Saturday, March 5, 2011

Red Riding Hood (How the book and movie came to be)

George was trying to get tips on how to defeat the wolf.

Walking through Barnes and Noble, I noticed this book displayed with other young adult literature.  What captured my interest was the fact that it has been made into a movie that will be released to theaters very soon.  Also, the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio is the mastermind behind the book intrigued me.  Most of us only think of him as an actor.  Now, he is a creator, too. 

I learned a few things after purchasing the book that both interested me and disappointed me. 

1.  This book is based on a screenplay – not the other way around.  I would normally shy away from this type of book, but in this case, simply didn’t think it through clearly when picking the book out.  Even knowing the DiCaprio thing, I didn’t put it together (duh!).

2.  I have never read a book that was originally a script, so I decided to look at this as a new experience – a learning experience.   I might even like it. 

3.  I love fairy tales – the original versions are so much creepier than the stories we’ve been taught as children.  (Did you know the stepsisters in Cinderella had their eyes pecked out at the end of the original version? Huh.  I wonder why Disney didn’t stick that part in?)  I simply couldn’t resist reading about a well-known fairy tale from a different perspective.  If you’ve ever read Gregory Maguire, you’ll realize that it can make for great reading. 

DiCaprio, with the hopes of targeting the Twilight audience, approached David Leslie Johnson with his idea: retell Red Riding Hood in a new way – make it gothic, scary, and follow the thoughts and actions of the girl.   Johnson was the screenwriter for the recent movie Orphan, which looks far too scary for me to watch, and was production assistant for the brilliant, poignant film The Shawshank Redemption

Once the script was written, Catherine Hardwicke – director of Twilight – was brought on as director.  She decided that the full complexity of the story couldn’t be fully portrayed through one film and approached a young writer, Sarah Blakely-Cartwright, to adapt the screenplay into a book. 

In a nutshell, this is how the book was born.

Stay tuned for the actual book review to be posted tomorrow.  I have a lot to say and don’t want to overload my wonderful readers.

Check out these books by Gregory Maguire if you want a fresh take on familiar fairy tales.  



Elicious said...

I love G. Maguire! I love his writing and creative spins. Although, I do harbor very mixed feeling regarding the Wicked Years series after Wicked.

BreiW said...

I have to admit, I haven't read the others in the Wicked series. Not worth the time?

Elicious said...

Not really. Son of a Witch starts promising, but the ending is super rushed. Before finishing the book, I knew it was going to end bad. There was way too much to tie up and I only had 20 pages to go.

A Lion Among Men was TERRIBLE! The whole book is dedicated to the complaint ridden ramblings of a victim-personalitied lion. My judgment might be a little harsh though since I read it just after ending a relationship with a total complainer.