Tuesday, 27 January 2009


The Roving Editor started life blogging about the links between literature and movies under the title The Word on Film. It seems appropriate to return to this relatively unexplored zone via Zoetrope All-Story, the literary magazine published by Francis Ford Coppola.

This time last year we knew of two forthcoming films based on F Scott Fitzgerald stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttton and Pat Hobby. Here is screenwriter Eric Roth in the current issue of Zoetrope on adapting Benjamin Button. The magazine also carries the story itself, though it's not available to read online. It was originally published in the collection Tales of the Jazz Age.

Meanwhile the only update on Pat Hobby is that it is being lined up for production this year; the film company's synopsis reads: 'Fitzgerald’s beloved hack fights for a writer’s buck in the Hollywood studio system.'

The author himself was no stranger to penury, of course, but these days he'd have found it a lot less difficult to make a beautiful dollar in Tinseltown: as well as the aforementioned adaptations, there is also news of yet another remake of The Great Gatsby, this time by Baz Luhrmann. However Variety has this cautionary tale of the mixed artistic and box-office fortunes of F Scott on screen.

Francis Coppola should be watching all of this with especial interest: he wrote the screenplay for the faithful but unloved 1974 adaptation of Gatsby.

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