Monday, March 15, 2010

Elmore Leonard talks 'Justified,' 'Get Shorty' and a lot of bad adaptations: Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I interview legendary author Elmore Leonard about FX's "Justified" (based on a character from several Leonard books) and about why Hollywood has had so much trouble adapting his books in the past. Elmore can talk some smack.

I'll have a review of "Justified" (which I really like) tomorrow morning.


JanieJones said...

Thanks for the interview, Alan. I'm looking forward to this new series a great deal.

Craig Ranapia said...

Thanks for the great interview, Alan. Leonard must be a journalist's dream: You're never going to grow old waiting to know what he really thinks. :)

You prompted me to think more about why -- like Stephen King -- there's so many bad adaptations of a writer who should be a film-maker's dream. Leonard's dialogue gets a lot of attention, and it's tone of voice that's very hard to copy. But more than that there's his martini-dry sensibility that's equally hard to capture without lapsing into tough-guy posturing or glib cynicism that is totally wrong.

Jackie Brown is still my favourite Tarantino film (and seriously under-rated, IMO). Tarantino might have changed Jackie Burke into a black woman, but he still caught the essence of a woman who knows she made a lot of bad choices, doesn't have much to show for her life -- but if she loses what little she has, things can (and will) get a lot worse. That's hard to pull off.

olucy said...

Great interview. I'm glad to know that the three Leonard adaptations I have in my library -- Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown -- are on his good list.

And I didn't know that the Hoffman experience helped to feed Get Shorty, but that makes so much sense. And now I'll enjoy it even more...and I didn't think that was possible.

BigTed said...

I'm a big fan of Elmore Leonard's work. But maybe one of the reasons film adaptations of his books don't always come off so well is that his worst books are the ones that seem written for the movies. That's why, for instance, "Get Shorty" and "Out of Sight" are great reads, but the sequels -- which he wrote after the movie adaptations became successful -- aren't very good at all.

Mayn Man said...

Did you ask him about The Rock's character in Be Cool? It's almost like the description was based on him.

Chip said...

I love Jackie Brown and I kinda miss Karen Sisco, wish they gave that more of a chance