Tag: charlie and the chocolate factory

Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum as Willy Wonka and Charlie in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

4 Authors-Turned-Screen Writers Who Hated Their Film Adaptations

Sometimes famous authors try to adapt their own books to the big screen because if you want it done right, then you got to do it yourself. But film is a collaborative effort, and the shift from a one-person medium to a multi-person medium can be quite the shock, and often the creatives working on these collaborative projects don’t see eye to eye.

As a result, despite being involved in the production, there are many instances of authors detesting the adaptation of their work. Here are four top examples:

 

 

4. Roald Dahl, WIlly Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 

The beloved film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, is based on the novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. In the credits for the film, Roald Dahl is credited as a screenwriter along with David Seltzer. At first glance you might think that Roald Dahl gave his seal of approval to this beloved children’s classic, however actually, Dahl entirely disowned the film.

 

Image result for roald dahlImage Via Animation Magazine

According to Yahoo Movies, Dahl “signed a poor deal which gave almost total control over the property to Warner Bros in perpetuity,” which allowed Warner Bros, the production company financing the film, to make whatever changes they pleased. As a result, Dahl’s script was partially rewritten by David Seltzer, who gave the film a ‘villain’ in the form of Slugworth (a minor character only briefly mentioned in the film’s book counterpart) and broke Dahl’s golden rule: he gave songs to characters other than the Oompa Loompas. These songs were “The Candy Man,” sung in the opening by the cherry candy salesmen to the children while poor Charlie watches outside, and “Pure Imagination” sung by Willy Wonka when he and the children enter the chocolate factory.

Donald Sturrock, a friend of Dahl’s and the author of Storyteller: The Life of Roald Dahl, revealed that the now iconic “Pure Imagination” was, to Dahl, “…too sappy and sentimental.”

 

Image result for willy wonka gene

Image Via Huffington Post

Ironically, the creative genius behind the beloved children’s film hated the film itself.

 

3. Paul Rudnick, Sister Act

 

Image result for paul rudnick
Image Via Goodreads

Sister Act stars Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer on the run from a mobster who finds solace and safety with in a convent. The film was released in 1992, but was originally pitched in 1987 by Paul Rudnick. Between jobs as a playwright and novelist, Paul Rudnick, writer of the 1986 novel Social Disease, decided to try his hand at screenwriting. According to a 2009 article from The New Yorker, Paul Rudnick pitched Sister Act with Better Midler in mind for the lead role. In a stroke of luck, his script was bought by mega company Disney.

 

Whoopie Goldberg smiling and looking sideways at another nun in Sister Act
Image Via Slash Film

Unfortunately Better Midler turned down the role and the script was rewritten over and over. Credited as “Joseph Howard”, Paul Rudnick said that the 1993 movie is “no longer my work” and “I can’t vouch for the original film, for one reason. Sister Act may very well be just fine, but I’ve never been able to watch it.”

 

2. Bret Easton Ellis, The Informers

 

Bret Easton Ellis of American Psycho fame famously dismissed the famous adaptation starring Christian Bale, telling Indiewire that he doesn’t believe the book “really works as a film”. He moved on, writing a collection of short stories entitled The Informers.

 

Image result for bret easton ellis

Image Via The Creative Independent

Soon afterwards, Ellis was approached by young screenwriter Nicholas Jarecki to adapt The Informers into a film. This time Ellis was a co-screenwriter and the team spent three years prepping the movie, eventually accumulating a star-studded cast. Reuters describes the film as “seven stories taking course during a week in the life of movie executives, rock stars, a vampire and other morally challenged characters,” and was reported to include Brandon Routh, of Superman Returns, as a vampire.

However, Brandon Routh isn’t in the finished film. Neither is the character of the vampire. Despite Nicholas Jarecki being set to direct, he was replaced and the film was reworked. According to Fox News, Jarecki and Ellis’s script was cut from 150 to ninety-four pages and, as a result, Brandon Routh’s scenes were cut completely.

 

Movie poster for The Informers, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Chris Isaak, Amber Heard and Austin Nichols
Image Via Amazon

The cast famously did not do publicity for the film, a telltale sign they had little faith in what would become a critical and financial flop. Ellis concluded: “There were things I recognized, and a lot that I missed. But it’s the director’s version of the script, and that’s just how it is.”

Ouch.

1. Gore Vidal, Caligula

 

Image Via The New York Times

 

Published in 1948, Gore Vidal’s City and the Pillar follows a young man coming to terms with his sexuality in what has been called an early champion of sexual liberation. In 1959 he enjoyed early success with an adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly, Last Summer, but was largely unrecognized.

Then in 1979 his adaptation of Caligula was released. The film had major production problems, however. For instance the film’s producer, Bob Guccione, was unhappy with the homosexual content and demanded rewrites for wider audience appeal, according to a New York Times article. The screenplay, originally titled Gore Vidal’s Caligua, was renamed and put into production.

