Monday, January 21, 2013

Silver Screen

A couple of weeks ago I went to see Jack Reacher. I was aware of all the uproar over the casting of Tom Cruise in the main part but since I hadn’t read any of the books I didn’t have any particular feeling about it. I wanted to go to the cinema and the trailer looked entertaining. Ultimately I enjoyed the film although the female lead was so wooden she could have made a fine statue. Tom Cruise played the part well and I was left thinking “What an interesting character.” So much so, that when I got home that night I bought and downloaded the first Jack Reacher book. I am now on book seven and have bought all of the rest of the series. I would say that that was mission accomplished for the author, Lee Child. What more could he ask for? And a legion of fans scream out, “A more accurate portrayal of the character!”

Having now read half the series I can see why it would annoy fans as Tom Cruise is about as different from Jack Reacher as you can possibly get. However I find I am still not really bothered by this. Maybe it’s because I saw the film first and the character wasn’t really fixed in my imagination. There was no desecration of a story I knew and loved. There are many more films or TV series where I’ve read the book first and been horrified by the choice in actors or the cut and slash of stories I’ve loved into manageable plots for the screen. Very few have lived up to my expectations. Pride and Prejudice is one that springs to mind that did – the BBC TV adaptation that is, not that awful film. LOL. Perhaps the length available in a TV serial meant fewer cuts had to be made. The lower budget gave them a wider scope to look for people who actually fit the part instead of a big name to draw the viewers and pay the bills. Looking back I can say that the adaptations I have liked best have all been made for TV or straight to DVD movies.

As an author how would I handle seeing a five foot four inch (?) slim guy play my 6 foot five built like a tank hero? I think I’d be thrilled to be asked but it would hurt too. I’d need to know they weren’t going to destroy my story and don’t think I’d be able to watch it watch it myself. But, ultimately if it made even a quarter of those cinema-goers head home and buy my books then I’d be a very happy author indeed.

What are your favourite book adaptations and what is it that makes them live up to your expectation? Which books would you love to see on the silver screen?


Cris Anson said...

Cait, I'm a long-time Reacher fan who refused to see the movie because of Tom Cruise. Thanks for your take on it.

Tara Nina said...

I'd love to see my Cursed MacKinnons series on the big Screen. I'm thinking Gerard Butler would be the perfect fit for Gavin MacKinnon. LOL. Of course I'd have to personally interview him for the part. :0
In my dreams, I know.
Great blog, Cait!

Diana Hunter said...

Of MY books? Secret Submssion, hands down. Would love to see the interplay between the two of them brought to life a la The Secretary!

I didn't see Cruise's new movie yet, but have been following the controversy. Good to hear your thoughts on it!