I’ve been wondering lately whether or not Hollywood would make any money from a movie that was actually done in such a way as to do justice to whatever book it is trying to reproduce for the silver screen. We all complain about how book-to-movie adaptations invariably go wrong because it’s next to impossible to condense a 300-page novel into 2.5 hours of film. Shortcuts must be taken in order to tell the story in a timely manner.
But what if no one worried about how long the movie was, focusing instead on making the sure the fullest story possible could be told? This means we’d be talking about a 10-15 hour long movie, possibly longer. Would there be a market for something like that? Film the movie, release it to theatres in pieces, send it to DVD on a 4-disc set. I think I’d be up for something like that if it meant seeing a book I enjoy done properly for the visual arts.
Of course, about the time I’m pondering this, I find out that “HBO is way ahead of me”:http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/004691.html. They’re producing George R.R. Martin’s _A Song of Ice and Fire_ series as a TV series, with plans to devote one season to each book. This basically means that the stories will stand a greater chance of being told visually as they ought to be, with no worries about taking shortcuts in order to make sure the audience will sit still long enough. This option may even be better than the one I’d originally thought of because it breaks it down into bite-size, manageable parts.
So, kudos to HBO for doing something new and original. I hope it’s successful because I wouldn’t mind seeing this kind of thing done more often.