 

Image Via IMDB

 

After its release, Roger Ebert infamously gave the film zero stars, calling it “sickening, utterly worthless, shameful trash” in a scathing review. Gore Vidal has since distanced himself from the film, calling the film’s director, Tinto Brass, a “megalomaniac.”

 

 

Featured Image Via Lisa Renee Jones

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

‘Paddington’ Director in Talks to Helm ‘Willy Wonka’ Origins Movie

After a spate of Batman films in the 90s dogged audiences far and wide, Warner Bros. hired Christopher Nolan to revamp the character with Batman Begins. Now it looks like the studio is doing the same with Willy Wonka.

 

The Hollywood Reporter reports Paddington director Paul King is in talks to helm a new movie about Roald Dahl’s classic character. Memorably portrayed by Gene Wilder in 1971, and again portrayed by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2005 film, King’s movie would see a young Wonka pre-Charlie Bucket. 

 

Based on a script by Simon Rich (Man Seeking Woman, The Secret Life of Pets, and, memorably, this treasure from The New Yorker) , it’s unclear what period of Wonka’s life the movie will follow. Might it recount his first encounter with the Oompa-Loompas? Or maybe we’ll see his early days as a chocolate-seller? He’s known as a paradoxically cruel-yet-saccharine purveyor of sweets, who lives essentially alone in a massive industrial complex. How he got that way is a worthy topic of exploration.

 

Between Rich’s script, which is probably good, and King’s direction, which will certainly be good (have you seen Paddington?) this movie is one to keep an eye on. I know, cynicism is tempting in this case, but the stars seem to be aligning. Might as well be optimistic. After all, if you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.

 

 

Feature Image Via Paramount Pictures

Literary Facts

9 Fun Literary Facts That You Can Mention On Your First Day Of Class

We are all fans of a fun fact. Humans are curious creatures, always on the hunt for new information that will benefit us or inspire us in some way, and a solid fact never goes unappreciated.

 

For example, don’t you feel more in tune with the world knowing that the first person to order a pizza for delivery was Margherita Savoy, Queen of Italy in 1889? That’s 128 years of sweet, sweet pizza loving around the world, people. Or how about knowing that over 1.3 million Earths could fit into the sun, or that sharks are older than trees clocking in at 400 million years of swimming our oceans?

 

My personal favourite new fact is that if too many pistachios are shipped in a single container, they will self-heat and experience spontaneous combustion. Yes, wacky facts about the potentiality of a nut exploding may only stay lodged in our memory for a day or two but the following pieces of literary information may be more useful to you bookworms in the long run; here goes:

 

Pistachio nuts

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Fun Fact #1

 

Where the Wild Things Are

Image Via Digital Citizen

Where the Wild Things Are was originally titled Where the Wild Horses Are, and Maurice Sendak would have written about horses, however the author and illustrator soon realised he was crap at drawing them and thought it better to draw ‘things’ instead; ergo, one of the most unforgettable children’s stories of all time was born.

 

Fun Fact #2

 

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Image Via Plugged In

 

The first edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in 1964 and was thought to be racist by many critics, with some arguing the opposite, insisting it was written to be an anti-racist novel. First of all, Dahl’s Oompa-Loompas were originally described as “black pygmies” from “the very deepest and darkest part of the African jungle where no white man had gone before.” They were quickly rewritten to be from “Loompaland” and appeared to have “rosy-white skin” and “golden-brown hair”. 

 

On another note, critics insist that the first edition had the chance to be a really powerful racial allegory, as Dahl wanted Charlie Bucket to be a black child, caught in a chocolate mould that factory owner Willie Wonka helped him into. Charlie was to get trapped and nearly drown in the chocolate which was to be poured over him, eventually hardening, causing him great pain. Sources say that Dahl wanted the mould to be  a metaphor for racial stereotype, as in the early twentieth century, chocolate marketing in both the US and England was tied up in imperialist fantasies and in connecting brown skin with brown chocolate.

 

Fun Fact #3

 

Charles Dickens

Image Via The Association of Paranormal Study

 

Charles Dickens was a little bit of an eccentric. Growing up in London during the nineteenth century meant he was surrounded by such grim realities as working class life expectancy being twenty-two-years-old, half a million Londoners suffering and dying from typhus due to the lack of sanitation, 220 crimes being punishable by death and in 1839, when Dickens had reached the age of 27, nearly half of the funerals in London were being held for children under the age of ten, most of whom had full time jobs as laborers.

 

With a reality as cut throat as this, Londoners were surely grappling with a lot of fear and hardship. Dickens is known to have been a big practitioner of hypnotism (A.K.A. mesmerism to the Victorians) and the supernatural. He was a member of ‘The Ghost Club’. He also had a set of funny ideas such as sleeping facing north would help improve his writing and he regularly touched things three times for luck. 

