Monday, July 30, 2007

The Dark is Rising . . . on Film

In the heart of the English Fen County, Pluvialis is spitting . . .

. . . chips and blood. I am crackling with furious static. Any minute now, small pieces of paper, coins and pens are going to drag themselves across the tabletop, bent and pulled towards me by the immense, bending-the-laws-of-physics fury I'm experiencing right now.

She has been reading Jason Pitzl-Waters'
comments on the upcoming film version of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising

Let's set it in America?
Let's get rid of "all the Arthurian and Pagan stuff"?
Let's give Will Stanton a twin brother, stolen by the dark?
The Rider a love interest?

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Blogger Carol Maltby said...

Pluvialis wasn't reading it very carefully.

In the film version Will Stanton and his family are Americans living in England, and it is still set there. Screenwriter John Hodge explained that he wanted Will to be viewing what happens from the perspective of someone for whom this is totally alien.

I read Hodge's comments on why he made some of the changes from the book. While The Dark is Rising is one of my all-time favorite books, I was able to step back and see how some of his choices might make sense in the context of the film version.

We all know by now that film versions of beloved books are rarely going to be 100% faithful to the book. Susan Cooper made the choice to sell the screen rights, we'll have to make the choices about whether we want to buy tickets to the movie.

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Chas S. Clifton said...

But what is the point of making the Stantons Americans? The whole story is so dependent on the embedded Englishness of the main charactes, I think.

And if we think that American audiences want American characters, why not make Harry Potter American too? Obviously, that was not necessary.

9:18 PM  

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