Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Dark is Rising - say what?

Others have posted the latest news about the upcoming The Dark is Rising movie, but I feel compelled to comment on it. In case you missed it, Devin Faraci wrote at Chud.com that Walden Media has pretty much changed everything about the book: "The answer seems to be to keep the concepts and ideas from Cooper’s novel and throw much else out..." They've even "...dropped all the Arthurian stuff from the film." Faraci makes no secret of the fact that he didn't like the book and approves of the changes.

Um, excuse me? Didn't they realize when they took on this project that that annoying "Arthurian" stuff is kind of key to the story? It's true that the "Arthurian stuff" isn't as important in this particular book as it is in some of the others in the sequence, but when you take the series as a whole, the Arthurian link is kind of a central concept.

It sounds like Walden has stripped this story of its heart and soul. They've taken a story rich in folklore and turned it into an action movie. Now, I like a good action movie as much as the next person, but that's not what this book is about! It's an exciting book, not a "slog" as Faraci claims, but the excitement doesn't come from Indiana Jones style action sequences.

The Dark is Rising Sequence is one of my favorite series of all time. I'm sad that they've gutted it of any beauty or meaning. I'm often cautious about seeing movies of favorite books, because it makes me upset when the director's vision is different than mine. But it's safe to say that this is one movie I won't be seeing. Susan Cooper, my heart goes out to you. Your masterpiece deserves better.

Devin Faraci's report on Chud.com

Leila's comments on Bookshelves of Doom

Fuse #8's comments

9 comments:

Michele said...

Oh NO !! I'm not a big fan of Arthurian anything, but I do like this series of Cooper's and I'm appalled to hear they've done this. I shall definitely vote with my feet on this one...

Sheila said...

Thanks Michele. Maybe if enough people vote with their feet, they'll get the message. The sad thing is, though, that with a good marketing campaign, a lot of people who never read the book will go to see it looking for an action-fantasy, and Walden Media will make enough money that they won't know, or care, how they've angered the many fans of the book. That's probably what they're counting on - making a lot of money from people who never read the book.

Michele said...

Most likely they are - that's all the majority of film companies care about, after all... Bah Humbug !

nick said...

The book was good. but i think this will be much bigger. I've been trying to find out more info on it or behind the scenes to get a little more about this action film, and i came across this link.

http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?name=movies&id=1563435&vid=159178

Sheila said...

Hi nick,

The fact that there is a reality show relating to the making of the film says nothing about the quality of the movie. Nothing I've read makes me want to see this movie.

Moreover, the fact that you and your cohorts have been leaving similar comments on other blogs makes me smell a rat. Is this a publicity stunt designed to look like a grassroots movement? Are you perhaps one of the interns on the reality show? I think that today's young people are sophisticated enough to tell the difference between real buzz and an artificial, marketer-generated attempt to create buzz.

nick said...

This movie doesn't need me to give them a buzz! and im a movie critic! Yes i will stand up for the producers i feel have put in for a good movie as i do feel about this one. I just found "so you want to be a movie intern" very interesting. What better than showing what it really takes to make a movie. For a lot of these people its a once in a life time opportunity to experience some of the stuff these interns get to experience, and the best part about this is they didn't even know what was coming.

Sheila said...

I'm sorry if I'm still skeptical, but if you are a movie critic then:

1. Why do you write using incorrect grammar, punctuation, and capitalization? I think a movie critic would know correct usage of the English language.

2. Why don't you identify yourself? In your first comment, your name simply linked to the MTV site. In your second post, you didn't even bother to link to any site. Why don't you link to the site where your movie reviews are posted? What are you trying to hide?

To me, this just seems like a transparent attempt on the part of either the movie producers or MTV to create some hype.

Philip said...

My God,
When I saw the poster for The Dark is Rising I almost went around screaming in the theatre... then I just saw the commercial for it just a moment ago. I was utterly shocked at how even in a simple trailer they managed to make such an epic series look like utter trash. Why take out the Arthurian elements of the story? There are so many things wrong with their presentation of the film that I can't even begin to describe ugh...

Since when would an old one, an immortal of the Light... be concerned with such trivial things represented in the trailer. The books offer involve a lot of interesting folklore and interesting moral lessons that I feel have all been sucked completely dry in the film's desire for flash and bang. What about the walker? What about his betrayal to the light. What about people's roles in the Light/Dark fight along with the old ones. They don't even tell us what the sign seeker is supposed to be seeking. If you ask me this movie should have a much more serious tone similar to the LOTR series... (w/e happened to the poem/song The Dark is Rising? They should have opened the trailer with a couple of phrases)and since when did Will get bullied by any member of his family? (I don't even remember him going to school). With such a horrific looking movie coming out I shudder because either the film will do horribly and they will never touch this great series again (which I wouldn't mind) or they'll do well and make the sequels and prequel which will make me want to throw up. (Run away "Over Sea, Under Stone," "Greenwitch," "The Grey King," and "Silver on the Tree." RUN FAR AWAY!

Sheila said...

ROFL. I know what you mean, Philip. It's pretty scary! And you're right that Will was never bullied by his family. It was a large but loving family. I sure hope they don't try to do the sequels.