 

Cute Fact #4

 

Of Mice and Men

Image Via BookBans

 

John Steinbeck’s original manuscript for Of Mice and Men met an interesting fate by being eaten by his pupper fluff Toby. Steinbeck said of the loss of his work to his agent, Elizabeth Otis,

My setter pup, left alone one night, made confetti of about half of my manuscript…. I was pretty mad but the poor little fellow may have been acting critically. I didn’t want to ruin a good dog for a [manuscript] I’m not sure is good at all.

 

What a nice dude and a dog lover taking his pups actions in his stride.

 

Fun Fact #5

 

Gabriel García Marquez

Image Via Amazon

 

Gabriel García Marquez refuses to allow One Hundred Years of Solitude to be made into a film. Universally hailed as a major work of literature about the history of isolated town Macon and the Buendías family who founded it, no film has ever been made of the book, as the author declined every invitation to sign away the film rights. The first film adaptation of one of his novels came in 2007 when the English director Mike Newell made Love in the Time of Cholera. Friends claimed Márquez only agreed to the deal because he had been diagnosed with cancer and was concerned about the future of his family. However, as it stands today, the author deems One Hundred Years of Solitude “unfilmable” unless the the film includes the entire book, only releasing one chapter – two minutes long – each year, for 100 years. Sheeeeesh. 

 

Fun Fact #6

 

Don Quixote Cartoon

Image Via WhatsUpWithThat.com

 

Don Quixote is the best-selling novel of all time with over 500 million copies sold. Miguel de Cervantes’ novel, about a man who becomes so infatuated with tales of knights that he decides to become one, is the novel which gave us the idiom- “tilting at Windmills” to indicate a noble but futile endeavor. Quixote’s misadventures as he travels across the Spanish countryside seeking wrongs to right and downtrodden peoples to uplift have amused generations of readers since it was published in 1612. Don Quixote is considered one of the first novels ever written, too.

 

Slightly Fun Fact #7

 

Pride and Prejudice

Image Via Pinterest

 

Pride and Prejudice was originally titled First Impressions. Yep, the title was chosen due to a branding strategy that was sure to boost sales with publishers going for an “if-you-liked-that-you’ll-also-love-this” approach. Jane Austen’s blockbuster sales of Sense and Sensibility encouraged this name change by sticking to the noun-and-noun formula to ca$h in those book sales.

 

Fun Fact #8

 

catch-22

Image Via Google Sites

Catch-22 is hailed a cornerstone of American literature and is one of the funniest-and most celebrated books of all time, and it only took Joseph Heller 8 years to complete it. It is an anti-war novel and a general critique of bureaucracy set in Italy during WWII. If bombardier Yossarian excuse himself from the perilous missions he and his army are assigned, he’ll be in violation of a catch-22, a sinister yet hilarious bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but is he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved of his duties. Certainly has himself in a pickle.

 

Funnest Fact #9

 

Da Vinci

Image Via Business Insider

Bill Gates brought Codex Leicester, one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s scientific journals for $30.8 million at Christie’s New York back in 1994. The sale currently holds the record for the second highest sale price of any book ever. Bill Gates is known to be an avid reader, with a personal collection of rare books hand selected by his professional book dealer. Codex Leicester is a collection of scientific journals, the most famous of all of the thirty journals Da Vinci kept and it is an exceptional illustration of the link between art and science and the creativity of the scientific process.

 

Cover Image Via PicsForLearning

chocolate river

Roald Dahl Wanted Charlie of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ to be Black

Hero of children’s literature Roald Dahl originally intended for one of his most famous characters (Charlie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) to be black, however he was dissuaded by his agent on the basis that readers would question why he included a black lead. Though it’s no excuse, bear in mind this was 1964. 

 

In an interview with the BBC on Dahl’s 101st birthday, his widow Liccy Dahl said, “his first Charlie that he wrote about was a little black boy,” adding that it was a “great pity” that Dahl had given into the change.

 

 

Donald Sturrock, Dahl’s biographer noted that “it was his agent who thought it was a bad idea, when the book was first published, to have a black hero. She said, ‘People would ask why.’”

 

Roald Dahl and Charlie and Willy Wonka

Image Via Daily Express

 

Liccy Dahl said that seeing Charlie as he was originally intended would be “wonderful.” As soon as this comment was made public, director Ava Duvernay tweeted “*raises hand for movie adaptation*”. Duvernay recently made history as the first woman of color to direct a live-action movie with a budget of more than $100 million. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess was also on board when a fan suggested him for the role of Willy Wonka, saying “Ummmm oh the fun I would have!”

 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a Duvernay Chocolate Factory! 

 

"Don't just stand there, do something!

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