Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yikes!!!!!! A Major Motion Picture!!!!

One of my favorite mystery writers is Patricia Cornwell. Her Dr. Kay Scarpetta series is a really excellent!! I've read all sixteen books in the series. I received her newsletter in my email a few days ago and it brought the news that the latest book, "Scarpetta" is being made into a major motion picture. The website has the info in detail.

Sigh. Yawn. Now I don't know about y'all, but more often than not, I find that when books I've read are made into movies, 99.9% of the time I'm disappointed. Now I'm intelligent enough to understand that a lot of revision has to be done to condense a book to the length required for the silver screen and that some screen writers do better than others at understanding what's essential to the plot and characters.

What's got me frosted is casting. They are casting Angelina Jolie in the title role. After reading the entire series -- all sixteen books -- I think I ban say that there is no way in hell I can see her in that role and I'm sure other Scarpetta fans agree. Somehow I simply don't see what the producers were thinking as she really isn't the right 'type' to play Kay Scarpetta. (Nor is she the right type to play Kay Dennison. lol) I have not been impressed with Ms. Jolie and have decided that I will not see this film as the writing will probably as bad as the casting. I try to avoid getting annoyed when possible so I doubt that I will see this film.

It's been my experience that anytime Hollywood gets hold of a mystery series detective, they botch it. They did it to Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder and John D. McDonald's Travis McGee (although the latter said he never let them do it again). They've done it time and again -- botching plots and casting badly. Adapting is one thing; changing stories completely is another. I'd like to think Ms. Cornwell is maintaining a certain amount of creative control but with the choice for the title role, I think not.

I rarely like movies made from books. They have to cut too much from the story so my feeling this way is no great surprise. And yeah, as far as I'm concerned, the only Bond ever worth a damn was Sean Connery so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

The reason I wrote this is that I wondered if any of y'all are fans of this series and want to know what you think.

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!!!



  1. An outstanding example of translating a mystery book series to TV is Parker's Spenser novels. The casting of Robert Urich and Avery Brooks was perfect.

  2. Nancy9:29 AM


    I recently read an article written by a well known author in which he said that it's difficult to spend two years writing a book, sell it to a movie producer, then stand by and watch him drive your book over a cliff!

    I'm glad the authors feel that way,because I have often had that feeling when watching an awful movie made from a book that I thought was wonderful.

  3. Don't know this series, but I've had a thing about movie adaptations of good books since Leon Uris' Exodus.

  4. I have only read 2 of her books but I agree with you. Jolie is not a good choice. It is the same for me with Patterson's books with Alex Cross. They got an older man to play his role (I cannot for the life of me remember his name now - Driving Miss Daisy's chauffeur) and while he is excellent, I always picture Cross as Denzel Washington!! I was robbed!

  5. H ap W: Somehow I couldn't get onto the Spenser books but I thought the series pretty good,

    Mancy: Amen!!!!! AND if I ever finish the Great American Novel I refuse to sell it (or is that sell out?) to Hollywood. Greed isn't my thing.

    AQ: Yeah, they did a lousy job with that one, too. Sad because the book was wonderful.

    Judy: Thank you!!! And it was Morgan Freeman who I love but is really too old to play Alex. I won't say he was bad because he can act better than most but yeah, I kinda like the idea of Denzel as Alex. That said, they didn't mess with books outrageoulsly and stayed with the storyline reasonably well.

  6. I LOVE her books to....... Im now into the Harlen Coben series :)


  7. Angelina Jolie? Really? I can't make that work either. I do think Miss Bacall could play you, although I'm not sure she could deliver your awful jokes with as much enthusiasm.

  8. Thank you, Ellen!!!! And having read Ms. Bacall's autobiography, she really does have a sense of humor and I think she would love my groaners. I might just invite her to stop by if I can find an email for her.


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