Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Wallace’

“Rocky’s this story of the underdog. The person who always wanted something and was never quite able to achieve that.”
Theater director Alex Timbers

It just so happens that my last post mentioned Sylvester Stallone and his screenplay for Rocky. Then yesterday I saw a full-page ad in the New York Times for the Broadway version of Rocky. I didn’t even know that was in the works.  And it’s a musical. Really. Rocky’s come a long way from the tough streets of Philadelphia.

 “I’m aware that ‘Rocky’ might be perceived as an odd choice for a musical, and there will be some raised eyebrows, but I think what people see will not be what they are expecting.”
Producer Bill Taylor

Turns out the stage version debuted in Hamburg, Germany at the end of last year. The Broadway show begins previews in February 2014 at the Winter Garden Theatre.  I’m a Rocky fan so if I’m in New York during its run I imagine I’ll check it out.  (But the real question is can On the Waterfront—The Musical be far behind?)

P.S. And Rocky isn’t the only movie to be turned into a Broadway musical. Big Fish just began its run at the Neil Simon Theater.

Related Posts:
Writing “Rocky”
Why Do We Love Underdog Stories?
Screenwriting Quote #100 (Budd Schulberg)
The Source of “On the Waterfront”
Screenwriting Quote#70 (James Dickey) The original source for the musical Big Fish was the novel of the same name written by  Daniel Wallace, but the character of the father always stuck me of having a lot of similarities to the real life of writer James Dickey. I just learned today that Wallace wrote an essay called Dueling Banjos—and Dickey, of course,  wrote Deliverance…interesting.

Scott W. Smith

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Tell me a story, to me, are still four of the most beautiful words in our language. I remember my grandfather, I would ask him those words—’Tell me a story grandaddy.’ And he would tell me one. In the south, especially the rural south, the telling of stories on porches—that passing down of oral history by telling stories is still the reason the South retains its love of story. Retains the mystery of story.  And I don’t know any Southerner who does not love to exchange tales, tall tales. And I think the words ‘tell me a story’ has formed the entire basis of my art.”
Pat Conroy (The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides)
My Reading Life/ CD interview

Below is a prime example of a tall tale. It was based on the book Big Fish:A Novel of Mythic Proportions by Southerer Daniel Wallace. Wallace had five novels rejected before Big Fish got published in 1998. The movie version Big Fish was written by John August and directed by Tim Burton. August is the one who was captivated by the book and set things in motion for it to become a movie.

“The writing was simple, and weird, and imaginative. It clearly offered a lot of cinematic moments. But what attracted me most were the things that weren’t even on the page. I knew that the son, Will, was a reporter in Paris, married to a pregnant French woman. That’s nowhere in the story, but I was absolutely certain it was true. There wasn’t a circus anywhere in the book, yet I immediately sensed where it would fit. In short, I knew so much about the story I wanted to tell that I had to write the script immediately.”
John August

P.S. I always like to point out that John August, like Diablo Cody, went to college in Iowa. (He did his undergrauate work at Drake University in Des Moines.)

Scott W. Smith

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