We are looking at our library to determine which potential franchise properties make the most sense for us to produce, and Death Wish was clearly one that jumped out. MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands
For ‘franchised properties’, read ‘hoary old movies that weren’t any good in the first place’. I guess that recycling branded properties from a bulging portfolio of mostly old toss makes sound economic sense – however, with an absolute plethora of brilliant novels out there, it’s a shame that the height of ambition for a company such as MGM is a remake of Death Wish starring Sylvester Stallone.
On that note, here are five books I’d love to see adapted for the screen:
Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco: everyone’s seen The Name of The Rose, starring Sean Connery and a pre-smug Christian Slater. Here’s the weighty but playful follow-up. Three book editors employed at a vanity publishers get caught up in a truly wild occult conspiracy (which isn't all it seems). It may well be unfilmable in certain respects, but the sheer breadth of its narrative would make for something far more entertaining and engrossing than flippin’ Death Wish.
The Erasers, Alain Robbe-Grillet – no, not that film featuring old Mr Mahogany Sideboard himself, but the weirdest existentialist detective novel you’ll ever have the pleasure of reading.
Pompey, Jonathan Meades – the prologue ends with the words, After using this book please wash your hands, which just about sums things up. You may know Meades from such TV programmes as Abroad Again, but to my mind his talents as a broadcaster pale into insignificance when compared to what he does as a novelist. This book is written in a syrupy thick type of English parochialism and covers everything from the origin of AIDS to African pygmy hunting. There's also a crazy sojourn in Belgium of all places.
The Observer calls this book a ‘sleaze epic’, and they’re not far wrong.
Cocaine Nights, JG Ballard – Empire of the Sun and Crash apart, any JG Ballard novel would seem ripe for a screen adaptation (with the possible exception of The Atrocity Exhibition of course).
Glamorama, Bret Easton Ellis – the trend for adapting Easton Ellis books for the screen is fairly well established (apparently, there’s a screen adaptation of Glamorama in the works but it’s been delayed for a couple of years now). Victor Ward, a vacuous fashionista gets caught up with a psychotic gang of supermodel terrorists, who launch random atrocities across the globe for no discernible reason. Only then do things start to get weird: Victor is followed incessantly by a camera crew, who appear to be filming a partially scripted version of his own life. God only knows what Hollywood is going to do this, but I bet a skipload of money it won’t be any good.
Story, Robert McKee – only kidding!
Plenty more where this little lot came from - what would you like to see adapted for the screen?