Friday, August 2, 2013

Screenwriters Michael H Weber and Scott Neustadter mention TFIOS in interviews

Photo: A24

The Fault In Our Stars screenwriters, Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, recently talked to Vanity Fair about their new film The Spectacular Now which they adapted and executive produced and which opens TODAY in NY and LA. During the interview they revealed a bit about the process of adapting a book for screen and staying true to the book:

How different is your writing process when it’s your own original material versus adapting a book like The Spectacular Now?
Weber: With the early drafts of an adaptation, first and foremost, we are trying to be true to the book. The movie has to stand on its own legs. You don’t want it to just go shot for shot of what’s in the book, but you also want to stay true to the spirit. There are some constraints. You can’t suddenly make huge changes.

 They also talked about their ultimate goal while writing a script and mentioned TFIOS:

Do you think that fans of the book will be happy with the outcome?
Neustadter: We hope so. We have done a lot of adaptations now to this point, and I think a lot of times there are books that you know you need to make a lot of changes to in order for it to become a movie. Some novels just don’t really translate that well. Then other times there have been books that have terrific ideas, and we run with those in our own way. In this particular case and with The Fault in Our Stars—which we’re going to make in August—the No. 1 objective was make sure that audiences don’t say, “Well, the book was so much better,” which I think happens 90 percent of the time.


How do you make sure that doesn’t happen?
Neustadter: We are avid readers and we are also avid movie watchers. Our goal is, “How do we figure out these books that we love to make sure everything translates in the right way?”

Check out the rest of the interesting interview at Vanity Fair Online


They also talked to upandcomers and a few other sites about Shailene and about her reading the TFIOS script.

What did you think about Shailene and Miles?
MW: And we love Shailene. We’re about to start shooting, on August 26, “The Fault in Our Stars”, the adaptation of John Green’s book that we fell in love with. We wrote that before we even met Shailene and she read the script before she even read the book, and she would kind of joke around on set in Athens during Spectacular Now, “I’m only doing this movie so you put me in Fault in our Stars.” We would say every time, “We have no say over that, that’s not up to us.” But she was just joking with us last week, she said “Do actors ever have a first look deal with writers?” We’re like, “No, but we’ll just all keep working together.”

When you were adapting the book, arguably the end of the book is much darker, so how did you approach that decision to change the ending?

MW: But he was ultimately really supportive and we’ve been lucky to work with, I mean obviously John Green right now, on “Fault in Our Stars”, and some other really great authors who’ve been supportive, and I think we try to be very respectful. It’s their baby first. It’s a little different with the adaptations, we’re sort of the custodians of the project for a little bit but it started with their idea and their inspiration. We certainly want their blessing and for them to feel like they’re part of it ‘cause we’ve heard horror stories; the book is taken away and changed, or it just doesn’t feel like the thing that they did and put so much into. So we want them feeling good about it as well. It kind of belongs to all of us.

With the thoughtfulness they handle each project, we are really glad that Scott and Michael have written the script for TFIOS. John Green has stated multiple time that the script is AMAZING. So we will just have to wait and see.

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