It’s funny how things changes when you learn one of your favorite writers is behind a project you were initially skeptical of. In this case it’s finding out about Michael Chabon’s involvement with the upcoming Disney film, John Carter, has made me quite curious after seeing commercials for the film and muttering an “Ehhhh…” Chabon co-wrote the screenplay for the film, and coupled with his upcoming work with HBO, it would seem he’s finally getting on the right track when it comes to getting his work on the screen — be it small or silver.
According to Jacob Silverman at Tablet:
Chabon has spoken frequently and bitterly about his vexed relationship with Hollywood. The list of unfilmed, abandoned, or otherwise bungled projects is long: a romantic comedy about old Jews on a cruise, sold to Hollywood’s resident littérateur, producer Scott Rudin, but never filmed; rejected story ideas for X-Men and Fantastic Four; the unproduced Kavalier and Clay adaptation, which Chabon spent more than a year writing; a draft screenplay ofSpiderman 2, only part of which was used for the eventual film; and a live-action version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which Disney hired Chabon to write, in 2004, before they replaced him. In 2008, the Coen brothers announced they were adapting The Yiddish Policemen’s Union on the heels of A Serious Man; that, too, has landed in development purgatory, never to be heard about since.
Silverman goes on to mention Hollywood’s relationship with famous scribes like Fitzgerald and William Faulkner, but also tells the tale of Mark Leyner, who went from appearing on the Charlie Rose Show with David Foster Wallace and Franzen, to having his fiction-writing career “derailed.” Silverman wonders what will happen to Chabon’s career now that he’s employing his writing skills to both books and films/television shows, and it is definitely a question worth pondering.