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15 May 2015 at 9:19 pm #7101
Thanks Peter (or, since we have never been acquainted, do you prefer Mr Josyph?)
I’m aware of all the finer points and legalities of optioning a novel, but I appreciate the cautionary warning all the same. It’s a complex and fascinating area of cinematic law, isn’t it? I am rather interested in it myself.
You’ll be relieved to know I wouldn’t take any screenplay beyond my private quarters without optioning it. I also wouldn’t even dream of penning a screenplay without asking the permission of Mr McCarthy himself. It’s his goddamn book, and if I was in his position, I’d appreciate the same courtesy.
I think it’s worth mentioning that – for the sake of any screenplay – everybody is going to have their opinion on how the story should be told one way or another, and trying to please everybody is, quite frankly, somewhat of a waste of time.
I don’t mean that in an insulting way, but it seems at times that fans build the novel up as something so monumental and God-like that they couldn’t possibly conceive of it being translated or adapted.
This is just my perception based on other people’s comments (not on this forum) that I have read. I can’t exactly blame them, because having BLOOD MERIDIAN butchered and skewered to its detriment would be a horribly dispiriting anticlimax after the thrilling highs of the prose.
For starters, Peter, I really like your idea of a miniseries – we’re on the same page there. I think it would do rather well as a three-part miniseries, and I was just toying with the thought myself of whether it would be better served either as a film or mini-series.
However, I also think it could be made properly into a two-part film, even a standard 2-2.5 hour film if done exceptionally well. Some truncation (sorry Rick) is necessary, hopefully kept to a minimum.
If this is ever made into a film or mini-series, it’s going to upset a whole chunk of the general population, no matter which way you look at it. I also wouldn’t have a problem with the evolution of it leaning more toward, as you say, real-time, as opposed to heavy truncation and ellipses.
Perhaps you, Rick and I (and anybody else on this forum) could all get together at some point and really grapple with this. We might all end up emerging from the meeting covered in blood like the Kid and the two corporals after meeting the Mennonite in the bar, but it would be – at least for me – incredibly exciting and invigorating.
I can imagine Harold Bloom getting pissed off with all the talk of a possible cinematic equivalent, and Mr McCarthy standing outside watching us exchange vicious verbal assaults and fisticuffs, thinking to himself: “It’s just a bloody book!” Now wouldn’t that be a show!?
Lastly, people who disagree with me about anything I have to say about BLOOD MERIDIAN are as valuable to me as people who agree with me.
This is what life’s all about.
Weasel84Quote30 Jul 2015 at 11:18 am #7391
David, how did you manage to find this document? I’ve scoured the Internet for other sources.
jmartinez2015Quote27 Aug 2015 at 9:44 pm #7544
Hey guys. One of the first rules of what I do is never reply to anything asserted online: it’s not worth it, generally: but this is a McCarthy forum and I’m a McCarthy man. The discussion here was brought to my attention by an academic friend, and I almost regretfully have to tell you that whatever script you’re looking at was not written by me. No quote or citation came from my adaptation: the work under discussion here is not mine. So I don’t know how you all got wrong-paged, and I don’t know what you should do about the guy who posted a bogus script, probably innocently: and I can’t help you with the real text as it’s proprietary: but you gents are in a state of misapprehension. Allow me to say that Blood Meridian was tried on by many writers in many drafts under many influences before I got to it. There have probably been writers afterwards: I don’t know. My job was to get the book to script as itself and I did. I changed no names. I shifted no scenes. I did three moves only: I suggested (some would say confirmed) that the kid killed his father in the cabin. I enhanced the significance of the Tarot deck. And at the end I made a decision, from text, about who came out of the outhouse alive. It’s either one or the other, brothers, and McCarthy didn’t pick either, so I did, while leaving open the possibility that the other thing happened. And those were all the changes I did to Blood Meridian. So whatever script you’re looking at, gents, ain’t mine. Any son of a bitch has a question or problem, here I am.
monahanQuote27 Aug 2015 at 10:26 pm #7546
William: thanks so much for writing in and clearing the air. If you haven’t seen the script everyone is referring to, it’s attached to the first post in this thread back on page 1 and can be easily downloaded. Try not to cringe too painfully.
I’m sure everyone appreciates the proprietary issues but if, some day, the protections expire, please feel free to grace us with the genuine article if you’re in the giving vein.
Rick WallachQuote28 Aug 2015 at 6:51 am #7548
monahan: I deleted my comment in this thread. Thanks for your comments on your script. Hope it can be made public one day.
KenQuote28 Aug 2015 at 10:04 am #7550
I’ll leave my previous comments up here as they refer to the script that was posted, regardless of who penned it, as well as to the problems of theatrical adaptation in general and Blood Meridian specifically, which I think is still a very interesting conversation.
Good to hear from you Mr. Monahan. As has already been said, would love to take a look at the real McCoy someday, not with the intention of finding fault in it, but out of genuine curiosity.
Driftwood70Quote15 Sep 2015 at 5:25 pm #7597
Richard L.Member27 Sep 2015 at 5:31 am #7629
Oh boy. We’ve got a man being definite about a work of ambiguity and I haven’t had my coffee. Brother if you were wrong in one sentence, I’d help you. But you’re wrong in all of them, starting with the idea that there are “facts” in McCarthy. Discuss.
monahanQuote27 Sep 2015 at 10:23 am #763027 Sep 2015 at 11:56 am #7631
I have no idea whether the draft of a screenplay for Blood Meridian circulated in cyberspace and attributed to William Monahan was in fact written by him or not. Someone went to a lot of trouble to write it. Neither do I know that the 27 August and 27 September posts by “monahan” were written by William Monahan. All need authentication.
While some of the questions raised are worthy of discussion regardless of authorship, let’s reduce the heat until the authorships can be unambiguously determined.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by wesmorgan.
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