Monday, September 07, 2009

Adapting Where The Wild Things Are

I've read Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak out loud countless times in the past six months and it never loses its magic. In fact, I enjoy it more with each re-telling.

In an article by Saki Knafo for The New York Times, Spike Jonze reveals that he initially rejected an invitation to direct a film adaptation:
Though he loved the book, he didn’t see how he could expand a 10-sentence story into an hour-and-a-half-long movie. As Jonze put it to me: “How do you adapt a poem?”
However, after numerous discussions with Sendak, he changed his mind and, along with Dave Eggers, wrote a screenplay.
In the spring of 2005, Jonze presented the script and his production ideas to Universal. The meeting didn’t go well. One issue was the cost, but the bigger problem, according to Jonze, was with the script. As Eggers explained it to me, the executives were unhappy that there wasn’t “any real easy plot arc: ‘Let’s go find the chalice! Where is it? Here are some people we meet along the way.’ ”
Universal passed, but Warner Brothers took the project on and, after a somwhat bumpy passage to the screen, Where The Wild Things Are (official website with short documentary about the film's origins) will be released in the UK on 16th October 2009.

A novelisation, The Wild Things by Dave Eggers, will be published at on 29th October 2009. An excerpt is available in The New Yorker.

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