Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Books Into Films: Announced in the Trades, Part 2

A few months back, our friend William Wilson of Video Junkie Strikes Back from Beyond the Grave sent us the following Variety ads as a response to our first installment of Books Into Films: Announced in the Trades.

In the May 1984 Cannes Film Festival issue of Variety, United Film Distribution Company (UFDC) hyped a film adaptation of Felice Picano's 1975 thriller Eyes, starring Susan Sarandon. On the same page was an ad for a film adaptation of Susan Isaacs’ Compromising Positions, also starring Sarandon. EYES was never made, but UFDC honcho Salah M. Hassanein received executive producer on Frank Perry’s COMPROMISING POSITIONS (1985), produced for Paramount with Sarandon in the lead.

The classic film noir DETOUR (1945), starring Tom Neal and Ann Savage, was adapted by Martin M. Goldsmith from his own 1939 novel. A remake by Carl Shenkel was announced in the October 19, 1992 issue of Variety, but Shenkel’s project never came to fruition. However, a different adaptation of Goldsmith’s book the same year – written, produced and directed by Wade Williams and starring Tom Neal, Jr. (in the role his father played almost a half century earlier) – was produced the same year!

British author David Ambrose wrote the screenplays for such films as THE FIFTH MUSKETEER (1979), THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (1980) and D.A.R.Y.L. (1985), but never had much luck with film adaptations of his novels. Above is an ad from Armada Productions that advertises movies based on two of Ambrose’s novels, The Man Who Turned into Himself and Superstition, published in 1993 and 1997, respectively. Neither film was produced. (Variety date: May 6, 1996)

Finally, in the 1996 MIFED Film Market issue of Variety (October 21-27), Imperial Entertainment and producer Steve Perry hyped an adaptation of James Ellroy's 1982 novel Clandestine, but that too was never made.

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