What came first, the book or the movie? When you first see it on screen and then read it on paper

A man and a woman meet in a pub in London ten minutes before the start of a couples therapy session. At the time of the pre-appointment conversation with the professional who intends to help them, the problems that led them to this situation are revealed. They often discuss how the previous session went and also speculate about patients leaving the office. They talk about other people in the bar. This is the main plot of state of the union. Marriage in ten parts, book by Nick Hornby just published in Spain by Anagrama and translated by Jaime Zulaika. This quite “Hornbian” story—the protagonist, of course, is a music critic and has certain communication problems, among other things—is the perfect material for making a series of ten ten-minute chapters. It’s so convenient, in fact, that it’s already available: The book is based on the writer’s own script for the audiovisual novel directed by Stephen Frears. HBO in 2019.

This is not Nick Hornby’s first screen work, but it is his first fictional script. Many of his books have been successfully adapted for film, because the English writer has a good hand in the romantic drama genre – romantic drama? – Friendly and geared towards the same-sex middle-class white man. I mean, a lot of people. There are examples like HDwhich was also directed by Stephen Frears in 2000; good boy (Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz, 2002) Or nude juliet (Jesse Peretz, 2018), starring an actor who specializes in giving life to characters who are a little deranged, a little clumsy, good people and music lovers, of course: John Cusack, Hugh Grant and Chris O’Dowd, respectively. The third reprises as the protagonist of this pre-book series.

Adapting books to the audiovisual format has been popular throughout the history of cinema, and in fact, the pace seems to have picked up if you look at some of the most recently released titles. Without going any further, the highly anticipated movie Oppenheimer By Christopher Nolan based on the biography American Prometheus: Triumph and Tragedy J. Robert Oppenheimer By Kay Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. But the reverse process also works, although it’s less well known. In many cases, it is recognized that the literary work came before the cinematic work because it is the most frequent. A good example of this The third guy by Graham Greene, whose author explains in the preface that the book was “written not to be read, but to be seen”.

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Bertha Marquis, managing editor of SM Children’s and Young Adult Literature, told EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA that this is the first known case. “It was done this way because of the need the screenwriter felt to expand the story’s universe through the novel,” he elaborates. At his publisher, it was the first book to be based on another work Billy ElliotAlso in their catalog Ivan’s dreaml Robert SantiagoWhich was also after the movie, although she indicated that “the seed of the cinematic story is present in the novel. Diary of Ivan at the World CupWritten by Roberto Santiago and published by SM & rdquor ;. Then there are such cases Manolito glasses, which does not exactly come from an audiovisual, but from a radio program. Elvira Lindo played this character in To live this is two days from the SER, and later wanted to put it on paper & rdquor; According to him.

In SM they have a group called pop classicswhich includes such great titles as Back to the futureco-written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gill, OR ET by Jim Thomas, adapted from the popular Steven Spielberg movie. Some readers will also remember versions of Home Alone. Lost in New York also Free willy! Signed by the author of Children’s and Young Adult Literature Todd Strasser that Book club Published in the 1990s, the cases all refer to well-known works and, as Marques says, “usually they are accompanied by a marketing campaign that gives them a lot of clarity. When a book starts from a movie, it already has some way to reach the readers, because it seems already familiar to them, they know the title and the plot & mldr; let’s say they have much more information to decide whether to take this book or not than if they were starting from scratch.”

In the case of titles intended for children and young adults, it is difficult to know whether the readers saw the movie or series first and then got to the book, or vice versa. “I think there will be everything,” says the managing editor, “although I understand that because of the effort involved in reading, it may be easier for them to watch the movie first and then encourage the book.” “The truth is, the books in our catalog that were born out of a movie have worked very well,” he says.

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Professional converters

Among the adult general population, there are also consumers of screen adaptations of literature. “Especially nowadays it is done with so many serials. In Spain we have cases like Love in troubled times also Tell me” Marquis says. Perhaps one of the most typical cases, due to its play of fantasy and reality, is that of the books derived from the series. fort, which premiered in 2009 and was on the air until 2016. The protagonist is the writer of a mystery novel named Richard Castle based on the lives of detectives Derek Storm and Nikki Heat. But after the success of the series, those books jumped into the real world he wrote Tom Straw, who signed it under a pseudonym, specifically, Richard Castle. To make matters worse, actor Nathan Fillion, who gave life to the castle in television fiction, also put a face to the castle in literature. This mirror trick was a publishing bomb and some of her titles made it to the prestigious bestseller list she publishes. New York times.

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Sometimes it is the screenwriters themselves – like Hornby or Graham Greene – who are responsible for “narrating” their series or novels, but also There is a group of writers who specialize in this work. In English they are known as “linked writers”. And they have their own organization called the International Association of Writers Connected to Media, which was set up to demand fair recognition for their work. “Existing organizations such as Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America often ignore and underestimate adaptation writers and their work, even though some of their most respected members work in the field,” web Official. “These adaptations make up a large proportion of the books published each year, are hugely successful and are greatly enjoyed by readers,” they say.

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In addition, they have created their own annual awards, Writer AwardsAwarded for the best works based on TV shows, movies, and video games. Some of the winners in 2022 were Alien 3 to Pat Cadigan For the best adaptation of the novel f Doctor Who: Broken Girl to Lisa McMullen For the best acoustic conditioning. This is not a fan fiction [ficciones basadas en otras obras desarrolladas por sus seguidores], but books by professional writers who, though their names may seem irrelevant, have managed to revolutionize the sales lists. They are important to the industry as those supporting characters without whom the play would not succeed but do not always get the attention it deserves. Boys and girls who laughed while reading Home Alone And ET They will agree to claim their place and be recognized.

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