Sunday, 3 April 2011

Films


Sunny, warm, temps plus 5 -

Gorgeous spring day - after a snow storm Friday...and more bad weather forecast for tomorrow. I know the midwest is getting hammered!

We have some regular, and unusual visitors these days. Wild turkeys. We tried to take pictures out the solarium window...the just look like big blobs, but in person they are formidable. Very impressive. And fun.

As you might have read in the newsletter, I've just, and finally agreed to option the first two books for movie rights.

We decided to limit it to Still Life and Dead cold/A Fatal Grace just in case its a disaster. that way the damage is contained. Not that I'm expecting a disaster...I'd never have agreed if I thought that was a possibility. But you just never know.

After 6 years of turning down all offers, I agreed because of the passion this production company showed. For the books, the characters, the themes. And to do a great job. And I was impressed that they offered me the job of Executive Producer. As my agent, who never holds back, said - I wonder if they know what they're getting in to?

this is a Canadian company. I felt strongly that the lead should be taken by a Canadian production company...but there will be international partners. British and American. So if the made-for-TV films are made, they will almost certainly be shown in the UK and the US.

Very fun to dream...to imagine the best case scenario. And so important for me to remain vigilant, to protect the characters without strangling or micro-managing the production. the fact is, film is different than books. And I'm not a film person.

The head of the production company's coming to Montreal on Thursday so we can meet and discuss plans.

Must hop off....it's a hectic time here - and I'm sure you're busy too! But I wanted you to know about the films because we've discussed it before on the blog.

Feel free to offer casting ideas!

35 comments:

plaisanter said...

How exciting!! Turkeys are exciting, too. Sort of. :-))
I don't have any casting ideas but sure hope you will have a cameo!!

Anonymous said...

Oh please, Linda Hunt for Ruth, presuming of course I can't have that role :>).

Linda Hunt IS Ruth.

Annie In Rochester, who has wild turkeys in the neighborhood too.

suzy said...

The other day, my husband came out of the guest room carrying Brutal Telling.....When I questioned him, he said he was out of books to read, so he raided mine. I took it away, and returned with Still Life, explaining he should read them in order. A while later, I heard him laugh out loud....."I see you have met Ruth", I said! "Oh my yes!, and she reminds me of you and your friend going back and forth shouting your pet names for one another....." Who knew? Anyway....he's hooked!

Lisa May said...

There is an episode of the Inspector Foyle series called "The White Feather." From my first reading of Still Life I've always pictured one of the actors, Bernard Kay, as Gamache. But according to imdb, he's much too old now. Still, the picture on his page there looks a little Gamachesque, n'est-ce pas?

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0443001/

Jan Morrison said...

Oh boyo boy! Are you ready? Are they ready? Who are the producers? Never mind, none of my business. This is great -your books are so visual - they will do well in film. As to casting ideas, um...nope. All the peeps I think of are too old, not french enough, or other reasons. But if one pops into my mind, I'll definitely share.

Jan J. said...

Okay, he's British, and I'm American, but I would love to see Martin Clunes as Gamache. While his Doc Martin is a crotchety guy, he is really a sweetie in real life. This is so exciting! I have to agree Linda Hunt would be a great Ruth.

Ann from Boston said...

I'm so happy to hear that two of your books will be made into movies. I think they will translate well to the screen and can't wait. I'll be following the progress.

darlene said...

When you mention a Canadian production company with UK connections, it brings to mind award-winning Shaftesbury's Murdoch Mysteries with Yannick Bisson.

Then I thought: there's Canadian Nathan Fillion as a mystery writer turned detective in Castle.

That made me think: what about Paul Gross? I could watch him reading the phone book and he gets into character soooo well. He looks perfectly age appropriate and with a mustache, I humbly submit, would make a fabulous Gamache.

This is sooo exciting!

Colombine said...

Comme c'est excitant... un film!! Wonderful! Je suis totalement d'accord avec Linda Hunt en Ruth... belle suggestion. Pour Gamache, je suis tentée de suggérer Rémi Girard ou Raymond Bouchard. J'aime bien la moustache de Bouchard pour Gamache. Je suis dans le québécois mais ce sont des acteurs pour performent très bien dans la langue de Shakespeare.
Longue vie à Gamache :)))

Marni said...

Linda Hunt for Ruth~delightful!
I'll let you know as I think of others. The idea that you will be Exec. Producer and hands on should assure you are happy with the productions. Good luck on Thursday and keep us posted. We live vicariously through your thrilling life!!
On another note: I sent off a query email to your UK agent re: The Blue Virgin. Fingers crossed!
Here in NC those turkeys are around all over and yes, tres1 formidable!

Movies! Such fun to come!!

lil Gluckstern said...

Wonderful, and productive-oh how many thrills we get to enjoy with you. I agree with everyone about Linda Hunt. Oliver Platt for Olivier? I still like Ciaran Hinds for Gamache although he may be too skinny. What an exciting time!

Jeanine Cronin said...

I always picture Shirley MacLaine (ala Weezer in Steel Magnolias)in the role of Ruth when I read the books.

Joy in Kabul said...

Oh, Louise, how exciting!! I am torn though - I love the books so much and have such deeply ingrained visuals of who each person is, that to imagine a movie where they will, in all likelihood, be so different, is challenging. I hope you will be allowed to stay away from the temptation to cast "big names" and find actors who conform to your vision of the characters, and don't already have a lot of other roles affiliated with them. It would be so nice to see actors who aren't already associated with particular roles. Though well cast they may become as iconical and quintessential as Joan Hickson's "Miss Marple" and David Suchet's "Hercule Poirot"!

