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Screenwriters have some horror stories when adapting books for the big screen

September 28, 2008 | 10:41 am

Blindness "Blindness," Nobel Prize-winner Jose Saramago's 1997 allegorical novel about an epidemic of sightlessness that threatens to destroy society, is told in a stream-of-consciousness style that reads like a fever dream. Not exactly "Harry Potter," straight-to-the-big-screen material, reports Lewis Beale.

Yet Don McKellar saw in it a screenplay and Fernando Meirelles ("City of God") saw in that screenplay a film he could direct. And the fact that "Blindness" is now multiplex fodder, with the film opening Friday, is a testament to the willingness of moviemakers to tackle — sometimes against great odds — some of the toughest literary works.

"The more successful the work of art is in the medium for which it was originally created, the more it's going to resist a translation into another medium," says writer-director Nicholas Meyer, whose adaptation of the Philip Roth novel "The Dying Animal" was recently filmed as the Ben Kingsley movie "Elegy."

Click here to read more of this report about converting books into screenplays.

Read our report on 'Blindness' and its making here.

Click here for more on film.

— Deborah Bonello