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Warner Bros has captured a SPARROW and is planning on giving it to Brad Pitt!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with some interesting news for you sci-fi fans out there. Mary Doria Russell's novel, THE SPARROW, has been picked up by Warner Bros for Brad Pitt's Production Company, Plan B. Pitt has reportedly been eyeballing this book for a long time as a vehicle for himself. Michael Seitzman (NORTH COUNTRY) is adapting the book.

I've heard this novel talked about, but I have yet to get around to it. Here's the really interesting sounding description, lifted from Amazon:

In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

Any fans of the book have an opinion of its adaptation and of Pitt in the lead? I'm very optimistic just from reading that synopsis. Could be something special. What do you think?



Readers Talkback
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  • March 3, 2006, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Sounds interesting. Although not very cinematic.

    by dr_dreadlocks

    I trust there will be explosions and a body count added in the adaptation. Otherwise, why would the WB be interested? Prestige!? Come on. Ah, well. Maybe they're turning over a new leaf and learning from their cycle of dickhead mistakes... Maybe not, also.

  • March 3, 2006, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Ooh, this one's going to be tough...

    by kintar0

    to adapt and not fuck it up. The book is excellent, endorsed by Octavia Butler, but doesn't really lend itself to a film. They hollow out an asteroid and fly it to this star system.

  • March 3, 2006, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Ironic

    by DannyOcean01

    How Pitt was up for The Fountain, but pulled out and now we hear he's been pursuing this philosophical, theological journey novel...hmmmm maybe it was just Anniston complaining about the bear then...

  • March 3, 2006, 5:25 a.m. CST

    Beard not bear

    by DannyOcean01

    Unless Pitt liked to bring a bear to bed which is just sick..

  • March 3, 2006, 5:59 a.m. CST

    try bringing a bear to bed.

    by Mr Brownstone

    it will make you question what it is to be human.

  • March 3, 2006, 6:19 a.m. CST

    Many have written poems and songs about Brads penis

    by Spew Askew

  • March 3, 2006, 7:12 a.m. CST

    Excellent book, but possibly very tough to film.

    by Mostholy

    A lot of The Sparrow isn't very plot-oriented...I'm not sure how they'll turn it into an action-y Hollywood flick (unless they bring in elements from the sequel, Children of God.) Well, hopefully, The Fountain will do really well, opening the door to a more faithful "big-idea sci-fi" adaptation of Russell's book.

  • March 3, 2006, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Of course, in the book...

    by Umbrasprite

    ...the lead character is Puerto Rican, born and raised in the slums there. Sounds like Brad Pitt all over, doesn't it?

  • March 3, 2006, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Film adaptation would be DREADFUL for this book.

    by stupidpunname

    It's a good book, well written; but the plot simply does not lend itself to being told visually--too much character development. Sometimes a book can be a good STARTING POINT for a good film, but I don't see that here. And what role does fecking Brad Pitt think he's going to play in this story? This whole plan sounds awful.

  • March 3, 2006, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Thought Pitt was seeking Time Traveller's Wife

    by DannyOcean01

    Or whatever that book was called. Maybe his interest in that book folded along with his marriage?

  • March 3, 2006, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Oh lordy.....

    by KajiC

    This is an incredible book. If they do it right, it will be tough to make and possibly harder to watch. I don't care who is starring in it...who is writing the screenplay??????

  • March 3, 2006, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Book good, Brad bad..

    by Jugs

    ..please let him realise that a slightly younger and wholey better actor is needed!

  • March 3, 2006, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Jesuits, hmmmm

    by LilOgre

    I will be interested to see how the Jesuits are used in the narrative. I was raised a Catholic and was educated by the Jesuits. They are easily the most "radical" and left-leaning of Catholic groups so how this figures into the overall plot could be fascinating. In fact, I am almost motivated to read this.

  • March 3, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST

    I have such terribly mixed feelings about this book...

    by JohnAdcox

    I loved the emotional nuances, the subtle character bits, the philosophical exploration... and absolutely despise the plot structure. Basically, without spoilers, most of the later third of the book hinges upon characters that we are TOLD, over and over, are genius making mistakes that can only be called mind-numbingly stupid. Not bad day honest mistakes, but gigantically stupid. At best. It seems to be that the plot holes are going to be glaring on the bid screen, where the graceful writing won't salvage it.

  • March 3, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Banderas had the rights to this for a long time...

    by genro

    I'm surprised he couldn't get Rodriguez or Del Toro to take it on.

