The Novel in Retreat from Screenwriters

Posted by Tom Brogan on Monday, February 9, 2015
Bill Morris in The Millions looks at the Best Adapted Screenplay race at this year's Oscars. He makes the observation that only one script is based on a novel.

"But the novel is now in retreat — and not only in Hollywood — as screenwriters and moviegoers turn their gaze to movies based on established franchises, comic books, graphic novels, musicals, non-fiction books and magazine articles, TV shows, memoirs, and biographies. There’s nothing inherently wrong, or particularly new, about such source material. Screenwriters have been adapting scripts from comic books at least since 1930, and filmmakers have always favored a “true” story (or, better, yet something “based on a true story”) over fictional stories. That’s because “true” stories are easier to write, make, and sell. I would argue that they’re also less likely to amaze than stories that come from a gifted novelist’s imagination."

Tags: screenwriting  screenwriters  novels  oscars 
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