Adapting a story to fit a script is never easy. You have to condense, restructure, often add scenes for dramatic or comedic effect and sometimes you have to remove scenes because movies can’t be 15 hours long and maybe they won’t miss it. But most importantly, you have to remain faithful to the source material. Here is our 2016 predictions for Best Adapted Screenplay.
My theory on adaptations is this: get the original author to write the screenplay and it’s always a home run. They already know the story backwards and forwards and care enough to adapt the story so that what appears on the script (and hopefully the screen) is faithful to the source material. Emma Donaghue did this for Room and it was exactly what was needed.
Every character was written in such great detail and were drenched in subtle complexity. And because this scenario is not commonplace for us in the audience, we were left to feel every line of dialogue and marvel at every bit of action. In the wrong hands, Room might not be the worst film, but it won’t be one of the best films of the year. And a lot of that has to do with the script.
The hardest thing to do is read a story then depict it. We have seen this go wrong more than it has gone right, but here, it was right. Your typical feel good movie, America needs a win and America will solve this problem because that’s what America does. Not quite! This was all about a win for mankind. We sent a man to Mars, he got stuck on Mars, he did the impossible on Mars, and he came home. This was a movie, like the book, that became an emotional roller coaster with a slight tear at the end.
But, The Martian is going to win this award, and the reason for that is that the book on which it’s based has been praised and praised by laymen, writing critics, and those working in film. The book, published exclusively online was chronicled by the author as he did his research and developed the story and details over time.
The reason I think The Martian will take this award is that I don’t think it’s going to win the top awards in any of the main categories it’s nominated in (Best film, best director, best actor, best supporting actor etc.). It may even have a hard time in the technical categories going up against Mad Max and The Revenant. So I think this will be a consolation prize, and a polite nod to the book’s author.
Adapted to the big screen by Drew Goddard (Daredevil, Lost and World War Z), a genius with the pen and paper, his ability to bring a book to life and capture the essence of isolation was outstanding. A true emotional roller coaster filled with the politics of any organisation and the questioning of mankind’s morality – money vs human life. Outstanding!
What is your prediction for Best Adapted Screenplay?
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