  • March 3, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Contact

    by BankyEdwards2309

    Hmmm..wasn't there summit like this in the movie with uber rug-muncher Jodie Foster ? Crazy person goes to alien planet, finds out that our planet is crap in comparison - but no one believes a word of it..wah! wah! wah!. Still, got my flag wanting to be saluted though..may give it a viewing !! Tally ho.

  • March 3, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    (spoilers...)

    by Bunger

    Spoilers follow, though you may think I'm bullshitting if you haven't actually read the book ........................................ The hardest thing about turning this book into a flick is going to be the HARDCORE ANAL RAPE AND TORTURE of the priest by his inhuman captors; there is an extreme danger of it coming off as "weird for weird's sake" or worse of it being unintentionally comical (in a sick way) if the creatures are poorly rendered; imagine a line of 8 foot lizard-man muppets lining up to violate Brad's quivering holes... yikes

  • March 3, 2006, 11:02 a.m. CST

    LilOgre...

    by genro

    That is so inane to say Jesuits are "Left Leaning". They're not libs. They're not some radical leftist wing of the church. I've been taught by four different orders and the only difference was the Jesuits openly debated philosophy. That doesn't make them radical. They still adhered to church doctrine.

  • March 3, 2006, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I've been waiting for this one for a long time

    by antibody

    This is such an amazing book. Funny, I never had the same reservations as others here about its cinematic qualities. It certainly won't be crowd-pleasing popcorn fluff (ala Armageddon, etc.) Regarding Pitt's involvement -- I can't imagine anyone more wrong for the lead (assuming he takes the part of Emillio). I always assumed it would be Banderas. He'd be ideal for the part. Here's hoping they don't ruin one of the best science fiction novels written in the past 15 years!

  • March 3, 2006, 11:23 a.m. CST

    That sounds fuckin retarded

    by jackinitraw

    "the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own" I laughed when I read that. Maybe the book is good, but that little break down sounds really fucking stupid.

  • March 3, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a terrific sleep aid

    by Zeke25:17

    Why in the name of Angelina's ass is this considered even remotely interesting?

  • March 3, 2006, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Makes sense....

    by Mr. Profit

    Since the biggest telescope in the world is in Arecibo PR. And they have that huge fucking satellite.

  • March 3, 2006, 12:23 p.m. CST

    But Brad Pitt as a Rican?

    by Mr. Profit

    I don't buy what they are selling. Couldn't they have cast a Latino actor. Or even Joaquin Phoenix. Wasn't he born in PR and raised there for a while, and speaks Spanish?

  • March 3, 2006, 12:41 p.m. CST

    But Russel Crowe as a Spanish General in Gladiator?

    by JackRabbitSlim

    John Leguizamo as an Italian Hairdresser in Summer of Sam? Spare me the political fucking correctness for portraying ethnicities.

  • March 3, 2006, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Jesuits in Space!

    by quadrupletree

    Getting ass raped. Sounds like a winner to me.

  • March 3, 2006, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Alien Score?

    by maestro1286

    This would be a tough one.

  • March 3, 2006, 1:54 p.m. CST

    quadrupletree

    by lopan

    lmao that is fucking hilarious. Space Jesuits Get Plowed, where do I fucking sign up for that one.

  • March 3, 2006, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Contact meets The Fountain maybe?

    by modlight

    Sounds good I'll go read this.

  • March 3, 2006, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Contact 2

    by comicbooknerd

    Is it me or shouldn

  • March 3, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    Sounds like Pitt is trying to atone for the Fountain

    by jimmy_009

    But sounds interesting, my kind of flick.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    comicbooknerd (spoilers)...

    by Bunger

    spoilers in this message, be warned: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Contact 2? When, in contact, did Jodi Foster end up on another planet populated by two separate species of sentient lizardmen, one race of which was a predatory race that hunts on the other one and has a thing for hardcore sexual assault of anything with holes? When did she have her hands mutilated and get anally violated over and over and over again when captured by said predators? This book is nothing like Contact, and predates it by a good deal in terms of copyright. It's really an excellent novel, just going to be a very very difficult movie to make happen.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:31 p.m. CST

    dont be fooled by the blurbs provided thus far...

    by Bunger

    ... No serious spoilers in this post, but it bears mentioning that the "Jesuits get a signal and go to space to find out about it" aspect of it is only the first part of the story of The Sparrow, the first act out of three (or four or five) if you want to call it that. . . The story does not climax with the unveiling of the alien race like Contact or Close Encounters; the story goes way way beyond just making contact with them.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:36 p.m. CST

    hope is not like contact,...

