Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book-to-Film: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

It's not news that the entertainment business is having a field day with book-to-film adaptations.  With the massive, ginormous successes of the Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games movies, film studios are clawing over each other to snatch up the film rights to books all over the place.  Often these days, film rights are purchased before a book is even published.  I think it's safe to say that we are in the midst of a full on book-adaptation frenzy in the film world.  I recently stumbled across this article written by the lovely ladies at Big Books, Tiny Voices where they detail the progress in over 60 books with film adaptations in the works.  (Yes, there really are that many, and more.  Not that all those films will actually be made, in fact most probably won't.  But some will.)  I highly recommend checking out the full article, if you're interested in the subject.

I already knew about most of the adaptations they feature, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a possible adaptation to Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus.  I just finished reading this novel last week, so I was particularly interested in this new development.  Here's what BBTV reports on the adaptation developments:

"The Skinny: Even though Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel The Night Circus was written for adults, its combination of magic and forbidden love has had a cross-generation appeal. The story is about two magicians forced to compete against each other in an elaborate duel but instead fall in love. The film rights were scooped up by the production company behind the Twilight Saga franchise- Summit Entertainment, in January 2011. Since then David Heyman (Harry Potter Movies) has signed on to produce alongside Jeffery Clifford (No Strings Attached; Up in the Air) with Moira Buffini (2011, Jane Eyre) as the scribe."

I have to be honest, I didn't love The Night Circus.  I thought it was a great idea (Dueling magicians! Eccentric circus setting!  Forbidden love!)  and was written with some really lovely prose, but the pacing of the story was way too slow and the plot was frustratingly muddled.  I really wanted to like it, but the book just didn't deliver for me, despite its promising premise.  The great and terrible thing about film is that it edits books down to its bones in order to cram the entire story into a two-hour segment.  That hurts some stories, but I think it could be fantastic here.  The pace would automatically be improved as a movie just to fit the demands of the medium of film.  And in the hands of a good screenwriter, the plot holes could be filled.  I'm not familiar with screenwriter Moira Buffini, but I'm hoping she can get the job done.  If done right, this film could have all the tension and excitement that the book lacked.  I hope this movie really happens!

If it does, can I request Dave Franco and Michelle Trachtenberg in the title roles of Marco and Celia, with Ed Harris as Alexander and Bill Nighy as Prospero?  Please?  Yes?  Thank you.  I'm glad we had this conversation.

Dave Franco

Michelle Trachtenberg

Ed Harris

Bill Nighy



  1. I guess I'll be the lame person who read a few chapters of the book, couldn't get into it, and just decided to see the movie... (If they end up making it)

    1. Don't be too hard on yourself, I had a hard time getting into it too. I think it really could work as a film though. Fingers crossed!


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