Thu, 21 December 2017
On this week’s special holiday episode of On Story, we bring you The Polar Express & Big Fish, two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film.
We’re looking at two classic films adapted from popular books which were seemingly unadaptable to film on this episode of On Story. We begin with a conversation about the adaptation of a beloved holiday story, The Polar Express. Based on the classic 1985 children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg, the screen adaptation of The Polar Express was co-written, by Bill Broyles and Robert Zemeckis who also produced and directed the film. The Polar Express features Tom Hanks in six distinct roles including that of the Conductor. At the time of its release in 2004, The Polar Express was the first animated film to use performance capture technology. It was also the first feature length film to be released in both 35 mm and IMAX 3D. Sadly, The film was the last acting role for actor Michael Jeter who passed away in 2003. The Polar Express and was nominated for 3 Academy Awards® including Best Original Song “Believe” by Josh Groban.
Bill Broyles created the Emmy-Award-winning television series, China Beach and has written the screenplays for Castaway, Jar Head, Unfaithful, Apollo 13 and Flags of Our Fathers. He’s also co-creator and producer of the television series, Six. I spoke with Bill Broyles during a special holiday screening of The Polar Express in 2013 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
Clips copyright: Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc.
Based on the 1998 novel of the same name, Big Fish was adapted from book to screenplay and ultimately to the stage by screenwriter, John August. The Film, directed by Tim Burton, tells the story of Edward Bloom, a former traveling salesman with a gift for storytelling. Young Edward Bloom is played by Ewan McGregor. Academy-award nominated actor Albert Finney plays the Senior Edward Bloom. Big Fish marks the first American feature film for actress Marion Cotillard and features an extensive cast including Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Billy Crudup and more. Big Fish was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Score.
John August’s screenwriting credits include Go, Big Fish, Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and both Charlie’s Angels films. He also wrote the book for the Broadway musical version of Big Fish.
Daniel Wallace is an American author, best known for his 1998 novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions, the basis for the Tim Burton film Big Fish and the Broadway musical. His other books include Ray in Reverse and The Watermelon King.
Writer and professor Fred Strype sat down with author Daniel Wallace and screenwriter John August during the 20th Anniversary of Austin Film Festival.
Clips copyright: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.