    by silverdog

    almost 3 hours of pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo and McConaughey "acting". waiting for the aliens, just to find out they were soooo "beyond comprehension " they had to look human.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:39 p.m. CST

    great book

    by twan_deeth_ree

    I can actually see Pitt in the lead. I think he could do a great job. I don't think people give him enough credit in the acting department, and the backstory if his character could easily be altered to fit his ethnicity. And I don't have any of the other's reservations about how cinematic the story is. It's a great story. Last I heard, movies are vehicles in which to tell stories. Who cares how many 'splosions there are. And why do people keep saying "lizardmen?" If I remember correctly, the two species were both hairy. The herbivores were described in vaguely kangaroo-like terms, and the predators weren't too terribly different, physiologically. I thought it was a brilliant idea all the way through - the two co-evolving species, predator & prey, the theological implications, the great characters - great book all around. (Much better than it's sequal, IMO). I'm totally psyched to see where they go with this.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:45 p.m. CST

    twan...

    by Bunger

    way to flag your spoilers dude.

  • March 3, 2006, 4:48 p.m. CST

    for those that want the entire rundown...

    by Bunger

    ... but are too goddamn lazy to read a book (a really good one, too) check out wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sparrow

  • March 3, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Brad Pitt?

    by spacechampion

    When I read the book about ten years ago I pictured Antonio Banderas. The role seemed perfect for him. Not just for the ethnicity, but the charm and range required. But that was ten years ago. I believe the role requires a bit younger man, early thirties if I remember correctly. Joe Black as the priest? I don't know about that. He's like 43 -- but I suppose he still can pass for thirty. I can see why Brad had his eye on it for so long. It's an awesome book. Maybe he can pull it off. He has the charm. Does he have the acting chops to become the completely dark, devasted, broken man that is required for the part? I'll be watching. For the ex-hooker/scientist hottie character, I hope they get Charlize Theron or Naomi Watts, or maybe Natalie Portman. Either role pulled off right would be Oscar-worthy.

  • March 3, 2006, 8:05 p.m. CST

    Eh, I don't care for Jesus...

    by THXER

    or his Society... bunch o trouble making fools ya ask me.

  • March 3, 2006, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Battlefield Earth 2?

    by quadrupletree

    That implies that Brad Pitt is a Jesuit and that he sees this as his duty to bring the "message" to a larger audience using this story as the vehicle. Is that true? What's Brad's theological creed? Just curious.

  • March 4, 2006, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Original

    by Turd Furgeson

    Well at least its an orignal idea, even if a book adaptation. Done thoughtfully and carefully, this could be a great film... At least he's not doing a Simon and Simon remake with Paul Giamatti..... It's an original idea, which this stupid fucking town has none of anymore....

  • March 4, 2006, 2:37 a.m. CST

    been in the works for a while

    by TheLastBystander

    yo, im a long time reader but first time poster (usually readint these talkbacks is enough to give me a brain hemmorhage.) I'm the son of the author of this book, and this has been in the works for a while as the article says. The premise does sound dumb, my mom often makes fun of that, but as most people who have read it agree, it's really a lot better than that (though it's funny to read stuff that's like THIS AUTHOR SHOULD BE BURNT ALIVE.) and yes, they are taking elements from Children of God to give it some more action, even though it's not an action film overall by any stretch of the imagination.

  • March 4, 2006, 2:41 a.m. CST

    also...

    by TheLastBystander

    it's ironic that one guy says "I don't care about Jesus," since the book is by no means a blow job to Christianity and the author IS Jewish

  • March 4, 2006, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Sandoz

    by ILK

    Interesting. Same name as the first pharmaceutical company to release the first "branded" LSD. Sounds very interesting. Even though there are some fine examples already (Contact, while flawed, comes to mind), I don't think the ultimate first contact film has been made. I'd love to see a film that concentrated not on the aliens or their technology/civilization, but instead on the impact it had on earth's society/religions/laws.

  • March 4, 2006, 2:50 a.m. CST

    Re: Sandoz

    by TheLastBystander

    Ok this is my last reply here, before I become addicted, but ILK: yeah, it actually was taken from that company's name. I was sick as a kid and the name came from a cold medecine I was taking.

