Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Five movies that improved the book

At Cracked, Ryan Menezes tagged five movies that improved the book (according to the author), including:
Interview With the Vampire Casts Tom Cruise as the Villain

Anne Rice wrote vampire fuck fiction back before it was cool. Or, if you prefer, "Anne Rice wrote vampire fuck fiction back when it was still cool." Or, if you insist, "Anne Rice wrote Gothic fiction and erotica before the genres collapsed into the mess we have today." It was all the way back in 1976 when Rice first adapted her book Interview With the Vampire into a screenplay and sold the rights. She spent the next two decades battling with terrible Hollywood rewrites. One version tried to turn two of the homoerotic male characters into women, because two guys kissing is "gross." The little girl, Claudia, was to be switched out for an adult, because little girls getting killed -- even if they're undead monsters -- is just too depressing. In short, Hollywood tried to cut everything dark and sexual about the dark and sexual vampire book that built an audience mostly on its dark sexuality.

By the time the 1994 film was in production, Rice had lost all faith in Hollywood. And then she found out about the casting of Tom Cruise as Lestat. Can you imagine? You write a strange underground horror novel and Hollywood takes your homoerotic undead sex-god and fills the role with Top Gun. Hope is dead, and the thing that lives in its place is a mockery that must be destroyed.

"It's almost impossible to imagine how it's going to work," Rice said of the decision.

We imagine they filtered out the profanities and sobbing.

Rice began openly badmouthing the film before she'd even seen it. She alluded to "bullshit and foolishness" that she couldn't even talk about and refused to attend any of the screenings. She wouldn't even look at clips. One of the producers had to send her a copy on tape and insist that she watch it at home. She put it in her VCR and settled down to watch -- but only after locking all the sharp objects away and putting herself on suicide watch.

Then the movie started, and Rice exploded with fangirl joy. She loved it so much, she wrote an 8,000-word open letter to her readers describing it as "perfect," "impeccable," and "extraordinary." The cast was "marvelous," "magical," and "magnificent and flawless." Rice thought Cruise's Lestat, whom she had initially doubted to the point of bloodlust, would "be remembered the way Olivier's Hamlet is remembered." In fact, Rice was so overcome with love for the adaptation she had literally spent two decades despising that she personally paid for a two-page ad in several magazines to sing the film's praises.

Wow. That's not just reversing direction, that's turning around and burning everything in your original direction so that no human being may ever walk the path again.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Interview With The Vampire is among Will Hill's top 10 vampires in fiction and popular culture and Lynda Resnick's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue