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.
READ MORE AFTER THE CUT
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?”