  • March 4, 2006, 4:28 a.m. CST

    Round Two?

    by Totem

    Russell has been trying to get this off the ground for years. Banderas was all for it, but the studios wanted some of the action from the second book to be in the film, believing that wasn't enough conflict there. A man's rage against God isn't sufficient conflict?? I think with the advances in CG it;d work, but boy oh boy, it'll be a loooong film.

  • March 4, 2006, 12:28 p.m. CST

    some info

    by TheLastBystander

    From the author of The Sparrow: The only thing worse than having a novel reduced to an inane 30-page treatment for a studio head is having that same novel dismissed as stupid on the basis of a one-paragraph synopsis from Amazon. The Sparrow has won a variety of national and international awards, and was a finalist for a number of others. It's been translated into a dozen languages, and has inspired two operas (one rock, one grand), as well as two attempts to bring it to film (one at Universal, which failed, and one at Warners, which is looking good). Check out my website www.marydoriarussell.info for a sample of the book and its reviews. Re: Brad Pitt as Emilio Sandoz 1. Anybody who's ever been to Puerto Rico knows that it's a magnificently mixed-race population, from Brad Pitt blond to Wesley Snipes black. 2. Emilio Sandoz was 41 when the mission left earth. Brad Pitt is 41. 3. Peter O'Toole was way too tall to play T.E. Lawrence. So fucking what? 4. In Hollywood, as everyone on this site should know, they don't ask, "Who's the best actor to play this role?" They ask, "Who can get this project financed?" That's the reality. 5. Actors like Antonio Banderas, Benicio del Toro, Andy Garcia and Johnny Depp might have come to mind while reading the book, but the fact is Mr. Pitt wanted the part enough to go after the project and he's putting his own money into it. God bless him, he's the reason I can pay cash for my kid's college education. 6. Personally, I think he's got the chops for this. Snatch is one of my favorite movies. And check out Twelve Monkeys again. Re: screenwriter Michael Seitzman just got a GG nom for his screen adaptation North Country. According to my very own Deep Throat inside the production company, Mr. Seitzman's first draft of The Sparrow was "very close to brilliant," and "if they can get the aliens right, this could be genre-changing." Of course, if you've seen The Passion of the Christ, you know that not even God could get a good Hollywood adaptation of his book. Time will tell, but I'm cautiously optimistic... Mary Doria Russell

  • March 4, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Why add in action?

    by antibody

    Let's face it some of the greatest science fiction films of all time had very little action. Anyone seen 2001? Even Blade Runner (my personal favorite) tends to drag quite a bit. Pure science fiction is about the ideas -- not the popcorn fluff of space operas (i.e. Star Wars, etc.). Regarding the feasibility of the premise, it's even less far-fetched today than when the book was first written. We live in a time in which there's a lot of interest and investment from private organizations who are developing their own space programs (space tourism, etc.). Is it that unbelievable that if the possibility of inter-planetary travel were possible that a church orgnanization couldn't scrape together the means to send their own missionaries?

  • March 4, 2006, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Haven

    by Jaka

  • March 4, 2006, 2:44 p.m. CST

    What the hell?

    by Jaka

    My PC just entered the last post all by itself. lol (kicks pc) I was going to say...Haven't read the book - but it would be nice to see Pitt stop coasting.

  • March 4, 2006, 3:40 p.m. CST

    H.

    by casinoskunk

    jesus H. christ. sounds a bit churchie to me!

  • March 4, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    "a planet which will come to be known as asshat"

    by newc0253

    did i read that right?

  • March 4, 2006, 4:28 p.m. CST

    earlier post by author "some info"

