With Martin Scorsese’s adaption of his novel Shutter Island being released on DVD and Blu-ray next week, I had the chance to interview author Dennis Lehane by phone yesterday. Lehane is the best-selling author of 10 novels, including Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River. He was also a staff writer on David Simon’s The Wire from seasons 3 to 5 and is currently working on adapting his short story Animal Rescue for Fox 2000.
Since Lehane’s direct involvement in bringing Shutter Island to the big screen was fairly limited, we spent a lot of time talking about other subjects, including:
- How THR erroneously reported last week that he was writing a script with Paul Tamasy (Air Bud)
- Why he doesn’t ever want to adapt his own novels for the screen
- His golden rule for dealing with Hollywood
- Which novel made him decide to become a writer
- Why he prefers TV to movies and what his favorite shows are
- Why we’ll never see the movie he wrote and directed in the 90s
All this and more after the jump!
At some point you could argue that Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood started making movies to get Oscars. This is reductive and not fair to their body of work, but when you look at much of the 21st century for both artists there’s a sense of making Oscar pictures that perhaps have other merits, but definitely with an eye toward that goal. The rebirth of Scorsese as Oscar contender came in 1990, when Goodfellas lost to Dances with Wolves and engendered years of vitriol. Mystic River lost in the year of Return of the King, but it kicked off Eastwood’s current run of Oscar-bait pictures that have done well in terms of nominations until recently. The Scorsese film stars Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in one of the greatest mob films ever made, while Mystic River is a literary adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel of wrongful death and suspicious behavior. My review of both after the jump.
Dennis Lehane has previously provided the source material for the critically acclaimed Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone as well as the upcoming Shutter Island and The Given Day. Now Variety reports that he’s finally going to adapt one of his own stories because other writers shouldn’t have all the fun. Lehane will adapt his short story Animal Rescue for Fox 2000 through Peter Chernin’s production company, Chernin Entertainment. The story, via Variety, “revolves around a killing that results from a lost and contested pit bull. The story appeared in the Akashic Books anthology Boston Noir, which Lehane also edited.”
Lehane has been approached in the past to adapt his own work, but this is the first time he’s done it and it will also be his first feature film. His only previous work for the screen were for three episodes of The Wire, so I don’t think there’s much to worry about as far as his screenwriting talent is concerned.