I was just passing along mixed-blessing news, in regards to a film version of Michael Chabon's debut novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh
(which is a great book ; the characters are really something else).
The good news is that there is a plan for it to : be a movie! They have cast a few people, including actors Peter Sarsgaard and Sienna Miller, in it. (this announcement is somewhat older news ; it was reported a while ago).
The bad news is that, in typical Hollywood style, they are changing the story quite a bit. There are some plot points coming up, for those who have not read the book, as a brief warning.
One of the main themes of the book is the fact that the main character, Art, meets a boy named also named Arthur (who is friends with another main character, Phlox). This is not a secondary character or 'brief description' - this is a good part of the book. Eventually, Art realizes that he likes Arthur, and the two of them date.
The current working version of the script (according to this site - http://www.filmick.co.uk/2007/01/mysteries-of-pittsburgh-script-review.html
- which notes several other character and location changes, as well) does not have the other Arthur in it. At all. So, we have an entire part of a(n) - albeit fictitious - person's life written out, because joe scriptwriter is too much of a homophobe to put him in. Alas, this is not the first Hollywood movie to do this - everything from On the Waterfront
to Breakfast at Tiffany's
to Oliver Stone's Alexander
edit out the entire lives of gay people, as the film world is in the business of insuring any expression of male sexuality never be shown to the general public. (This is, I have always felt, in short why America is actually different from Europe. It's not, in the words of Jules from Pulp Fiction
, because they called a quarter pounder a "royale with cheese").
A question : sure, it's great to see a movie adaptation of something you know, independent of the source. I wonder what Michael Chabon himself thinks of this. Perhaps we should make a movie of the scriptwriter's life, and simply "leave out" his wife, kids and loved ones. Hey, they're not "marketable". Would you still see a movie, if the part much of the fan base of the book originally liked about the story was nowhere to be found? Heck, let's make Harry Potter a mathematician instead of a magician. It's close enough, right. The special effects can all be based on him showing pi in its complete form.
Thanks for reading ; sorry to be the bearer of less-pleasant news.