    by Doria

    Sorry about the lack of spaces in that post, folks. It was supposed to have spaces between lines, like this: The only thing worse than having a novel reduced to an inane 30-page treatment for a studio head is having that same novel dismissed as stupid on the basis of a one-paragraph synopsis from Amazon. The Sparrow has won a variety of national and international awards, and was a finalist for a number of others. It's been translated into a dozen languages, and has inspired two operas (one rock, one grand), as well as two attempts to bring it to film (one at Universal, which failed, and one at Warners, which is looking good). Check out my website www.marydoriarussell.info for a sample of the book and its reviews. Re: Brad Pitt as Emilio Sandoz 1. Anybody who's ever been to Puerto Rico knows that it's a magnificently mixed-race population, from Brad Pitt blond to Wesley Snipes black. 2. Emilio Sandoz was 41 when the mission left earth. Brad Pitt is 41. 3. Peter O'Toole was way too tall to play T.E. Lawrence. So fucking what? 4. In Hollywood, as everyone on this site should know, they don't ask, "Who's the best actor to play this role?" They ask, "Who can get this project financed?" That's the reality. 5. Actors like Antonio Banderas, Benicio del Toro, Andy Garcia and Johnny Depp might have come to mind while reading the book, but the fact is Mr. Pitt wanted the part enough to go after the project and he's putting his own money into it. God bless him, he's the reason I can pay cash for my kid's college education. 6. Personally, I think he's got the chops for this. Snatch is one of my favorite movies. And check out Twelve Monkeys again. Re: screenwriter Michael Seitzman just got a GG nom for his screen adaptation North Country. According to my very own Deep Throat inside the production company, Mr. Seitzman's first draft of The Sparrow was "very close to brilliant," and "if they can get the aliens right, this could be genre-changing." Of course, if you've seen The Passion of the Christ, you know that not even God could get a good Hollywood adaptation of his book. Time will tell, but I'm cautiously optimistic... Mary Doria Russell

  • March 4, 2006, 4:29 p.m. CST

    earlier post by author "some info"

    by Doria

    Rats. Evidently spaces aren't allowed. Apologies, folks.

  • March 4, 2006, 4:30 p.m. CST

    not asshat!

    by Doria

    Rakhat, not asshat. Jesus...

  • March 4, 2006, 6:18 p.m. CST

    Greetings to the Author of the Book.

    by stupidpunname

    I think this may be a first in the talkbacks. If the author likes the script treatment, that is encouraging. Also, while I did visualize the priest as a dark Hispanic man, I have to agree that Brad Pitt is a fine actor when he bothers to make the effort...If this project actually makes it to the screen, I'll probably pay to see it.

  • March 4, 2006, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Passion of the Christ...

    by SK909

    Was one of, if not the best film in recent years because it was CINEMATIC. Like most great late 60's/70's films, you would look at it and think it barely had a script. It just took things that could be reduced to a line or two in a screenplay and then expanded upon them VISUALLY. Not to mention the fact that the acting was absolutely flawless. Even if you disagree with certain things about the film, it simply cannot be argued that it didn't contain excellent acting and painterly visuals.

  • March 4, 2006, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Will this finally be Pitt's provoking sci-fi piece?

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    After his involvement in the Aranofski thing and the time traveler's wife thing he was interested in both failed to eventuate? The premise sounds interesting. I haven't read the book so I can't comment on the casting, but with any book to film adaptation liberties are to be had. In a way I think the details matter less then the themes, mood, spirit and sentiment of the thing being adapted. Of course some details can kinda be key components of those things, but hey if the author is happy I'm happy. Not that the author is always in the most uncompromised of positions to comment. Plus I think they are going to have to change the name of the planet from Asshat.

  • March 4, 2006, 9:19 p.m. CST

    The Sparrow

    by JasonR

    Okay. This is getting interesting. I was the first writer hired to adapt The Sparrow to the screen, and I have to say that anyone who doesn't think that it would make an amzing movie, has never read the book. My experience on this project, while ultimately frustrating as hell, was creatively one of the best I've ever had. And despite Mary's feelings (which I must say have come as a surprise to me considering how much I enjoyed corresponding with her during the process, and how involved I kept her while I was adapting her baby--something that most screenwriters don't do by the way) my script was by all accounts a success, and was not the reason the movie didn't get off the ground at Universal. We all know that sometimes the best projects take the longest to make. To this day, that script gets me more work than almost any other I've written. I have no idea what direction Warner Borthers has taken the movie in, but I'm sure, despite what anyone might say now, that the work I did in breaking it for the screen has benefited the latest writer. The reason I am sure of this is that no one bought the book UNTIL I broke the story. The producers are the same, and they know the truth. I'm sure the claim will be made that the new writer never read my script. Maybe he didn't, I don't know. This is ultimately something that the Guild will have to decide. What I do know is that the producers learned what worked and (in some cases) didn't work based on the many drafts I wrote for them. If this sounds a little bitter, then maybe it is. I loved this project, and was heartbroken to see it move to another studio without my script. Something that was done, by the way, in order to avoid having to pay Universal back the money they shelled out for my work. Not the most ethical of moves, perhaps, but smart producing. Anyway, I look forward to seeing this one on the screen someday, even if my name isn't on it (he says lying through his teeth, and praying that the Guild will come through in the end.) - Jason

  • March 4, 2006, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Mary Doria Russell on the Talkback? No kidding???

    by HogCholera

    I just started reading The Sparrow last night. The librarian I checked it out from took a double-take and then said The Sparrow was one of her favorite novels, and I told her about it becoming a movie and she was pretty much beside herself with excitement. She said she heard rumors of a film a year ago and then it seemed to just disappear. And suffice to say she didn't seem especially despondent when I told her it was looking like it was Brad Pitt for Sandoz. Anyway, this story is extremely intriguing and the character development pretty outstanding, and I can't wait to get back to reading it tonight once I get a chance.

