Books and Movies

Okay, I’m going to try this again. I tried posting a blog yesterday and my amateurism came through with shining colors. The whole thing just fell apart.

I started by saying that my husband and I watched “The Lincoln Lawyer,” starring Matthew McConaughey  a couple of nights ago. This was a movie adapted from one of Michael Connelly’s books. And any of you who have read my newsletter know I’m a Michael Connelly fan. The main character in this story, Mickey Haller, has appeared in several of Connelly’s books. He’s kind of a sleazy–but smart–guy who’s a defense lawyer. Matthew McConaughey did a decent job portraying the character as Connelly wrote him.

It’s always interesting to see who Hollywood chooses to play the various characters in movies adapted from popular books. One thing that happens with me is that once I see the movie, that character is cemented in my head. So now, in every Michael Connelly book I read from now on that has Mickey Haller in it, I will envision him looking and behaving like Matthew McConaughey.

I recall being appalled when “Lonesome Dove” was cast. I had read that book twice and no way could I see Robert Duval and Tommy Lee Jones as Gus and Call. I’ve read it again since the movie and I have a clear vision of their appearance and behavior characteristics when I read and I can’t imagine anyone else. Of course, if those two actors had done a bad job in those roles, I would think differently.

Sometimes the casting is perfect, as in “Gone with the Wind.” Can anyone imagine any performers other than Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable as Scarlett and Rhett? I watched an interesting documentary about the casting of GWTW. There was never a question who would play Rhett Butler, except for Clark Gable initially not wanting to do it. But the search for Scarlett became a national movement. Every actress in Hollywood tried for the role, including Joan Crawford. Can you imagine Joan Crawford as Scarlett? I always liked Joan Crawford, but she was no Scarlett O’Hara. LOL

Then there are all of the movies that have been adapted from Louis L’Amour books. John Wayne, Tom Selleck and Sam Elliott have brought L’Amour’s characters to life in the best of ways.

Currently, there’s a buzz going on about casting for Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. I don’t know if it still exists, but at one time there was a Web site dedicated to the discussion of who should play Stephanie, Joe and Ranger. The perfect actress to play Grandma Mazur, Estelle Getty, has passed on, unfortunately. I’m curious to see who Hollywood selects. ….. If they ever get around to making the movie, that is.

So what do you think? Can you think of more movies adapted from good books where the casting was perfect? Or awful? Or just so-so?

Anna

8 Comments

Filed under Books and Movies

8 responses to “Books and Movies

  1. Marie Brown

    I can just imagine Queen Latifah placing Lula in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books.

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    • Hi, Marie…..I can imagine that, too. Is she going to play Lula?

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      • Marie Brown

        What’s going on with the One For the Money movie?
        Katherine Heigl has been cast as Stephanie, Jason O’Mara as Joe Morelli and Daniel Sunjata as Ranger. In addition, they’ve added Sherri Shepard as Lula, Debbie Reynolds as Grandma Mazur, Patrick Fischler as Vinnie and Ana Reeder as Connie. The website iMDb reports that John Leguizamo has been cast as Jimmy Alpha, Nate Mooney as Eddie Gazarra and Jack Erdie as Flat-Nosed Louis. Janet sold the movie rights to One For the Money in 1993, and has no involvement or influence in the making of the movie…casting, directing, the script, editing, etc. We have not heard about any other casting that has been done. The iMDb website also says the movie will be out in January 2012.

        I got this from the Janet’s web site so I guess Queen Latifah won’t be Lula.

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      • Aha! This is more information than I’ve heard anywhere about this upcoming movie. That’s disappointing that the author won’t have any influence over it.

        Anna J

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  2. I very rarely love a movie after I have read the book. LOL One of my all-time fave books from Penelope Williamson, The Outsider, did not work well at all. I don’t know if that was because of the casting or the fact that they had the audacity to change the book completely. I did, however, think that everything about the movie, Jurassic Park, was better than the book, and the characters fit perfectly with their roles, which is only true of a handfull of books to movies. But I do have an issue with Hollywood’s perception of many of my beloved books.

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    • Hi, Laura,

      I know what you mean. Since “The Outsider” was a made-for-TV movie, I guess we can blame how it turned out on that. That story had too much going on to try to adapt to a TV movie, so they just sort of flubbed the whole thing. As for “Jurassic Park,” I read that book and watched the movie, but I don’t remember much about either one. So I must not have been too impressed with either one. I did like the concept of Jurassic Park though. I used to be a big fan of sci-fi, so it fit into my used-to-be likes. But you’re right about the movies and books. One of my favorite books is “Deep End of the Ocean.” That is such a powerful story. Yet, somehow, whoever did the screenplay missed the premise of the story entirely and made it about something else. That might be where the breakdown comes in books vs. movies. The screenwriter’s vision is vastly difference from the book author’s.

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  3. Caroline Clemmons

    I read that Debbie Reynolds is to play Grandma Mazur in the Stephanie Plum movie. Sad to realize Debbie is that old, right?

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    • Sure is. For that matter, it’s sad to realize how old *I* am. I was never a big Debbie Reynolds fan, but I can see her in the Grandma Mazur role. My pick would have been Estelle Getty, but sadly, she’s no longer with us. When I watch some of the “Golden Girls” re-runs (which I do often), I think of Grandma Mazur.

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