would make an outstanding movie. More than a few have claimed that the whole set of books would make a terrific television series. If you have read any of them, you too are entitled to an opinion.
As it happens, one agent in Hollywood has read them and agrees. (He says not to call him an agent. The term has legal implications in California. Call him a literary representative instead.) This literary representative can give you chapter and verse on the incredibly long odds of any given story reaching the silver screen.
Most of the odds have nothing to do with how great a movie a given story might make. They have to do with people: what people get hold of what story and how they feel about it at the time. Perhaps they have just had a good lunch, or a bad lunch. Perhaps they know someone who is looking for a certain kind of story. Or perhaps they find a story that suggests certain actors to them. After that it may depend on whether or not the actors are available, or interested, or whether their agents like or do not like the story. Or it could depend on any one of six dozen other variables.
This gentleman points out that many movies are made for which there seems to be no rational explanation. Often these movies are inexplicably bad, as in how-could-they-not-have-known bad. Sometimes a gem of a movie comes out of nowhere, but this is rare, he says, very rare.
The bottom line is that almost no movies get made without someone, or a number of someones, being willing to gamble immense sums of money on it. In the case of Distant Cousin, this literary representative gave $100,000,000 as a ballpark figure. Why, you ask? Not to spoil anything, but mainly because of the crowd scenes. He made this statement some years ago, before digital crowds became common. (Has anyone seen Gladiator?) Perhaps digitized crowds entitle a movie producer to a discount.
In any case, if any readers out there happen to know a person or several persons with $100,000,000 or so who might be willing to risk it on making a movie of Distant Cousin, we will be happy to inform our literary representative.
But no matter what happens or doesn't happen movie-wise, we can point out one thing for certain right now: almost no movie ever made is as good as the book it came from. The best way to experience the world of an absorbing story is on the screen between your ears. And in so doing, you save $99,999,995. Now, that's value!
For the WheelChair Mommy's opinion on the movie possibility, see her guest post!