  • March 5, 2006, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Getting interesting is an understatement.

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    Welcome one and all. Do we seriously have the author, the son of the author and the original scriptwriter hired by Universal to adapt the book into a script, all on this talkback? To be fair I don't really see where Doria attributes the script as being the reason as for why Universal was unable to bring this project to fruition. And while she does have high praise for those working on the project now (perhaps unsurprisingly) she doesn't at any stage indicate that she believed the project failed artistically at universal, or in fact pass any sort of judgment on the project's under Universal. She just mentions that it ultimately failed to be made. Or at least that's how I interpreted it. The guild thing is interesting. With so many layers of treatment and such numerous scriptwriters having input into the one studio project before it's finally completed, what process actually determines who gets a final credit in a movie? This is the kind of stuff that could make or break careers isn't it?

  • March 5, 2006, 9:50 a.m. CST

    I wasn't trying to be Politically Correct...

    by Mr. Profit

    I am Puerto Rican. And I agree that if you can pull off the job, then good. But in a time where there are so many Latino actors working today (Who are good as well) why not cast a Latino actor? I like West Side Story. And I know many of the leads weren't Latino. But the movie was still good. And you can't blame the filmmakers because there were not many famous latinos to cast. But in 2006, times are different. That's all I was trying to say.

  • March 5, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Sounds sweet. With Pitt starring it'll be Big budget

    by R.C. the "Wise"

  • March 6, 2006, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Hilarious!

    by MoGreen

    Wow, I am truly shocked and apallingly stupified that the author herself has actually weighed in here to "god bless" Brad Pitt for putting his own money in to the 'The Sparrow', so she can "pay cash" for her kid's education. Sounds like Mary's very excited to get this movie rollin- maybe Carrot Top should play the lead....? Am I crazy or does anyone remember Charleton Heston in 'Touch of Evil'- or the ever-laughable Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Yes, there are a host of other examples, but let's spare everyone the ethno-details. Honestly, I feel like I'm more concerned about who's going to carry the lead in the film than she is- not to mention the horrifying fact that 'Snatch' is one of her "favorite movies". Yeah, I'll check out '12 Monkeys' again, and then I'll do what you should've done a long time ago Mary- scream at the top of my lungs at the mere THOUGHT of Brad Pitt carrying the lead roll in The Sparrow. Brad's not only the whitest actor in the world, but his range is about as wide as the space between Angelina's breasts. Antonio or Benicio were the ONLY actors even remotely capable of bringing this film to an exciting & dramatic light, preserving any integrity the novel may have possessed, in turn thrilling the zillions of people who actually enjoyed the book. With Brad- it can only end up being another banal blonde action film devoid of any depth, because that's the audience Brad serves. The complexities of the story will undoubtedly be fatally wounded once the mighty Gladiator gets his hands on it...or maybe he could muster that cool accent from Snatch! But hey, I hope you're kid's education (paid for in cash) is an exploration in erudition. I remember the only thing I paid for in cash during my education...achem. Better you should get your son/daughter a student loan, and hope the film is made and cast not just by the fastest greenlight, but by people who are passionate- and patient enough to make the best film possible. Let's hope for the best- without Brad.

  • March 6, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Casting The Sparrow

    by Doria

    Well, gosh, here's the thing of it. Nobody in Hollywood cares who I'd cast. Personally, I'd do the entire crew with black actors, with maybe a token Latino, just to shake up the idea of what The Future looks like. The reality, however, is that I am a middle-aged Ohio lady who writes novels. They're damn good novels (A Thread of Grace is currently up for a Pulitzer) but they're just "source material" in Hollywood. Once I sign the rights over, they can turn The Sparrow into Methodists Go To Mars, and cast Carrot Top as Father Bob White Guy, if that's what a studio thinks will make money. The only decision I had to make was, "Sign" or Don't sign." So I signed because I love movies. This whole thing has been majorly cool, but I'm as much a bystander as all of you guys.

