Film & TV

Utterly Unadaptable?

It’s easy to think of books you’ve read that have been adapted for the big screen, but what about those that haven’t? As I scan my bookcase now, a fair few of my books have been transferred to the big and small screen. Jeeves and Wooster, Goodnight Mister Tom and even Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency have been adapted in one way or another (the latter for Radio 4). There is one book that has yet to be adapted though. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, which ranks as one of my favourite books and is regularly placed high in “Top 100” lists, remains untouched. The film rights have been sold, there have been a number of draft scripts written (including one by Faulks himself) but the film has never come to fruition.

A quick search on IMDB shows that the project has a director attached to it, a 2010 release date and even a tentative cast list. This should all be good news but it’s been in the pipeline for so long that I have to remain sceptical. Furthermore, I have planned, down to the tiniest detail, how this novel would look if I were to make it into a film. The essential plot points, the sets and locations and even the languages spoken have already been decided… by me. Admittedly though the prospect of Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Inglourious Basterds) playing the part of Stephen Wraysford is a very exciting one.

I’m big enough to accept that the film version of Birdsong might not live up to the book, and that’s OK. Unless of course, I get the chance to make it. Then it’ll be perfect.

Hannah Coleman

Film & TV

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