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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Nick Hornby

About a writer: Nick Hornby's film-world reinvention

February 5, 2010 |  7:00 am

Nick Hornby made his reputation in moviedom by writing the books that other people adapt into hits. But as "An Education," the darkly sweet coming-of-age movie based on his script, takes its place among the Oscars' 10 best-picture contenders, Hornby is doubling down on his film bets.

Ho The novelist-cum-lyricist is affiliated with two films that are picking up steam. His wife, Amanda Posey, and her producing partner, Finola Dwyer -- also the team behind  "An Education" -- have  just reclaimed rights to the film adaptation of the Hornby-penned "A Long Way Down" and put a new screenwriter on it.

The 2005 serio-comic novel was first optioned by Johnny Depp’s burgeoning production company, Infinitum Nihil, which had hired “High Fidelity” co-writer  D.V. DeVincentis to write a draft. But Dwyer and Posey now have the rights back, and they’ve hired British writer Jack Thorne to take a stab.

Thorne is a writer on the British television series "Cast Offs," a mockumentary that explores the comedic and dramatic lives of six physically disabled people living together on a remote island. Given that "Long Way Down" is about four emotionally and mentally traumatized people who meet on a rooftop while trying to commit suicide, that may make him a surprisingly apt choice.

Hornby is also forging ahead with his own original script -- and it's not exactly what you'd expect from the sardonic voice of the male id. He's in the early stages of writing a family-animation tale titled "The Babymakers," which Posey describes as being about "the creatures inside the body who make babies." Hey, if Wes Anderson can do animation ...

Although Hornby did write the 1997 British screen version of his novel “Fever Pitch” (not the Jimmy Fallon one, a far looser adaptation from the Farrelly brothers), he still prefers not to adapt his own novels. “To me, the books feel like an end in themselves,” he said. “ People talk about books being turned into films. I don’t ever feel that the book has been turned into anything."

-- Steven Zeitchik and Rachel Abramowitz


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