  • March 6, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Passion vs. Cash

    by Doria

    From what I can see way the hell out here in Cleveland, there's been a lot of passion associated with both attempts to bring The Sparrow to the screen. Passion is why, after ten years, Nick Wechsler is still trying to make this film. But this is an industry, and unless projects make money, companies go out of business. Studio heads are fired, producers go bankrupt. It's going to take a lot of guts to do an adaptation of my book, and I don't begrudge the need to hedge bets with a big name lead actor to carry what will be a hellaciously expensive movie. In any case, the ethnicity of the priest has never been as important to me as the integrity of his vows. Last I heard,the script retains that element of my story.

  • March 6, 2006, 11:20 p.m. CST

    Mr Pitt, etc

    by Totem

    It's his money; good on him. Being a kiwi, I wonder if Warners has had a chat to Mr Taylor about doing the Runa and Jana'ata? That'd be an interesting challenge and not a hell of a lot worse than running around in an Orc suit... although we DID run, not bounce around all that much. And not being able to see where the hell you're going... piece of cake. Run and bang into someone. A stuntie or a dead Runa for example. And Weta are doing the killer sheep for BLACK SHEEP, so why not the residents of Rahkat. Even vaguely kangaroo-looking is enough to have us NZers cracking jokes about Aussies. As for Brad... I have a hunch this will be one out of the hat for him. I highly doubt he will front it with a half-baked performance.

  • March 7, 2006, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Thanks

    by twan_deeth_ree

    Just wanted to say thank you to Ms. Russell (from a fellow Ohioan) for taking the time to address some of our questions. Also, don't concern yourself with the naysayers, this site is filled with fanboys who are positive they could do a better job making every movie on the planet, Citizen Kane included. Like I said above, I loved the book and I think Pitt can totally pull this off. I'd never considered the possibility of this becoming a movie, and I'm totally thrilled at the prospect.

  • March 7, 2006, 11:28 a.m. CST

    New Zealand

    by Doria

    I was in NZ years ago, doing a book event, and spent a week or so on the north island -- don't think I wasn't scouting Rakhat locations, in my own imagination! (And having worked as an anthropologist in Oz, I could match you joke for joke about Kiwis, Totem.) There was a time when George Miller was going to direct The Sparrow for Warner Brothers, and I assumed (in the utter absence of any facts, mind you) that they might film in Australia and New Zealand. Dr. Miller hasn't been mentioned recently, so maybe that aspect of the production has opened up again. Re: Orcs and Runa. The longer it takes to get the project greenlit, the better and cheaper the f/x. When all this got started in 1996, it wasn't even clear if they'd do the aliens with animation, or guys in suits. The possibility of actors doing the major alien characters is really exciting. For those of you who read the book: you could get into some major gender weirdness by having someone like Sigourney Weaver play the Reshtar. Again, I'll remind everyone, NOBODY IN HOLLYWOOD CARES WHAT I THINK ABOUT CASTING! Or anything else, really... I am krill in that ecosystem.

  • March 7, 2006, 7:11 p.m. CST

    nice talkback

    by DeadPanWalking

    Thanks Mrs. Russell for filling us in, and good luck with the movie, the book is excellent. So, on to more important things. Can you direct us to any links that might, perhaps, contain some concept art for these giant, walking, talking, singing, (dancing in the 2nd sequel?) alien cats? C'mon! Just a little link?

  • March 7, 2006, 7:18 p.m. CST

    this movie has to have Tom Cruise

    by Hugh Jass

    If there is ass rape and an all male gangbang in this picture, Tom Cruise is the only logical choice. They guy could use some real "method acting" and draw on his actual experiences taking dozens of cocks in all of his holes.

  • March 7, 2006, 11 p.m. CST

    Krill you may be

    by Totem

    and plankton I am, but the irony is if you haven't done the brilliant Sparrow in the first place, we wouldn't be having this conversation now. Still... it'd be fun to see at least *some* of it done here. HALO is already underway with Hellboy's director at the helm (I blame the link with Weta making Ron's gun), and Halo has some monstrously tall creatures in that one. Sigourney.. now there's a thought. She'd more than act the pants off of a few people - bad pun intended. IF perchance you do get down here again some time, have a look into the real Maori anthropology in the forests of places like the Kaimanawas. Interesting to say the least.

