Flying Pig Reports from BEA 5

Alison Morris - June 1, 2008

Elizabeth here. Candlewick’s super-secret screening of snippets from the upcoming December sure-to-be-blockbuster, The Tale of Despereaux. No media were allowed in, so the event was a relatively intimate gathering of 150 or so booksellers, authors, and other folks screened against media and film-industry infiltration by Candlewick. Speakers were Kate DiCamillo, writer/director/producer Gary Ross (Big, Pleasantville, Dave and Seabiscuit) and co-producer Allison Thomas. Kate was, as always, charming and funny and surprisingly loud for a diminutive person. Ross was dynamic, smart, funny, and extremely articulate about both the technical and creative aspects of the project (this writer might have developed a wee crush). Both he and Thomas were the antithesis of the stereotypical Hollywood book butchers, who plunder our literary treasures and ruin them for generations of readers to come. Instead, miraculously, they were sensitive to the classic timelessness of Kate’s book, even to the tonal quality of the language and setting, and from the few snippets that were ready for public viewing, we will all be delighted, rather than horrified, by the film version of a beloved book. (Note: your first glimpse of Despereaux as a baby mouse will elicit universal, vocal "Awwwwwws" from movie audiences; really, he’s shamelessly adorable.)

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