Barbara said...

I'm thrilled for you, but worried that they won't do justice to the books. I don't know today's actors well enough but it's going to take someone very special to play Gamache.

Florine said...

This is really great news. I'm going to sit and think for a while about who can do Gamache justice. But, Linda Hunt for Ruth...absolutely! I know that you will make sure that everything stays true to the characters and the essence of your books.

linda said...

I heard a quote the other day from John Calipari; "as the challenge escalates the need for team elevates." I thought of you and Michael, your film project,your "balls in the air", Gamache and his team.

Susan Fish said...

Maybe, possibly Remy Girard as Gamache. I think he could pull it off.

Reine said...

Louise! That is fantastic! I cannot wait! Too many exclamations? No! This is the best news! If it doesn't come to the US fast enough, I'll just have to go up there to watch. I am so anxious to learn who will be playing the parts... Very exciting!

martha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miss Diane said...

Ne dit-on pas que le 3 fait le mois? Malheureusement, les jours se suivent mais ne se ressemblent pas..!

Je pense que ce sera une belle aventure pour vous que de devenir productrice de film et j'ai bien hâte de savoir qui sera dans la peau de Monsieur Gamache.

Vous n'aurez pas loin à faire pour vous procurer une dinde pour Noël prochain...

PainterWoman said...

I agree about Linda Hunt or maybe Frances McDormand... I'd like to see Colin Firth as the inspector... or just see him... he's not horribly much too young, do you think?
Congratulations-- on the award, signing AND unclogging.

Just Jane said...

A 'day late and a dollar' short but... Linda Hunt as Ruth? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! If they get Ruth and Gamache right, the rest of the cast will evolve. Can hardly wait. Although I am hoping that the actor who plays Gamache won't jar too much with my mental picture of him. Congratulations and good luck.

Diane said...

How delightful! It must be a mixed blessing for you - exciting and scary at the same time. I love the people's choices for Gamache, can't think of any more who would be suitable, so I am content not to nominate anyone.

Wild turkeys are huge - first time I ever saw them- thanks for the pic.

Anonymous said...

i ditto the last guest; you (and your husband) should have cameo parts . . .very subtle.
hurry up and do this!! i am not getting any younger!
sylvia in miami

kath said...

films??? hooray!!

I never read mysteries until I found you..
I read all sorts of other genres.. not mysteries. Your wonderful books opened up a whole new world for me..
Now I read you..Quant, and other
( mostly British authors.) so...
Thank you, and I still like yours best
:)

Louise Penny Author said...

Love all your commetns and suggestions - about actors. Am taking them all in. Very exciting...

martha said...

Great! If you are Executive Producer, you may be able to have more power over the production, and maybe the script, too.

Hope they don't cast a well known actor for Gamache's role. If they do, we will think of him in relation to other films he's made, and that won't work. I should say "may not work". People here react to foreign films in strange ways. They have to redo Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy because people do not like subtitles. And the actors in the original Swedish films are superb!

I taught courses on literature and film for years, and I always told the students to remember that they are two different media, and as such need different methods. My syllabi are in Spanish, unfortunately, and I don’t have the physical strength now to translate them. Some films were as good as the books; others much worse; but still others much better! I could give examples, but they are all from Spanish American works. One that people may remember, as it was a big success, is Like Water for Chocolate. Both book and film were excellent! And the film was made in Mexico with unknown actors...

Sorry about all this, but I needed to express my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Reading your books, in my mind, I am visualizing a Rémi Girard type, as Gamache. Now that I hear that two of your books are being into movies, there is no doubt I see Rémi Girard playing Gamache. He is bilingual and just simply has that laid back québécois style.

Reine said...

Martha, I loved "Like Water for Chocolate."

Vicki said...

I agree that it would be good to have an actor playing Gamache that we haven't seen everywhere before. Would Samuel Le Bihan fit the roll? The English/French speaking ability should be required.
For Ruth, Linda Hunt would be good; but Shirly McClaine can be wicked. They could each speak "duck" should the need arise.
It will take very special actors to play each of the rolls of Clara Morrow and Myrna. They each are very strong characters in their own ways. Each of them feel like deep ponds to me.
The best of luck with a very intricate project.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to nominate Eileen Atkinson as Ruth. I love Linda Hunt but I think Ruth is supposed to be tall and Atkinson has the wizened, sour look that I think of when I read her scenes.

Anonymous said...

I would definitely see Rémy Girard or Raymond Bouchard as Gamache - perhaps Bouchard more than Girard because he can play a more sofisticated role. I would also see Macha Grenon as Clara.
She is perfectly bilingual, although she is quite thin and Clara seems be be a little plump. I said a little!!

Anonymous said...

Very excited to see books turned into movies but very nervous, too, for they are NEVER, in my opinion, as good as the books. I definitely could see Alfred Molina as Inspector Gamache--he's doing TV now here in the USA so I don't think he'd be averse to TV movies.

Anonymous said...

Roy Dupuis as Gamache.

Knitty, Vintage and Rosy said...

Originally I thought of John Rhys-Davies but I guess he is a bit older now for Gamache
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0722636/

However I think age wise, Alfred Molino would be do quite well!

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm449166080/nm0000547

and linda hunt, perfect!