Friday, August 12, 2011

Asassination of the Lambs? The Silence of the Kennedys?

Well, the news continues to pop on the S.K. movie front.  Today's bit of saliva-inducing news is that this guy has scored the rights to produce, write, and direct the adaptation of King's upcoming novel 11/22/63:

That, by the way, is Jonathan Demme, whom you might know better as the director of The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, and ... well, did I mention that he directed The Silence of the Lambs?

It was Variety that broke the news of Demme's plans for the project: here is a link to their report.

And now, an opinion:

It seems like a great idea to me.  Sure, it's somewhat of concern that the last really good mainstream success Demme had came in 1993 with Philadelphia; on the other hand, some of his recent arthouse work (such as Rachel Getting Married, which stars Anne Hathaway, who would definitely love me if she got to know me is a highly skilled actress) and documentary work (Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains and Neil Young: Heart of Gold) is very well-regarded, and that's enough for me to give him the benefit of the doubt.

The fact is, Demme appears to have optioned the film himself; he wasn't hired for the job, he created the job.  For someone of his talent who has been working at mostly arthouse fare for the last two decades to announce his intentions to jump back into the waters of mainstream film entertainment, and to do so by purchasing for himself the rights to a forthcoming novel ... well, that seems like the kind of move inspired by passion for that particular project.

Me saying that is a bit like me saying something based on reading tea leaves, but only a bit.  Either way, it makes me even more excited about reading the novel in a few months.

It also makes me marvel anew -- for the second time in as many days -- at the surge in interest Hollywood has shown in King's work this year.  Sure, sure, none of these projects have actually gone before the camera yet; I'll grant you that.  But it's an unavoidable fact that no fewer than three true Hollywood heavy-hitters -- Ron Howard, David Yates, and Jonathan Demme -- have spent part of this year aggressively trying to get movies based on King novels on movie screens worldwide.  

As I mentioned in a version of this same rant earlier this year, it's exciting to see King's Hollywood stock on so rapid a rise.  And there are still remakes of Carrie and It and Pet Sematary under consideration, as well as the possibility of a limited HBO series based on Under the Dome.  You've also got to figure that the town is going to stay interested in The Dark Tower in some form or another; if it doesn't come together (with or without Ron Howard and Javier Bardem and Akiva Goldsman) at some point soon, you can bet your bottom dollar that it'll get fast-tracked by somebody in a few years if The Stand comes out and does well.

It's fun to think about a scenario in which the remainder of this decade might result in a steady stream of big-budget movies (and/or high-concept television series) based on the works of our favorite author.  It's entirely possible that the movies could all suck, of course, but even if that happened, it would almost certainly result in the creation of a massive number of new King readers.

And really, that's reason enough to hope all of these projects come to fruition.

My prediction for tomorrow's news: Michael Bay will announce that he is developing a trilogy of films -- all filmed in IMAX 3D and encoded with D-Box MFX -- based on "The Jaunt."

1 comment:

  1. Update: well over a year later, Demme has exited the project, citing an inability for him to come to terms with King over how to prune the story down into a manageable length for the movie. It was an amicable split, according to all sources.

    I should probably link to some of those sources, but I'm too lazy to do it right now. Sorry 'bout that.