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WL Film (with all the details this time!)

me
Here's the promised & possibly more articulate (or not?) post on the film thing.

The easy part--

Universal did an exclusive new release in VARIETY. The press release "Universal Makes Wicked Deal" went live last evening/night (depending on your time zone).

Today, there is an MTV article "Wicked Lovely Adaptation Confirms Faeries as the Next Fantasy Trend" and bunches of places where the news has been re-released. 

What this means? Honestly, it means that a) the universe has been kind to me and I'm very grateful and b) there is a film in development.

Since WL sold (in March 2006), the interest in things paranormal has continued to grow.  There wasn't much of a YA paranormal market before I sold WL. It's grown.  A lot.  We've had some nibbles of film interest (one I was interested in, and some that I wasn't), but the right people weren't appearing.   I signed with a new agent in July 2008, & I had no film agent, so we weren't even shopping WL to film people.

Then, out of the blue, my agent got a call.  Some guy named Vince Vaughn was interested in talking abt film deal. . . and I, as a not-typically-a-movie-person, had no freaking clue who this guy was.  I googled him.  I found an article about this documentary on graffiti art & music & Northern Ireland, & I read some interviews, & I learned that a) he's kinda kickass interesting and b) he made films both as an actor and a producer. 

[NOTE: I am now watching some of his films. The camera doesn't do him justice though.  In person, he is so freaking charismatic that you say what's on your mind . . . which meant I admitted "I had no clue who you were so I googled you & read abt the Ireland graffiti thing." Fortunately, he isn't an egotist, and the conversation was good.  A man that digs graffiti, Ireland, & music? *sigh* Yeah. I totally loved talking to him.]

We set up a conference call.  The producers are Wild West Picture Show Productions--Peter Billingsly (also an actor and producer), Vince, Valerie, and Victoria Vaughn.   It became immediately obvious to me that they totally get my books, so I agreed when they asked to take it to Universal. 

Universal said "yes."

Then, Valerie--who is shades of amazing that I can't even explain--called to say that Caroline Thompson (our top choice!) wanted to write the screenplay. 

*pauses*

Ok, now I've already said that I don't do movies, right? There are exceptions. Caroline has written several of them. In fact, i own several films that she's written. [NOTE: I own maybe a dozen films.  My family, of course, has somme, but I personally don't buy many movies.]  She wrote The Secret Garden (which is one of 2 VHS tapes I own, the other is Hamlet which I bought for a class I was teaching back when VHS was what we used in the classroom).   She also wrote Nightmare Before Christmas  . . . which became weirdly "meant to be" be when Caroline commented on the shirt I was wearing in my author picture for WL.  I bought myself a Jack hoodie the day I sold the books (March 2006) as my gift-for-selling.   Yeah, I could've NEVER guessed that Caroline would one day adapt my book.

I've seen most everything she's written.  I've talked to her & emailed with her & generally could not think of anyone I would trust more.  She gets it. She gets my world, my characters, folklore, fairy tales, & feminism.  With Universal, Wild West Picture Show Productions, & Caroline, I have faith that my texts are in the right hands.

And--continuing with the surreality--they have totally kept me involved.  There are calls, email, & I flew out to LA to sit down with them (and will do so again).  I explained that I didn't expect any involvement, & that I trust them, & they reply (repeatedly) that they want me involved.  So I am. I answer all their questions; I send them folklore references; and I generally think that even if the film never makes it to the screen, I'll still be very happy bc I'm having fun :)

So that's the long version  . . . 

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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lalam
Sep. 16th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
That is excellent news! You definitely want to be there for casting! ;)
insatiablereaders.blogspot.com
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
Wicked Lovely movie....great!
Can't wait! I loved the book...the cover and title of which both grabbed my attention...and the characters would be fantastic to see brought to life on the big screen. Of course, they already were in my mind's eye, but I'm sure full living color will be higher quality. =0)
flamecurls
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Congrats! Happy that WL is being developed, but even happier that it will probably be *good*! Sounds excellent.
boreal_owl
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC)
I had to congratulate you again over here for your specatacular news. These people really do seem perfect for the film. I am so happy for you, Melissa!
tim_pratt
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy for you, Melissa. This is fantastic. It could be a wonderful film, and (perhaps more importantly) help you reach a whole new audience with your writing.
mostly_irish
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'll bet Vince Vaughn was tickled that you had no clue who he was. He's my celebrity boyfriend...anyone who can make me laugh is sexy in my book! ;)

Again -- congrats -- this is such exciting news!
melissa_writing
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
*whispers* If the charisma he has in person was truly captured on a screen, you would be even more smitten. No joke. He has this "wow, the room shrunk" thing going on bc he has total Presence.
nancydrew14
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Wow. I love the books but I'm still iffy on a movie adaptation. The names you gave up there have inspired me to do some researching too. I'm glad so many people are involved & I hope it does the book justice. Congratulations on getting the deal you wanted. =)
ericmarin
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
That's fantastic news! :-)
lindsiecmarie
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
whoa! i always get very nervous when books I love are optioned/become movies because I worry the makers will not do them justice, but your enthusiasm is catching and i am really excited about this whole thing! Please, please, please keep us updated!
(Anonymous)
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)
LOL! I hadn't realized it was THAT Vince Vaughn =P

Congrats again!!!

-Dusty-
patricemichelle
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Love the details! Thanks for sharing. Vince Vaughn is awesome and how karmic that you wore that shirt in your author photo? Wow, so neat! I truly hope WL makes it to the screen. I think it would be awesome.

Congrats!
kizna1200
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, this is so fantastic. At least you know you have some good people working on the movie :)
mairijeaan
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Vince Vaughn! Nightmare Before Christmas! Alliteration! This post has made my WEEK. Eeeh, so excited!!!!!!
mi_grl_at_heart
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
That's wicked awesome! I can't wait to see your books come to life on the big screen:)
christy_lenzi
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
Happy circumstances! Caroline Thompson sounds wonderful. I love her version of The Secret Garden. I'm glad for you, Melissa.
valardohaeris
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Now I'm pretty excited. The Secret Garden was one of my absolute favorite movies growing up.
faerie_writer
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is so exciting! Congratulations again!! :D
angelusprex
Sep. 16th, 2009 10:58 pm (UTC)
I really hope WL makes it to the big screen! Congratulations!
simonhay_healer
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
Congrats! I'd love to see wl on the big screen.
hani
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
The fact that you're involved -- that they want you to be -- and you feel the screenplayer is awesome is really good news!
music_lover3
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Yay, that's awesome!!
amy0819
Sep. 17th, 2009 12:10 am (UTC)
HIP HIP HOORAY! HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!
jenny_moss
Sep. 17th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
This is just so incredible I am w/o words. Except you must make a cameo in the movie. ;)

Congrats, congrats, congrats. SO excited for you over in the J/C house.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 17th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
I am so excited for you!!!
I read Wicked Lovely for the first time a month ago in one day. That is not something I normally do because it has to be an amazing story so much so that I get lost it that world so throughly that I can't remember my own for a while. I have been patiently and happily waiting for this news and I am so excited for you! On another note I could picture some of the characters in my head with the beautiful description but for some reason the first time Keenan was described my mind went straight to a particular actor, Justin Hartley. His physical description and his mannerism always made my mind go to Justin. Anyways, I am glad that you will be involved with the process of the film. It makes me that much more excited that the book truly will come to life as I pictured it in my head the first time I read it. Safe Travels!
niamhaevalnimue
Sep. 17th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
yay! congrats! this is wonderful news.
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