  • March 8, 2006, 12:20 a.m. CST

    So ideally

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    Everyone seems to agree this role should not go to Brad Pitt. But hey we don't live in an ideal world, and if movies are gonna be made you gotta be willing to compromise. I hardly think you can blame Doria for liking money. Or using said money to send her kids to collage. She wrote a good book, as an author that's all she needs to do. The movie may well be shyte, and completely void of the quality of the original book, but its a bit unfair to try and make Doria feel guilty about taking a big pile of money when she's gotta live in the real world just as much as the rest of us. And besides the movie may not be crap. And if it is then its hardly her fault. If the ethnicity of the priest isn't of critical importance like Doria says then it all comes down to Brad's acting talent. He may surprise, I don't think he's entirely bankrupt of talent or anything.

  • March 8, 2006, 10:03 a.m. CST

    Piles of money

    by Doria

    Just a little perspective, children. 1. People in Hollywood buy houses in Malibu. Writers of source material buy Chevy Malibus and pay tuition at public universities. 2. I'm a semi-big-deal, awardwinning author of bestsellers, but when you average out the money over the time it takes me to produce a novel, I'm making minimum wage. It beats the hell out of having my head stuck in a body cavity, teaching gross anatomy at Case Western Reserve University (my former day job), but primarily because writing novels doesn't involve embalming chemicals associated with brain cancer. Financially, it's a wash.

  • March 8, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    That was the coolest thing I have ever read

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    "Harry, as one can plainly see, is fine talking about going down on his imaginary girlfriend for 6 hours on a website read (and commented on) by 13 years olds, but if I let slip the secret to being cool

  • March 8, 2006, 5:14 p.m. CST

    whoops. wrong talkback.

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    you can all ignore that. Although personallyI think the more people who read that quote the better.

  • March 8, 2006, 5:25 p.m. CST

    Actually while I'm on this talk back.

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    I will say I'm very curious to read this book now. I wasn't trying to imply you were living in piles of money. If I thought you were I would be much less accepting of your position, more just that a movie deal would be a relatively large pay day for an author, especially if said movie gets made. Hell I'm already much more aware of the book then I was a week ago and they are only talking about making it into a movie. With an actual movie deal I imagine the audience for the source material would greatly expand. You are obviously a nice old lady and I hope the movie thing works out for you. And I know where your website is now so I look forward to eventually hearing your opinion on the final product if and hopefully when this movie gets made. I like good movies and books so I hope it works out for me too.

  • March 8, 2006, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Nice old lady, eh?

    by Doria

    Brat.

  • March 8, 2006, 10:40 p.m. CST

    by shadowmask

  • March 8, 2006, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Krill you may be

    by Totem

  • March 9, 2006, 5:20 a.m. CST

    :) hehehe

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    Yeah I thought you'd like that. I was just messin' wit cha ('messin'' and 'wit cha' are slang words that we young people use), in all honesty I'm surprised you hung around this long talking to a bunch of fat virgins like us (I'm actually only one of those things, try to guess which one), and I appreciate your input. I swear I'm actually going to get around to reading your book sometime, you know to help you out with the rent and all, I figure it's the least I can do.

  • March 9, 2006, 5:24 a.m. CST

    Hey Cholera

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    Do you think they can sell it to a mainstream audience? Could you imagine Pitt in the role? Or do you think the main character's identity in the movie will be different from that of the book?

  • March 10, 2006, 5:53 a.m. CST

    Oh is Brad Pitt considered attractive?

    by AwesomeBillFunk

    I hadn't noticed. Women like that sort of thing do they? Yeah that's a pretty inherently interesting subject. Wish I could comment further but I still haven't read the thing. Thanks for the input though buddy. I do look forward to the book and the film.

  • March 17, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    what this movie needs...

    by TheLastBystander

    are some snakes on a plane!

  • March 17, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    what this movie needs...

    by TheLastBystander

    are some snakes on a plane!

  • March 31, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Feedback on The Sparrow adaptation

    by readerwatcher

    I read the the book (both TS and CoG, actually). I must confess. I was disappointed with Brad Pitt in the lead role. However, I can usually regard books and film versions as separate entities, so if the film can follow the spirit of the book, I can accept Pitt in the role. I am more concerned about the press releases I've read that describe the conflict on the planet as between races rather than species. I admit it will be challenging for the producers to come up with creatures that are believable AND fit the description of those in the book. But... given how liberally film writers are with their blatant politcal commentaries spilling over into their scripts, I am concerned this movie could get turned into yet another political diatribe on race. I can only hope for the best in spite of my suspicions.