As I mentioned in my last post, I spent part of Friday afternoon on the phone with the Uglies movie production team. It was great to go into that conversation armed with all the suggestions you guys have been making, both here and on my Twitter feed.
So thanks for all your input. Now here’s what’s going on:
Uglies is currently optioned to be a movie, or possibly a series of movies if the first one does well. To “option” a book is Hollywood-speak for buying the exclusive right to make a movie based on it. But the buyers don’t have to make a movie. Most options never go anywhere, in fact. But it certainly means that these producers are interested.
(What happens if this group doesn’t make the film(s)? In a couple of years I have the right option the book to someone else. In other words, options have time limits.)
Where are we now? Well, there’s no script, director, or actors lined up yet. So be patient and stop asking me about casting! If there are open auditions, you’ll see it here first.
So this phone call was mostly us getting to know each other and talking about what makes Uglies special to us. Most of the conversation was me talking, which was interesting. Sometimes Hollywood folks seem compelled to tell me all about my books. But these folks listened. And when I told them about my previous post, they were dying to shoot over and read your comments. So keep them coming!
Here are some of the things I told them:
Most of you guys want unknown actors for Tally and Shay, but maybe someone famous for Dr. Cable. The producers get that, and they also understand how important casting is, given that you could break the whole theme of the film by putting the World’s Most Beautiful Actress in the starring role.
I also told them how important setting is to you guys. How the world-building, tech hoverboards, etc., have to be real. This movie should look good, and more importantly, it should look right. Excellently, it turns out that one of the producers has read Bogus to Bubbly. She also sends it along to the screenwriters they’ve been approaching. That is a Good Thing.
I told them you guys want a faithful adaptation, and they said definitely, because, as one of them put it, “The book is a movie already.” In other words, the story doesn’t have to get completely reshaped to fit the screen. (I doubt there will be any of this putting-all-three-books-into-one-movie crap.)
So what are the chances of the movie happening soon? Well, movies cost tens of millions of dollars, and nothing that requires that much money plus human creativity is ever easy to predict. But the producers did say that there’s lots of support for this project at their studio, where certain execs have been known to speak in bubble-talk. This seems like a very good sign to me.
Anyway, that’s everything I know. Watch this space for further developments. So you can stop asking me about casting calls. Seriously.
(Oh, and if you’re one of the producers reading this, don’t worry, I won’t blog every darn thing you say to me. It’s just that a lot of fans have been asking about this for a long time, and I figured it was time to give them a major update. Normally I am a master of discretion, and will only twitter what you say to me.)