When it comes to film adaptations, somehow, some way, Stephen King's least accessible work always seem close to fans' minds. No matter how prolific King is and regardless of the fact that many of his books are highly regarded works of pop art, the most tantalizing stories in King's oeuvre are the ones that can't be made. Stuff like Under the Dome, his recent 1100-page novella, the Dark Tower series, with its myriad allusions to King's other stories and its convoluted pan-mythology, The Stand, a book so long that it needed a "Director's Cut" for the whole thing to be released. And let's not forget It, King's gargantuan story of a mysterious evil that feeds on the hate, fear and prejudice of the inhabitants of a small Maine town.
While both The Stand and It were turned into fairly successful adaptations, the fact remains that these books are unapproachable and imposing to put it simply. Which is why it's exceedingly hard to imagine a new adaptation of either one working and harder still not to worry about the news that a new script for It has been commissioned. Lilja's Library spoke with screenwriter David Kajganich about rewriting It, a story that alternates between reams of essential flashbacks and juggles multiple storylines. Forgive me for being a pessimist but there's one line in particular in this interview that stands out and makes it impossible for me to give Kajganich the benefit of the doubt.
"When I heard Warner Bros. was going to give the novel a go theatrically, I went after the job hard," Kajganich said. "I knew the studio was committed to adapting It as a single film, so I went back and reread the novel to see if I thought this was even possible, and to try to find a structure that would accommodate such a large number of characters in two different time periods, around 120 pages, which was another of the studio's stipulations.
Had I not worked with the producers before, I might have been more tentative about trying to pull off such a massive undertaking, but I'd worked with Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and Doug Davison on our original version of The Invasion, and I knew they would fight for good storytelling, and would also give me the time I needed to work out a solid first draft, which they did. They really went to bat for that. We've done some tinkering with it and I am just about to turn that draft in to the studio, so we'll soon know a lot more."
I remember The Invasion just fine, especially how muddled and confused it was and even the reports of massive edits and reeshoots during post-production. If that's the standard for "fight(ing) for good storytelling," then It really doesn't stand a chance. Granted, Kajganich's script for The Invasion could have just been terrible to begin with. I mean, he is the sole credited screenwriter of Blood Creek, Joel Schumacher's most recent turd.
What say you, good people? Did you like The Invasion? Should we give love, I mean It, one more chance?