Sunday, March 14, 2010
New Elmore Leonard interview
The Hollywood newspaper The Wrap runs an interview with Elmore Leonard in its column The Grill today:
Since he published his first novel, “The Bounty Hunters,” back in 1953, novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard has established himself as a crime writer par excellence – and the go-to guy when Hollywood needs gritty realism and, well, Leonardesque dialogue. To paraphrase his own “Ten Rules of Writing” essay, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
The result? A long list of films with memorable characters and snappy dialogue, ranging from 1967’s “Hombre,” starring Paul Newman, to “Out of Sight,” “Get Shorty,” “Jackie Brown,” “52 Pick-Up,” “Glitz” and the upcoming “Freaky Deaky”-- all based on his work. His latest was for the small screen, “Justified,” which premieres on FX Tuesday.
You’ve had a long history with Hollywood.
(Laughs) Since the ‘50s, but the last screenplay that actually got made was “Mr. Majestyk” with Charles Bronson, back in ’74.
I had nothing to do with all the others, like “Get Shorty” and “Out of Sight.” I just sold the rights. But I knew the screenwriter for those, Scott Frank, and we’d discuss the scripts – not so much for “Get Shorty,” but for “Out of Sight,” and he’d have a lot of questions about the characters.
Why did you stop?
You have to work with too many people, and there are so many opinions, so it’s just a big waste of time for me. If you get with the right people, the right director, then that’s fine. But usually at first you’re just working with someone on the producer’s staff.
Of all the Hollywood adaptations of your books, which ones got it right?
I think “Get Shorty,” “Out of Sight” and “Jackie Brown” were the closest in spirit to the books. Quentin Tarantino stayed very close to my story with “Jackie Brown.” The others added little things here and there -- but you have to for a movie.
For the rest go here: