‘Edgar Sawtelle,’ the Movie

Variety announces that Universal Pictures has acquired The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  It’s being produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman of Playtone Pictures and Harpo Films partners Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte. Much is being made of the fact that this is the first teaming of Oprah and Hanks.

Don’t hold your breath; it can be a long road from acquisition to completion. We’re still wondering what happened to Friday Night Knitting Club, starring Julia Roberts and a series of other titles lost in production.

So, who would you like to see as Edgar?

24 Responses to “‘Edgar Sawtelle,’ the Movie”

  1. Denise Says:

    Depending on how long it takes to get to the screen, I think Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia) is a wonderful young actor.

  2. Tracie Says:

    I think the most important factor when looking for Edgar is ASL fluency. Whoever gets the role must be highly skilled with signing and understand that to make it realistic he needs to know how Deaf people feel growing up. Some can feel like outsiders to their families because of the communication problem. Edgar had an advantage though with his mother because she was so proactive about learning ASL herself.

    I am excited to see this movie when it’s done.

  3. Dylan Says:

    Tracie… Edgar wasn’t deaf.

  4. Cathy Miller Says:

    But it will be a challenge to bring this lovely story to the big screen with the main characters being either ‘mute’ or ‘canine’. It will take some creativity and probably subtitles but with a brilliant director and a vision to bring this story alive, it could be wonderful! I cannot wait.

  5. Jason Says:

    A big challenge indeed. And I don’t think it’s horribly important for the actor playing Edgar to have ASL fluency, as it is expressly stated in the novel that he and his parents created their own kind of sign language. And, as Dylan stated above, Edgar is not deaf, but mute. Beyond that, films are shot in short bursts and any actor worth his salt can memorize scenes (whether spoken or signed).

    Much more important is: who will adapt and direct? I vote for Frank Darabont (although he’s busy with many projects). In the hands of the wrong director, this story could wind up a tragic visual mess.

  6. Anthony Says:

    Not Sure about Edgar, but here’s how I pictured the characters when I read the book:

    Edgar’s Mom:Kate Winslet (Titanic, The Reader)
    Edgar’s Dad: Gary Sinise (CSI: New York, The Green Mile)
    Claude: Liev Schrieber (X Men Origins: Wolverine, Defiance)
    Henry: Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show)
    Glen Papineau: John Cena (12 Rounds, The Marine)
    Father Papineau: Martin Sheen (The Departed)

    I forget what Glen’s Dad’s name is. XD

  7. Kristin Says:

    I would love to see Freddie Highmore as Edgar. That kid is an excellent actor.

  8. mary Says:

    WILL ARNETT – AS CLAUDE!! (Arrested Devlopment)

    The Kid from 2 1/2 men (Angus)
    as Edgar on the run.

    Sign Language should be a mix – so much made up for themselves & the dogs anyway. – Their own sign!

    Katie Holmes or
    Reese Witherspoon – Kate

  9. Gary S Says:

    The trick here is casting the dogs, not the actors. There are more than enough good character actors to find several for every role. Keep in mind that Edgar was reminiscent of Gar so that these actors must be similar. Trudy starts at age 28 through age 41 so an actress that can be aged effectively is key. The key players are Edgar and Almondine so these parts must be filled by an actor and dog that demonstrate obvious chemistry. I like Katie Holmes for Trudy but I also like Anne Hathaway because she exudes more toughness.

  10. Nan Says:

    Alaska noble companion dogs. I know the author said he had no specific dog in mind, but those ARE the Sawtelle dogs and their story is so similar — one woman developing one very unique non-breed — the physical standrard is secondary to character and intelligence.

  11. Brennan Says:

    I think that it is probably better for Edgar NOT to know standard ASL, because it mentioned in the book multiple times that Edgar’s signing was a mix of real sign and his own.

  12. Lizbetta Says:

    Richard Armitage (North and South, Robin Hood, MI-5 aka Spooks, etc) would be a perfect Claude.

  13. pamela friedland Says:

    i think that it’s excessive to make a movie of this book. so much of its virtue lies in the language and the communication it establishes with one’s own imagination. i definitely will not go to see some other person’s visualisation.

  14. pamela friedland Says:

    please don’t make a movie of a work of language and imagination. i would hate to see someone else’s visualisation. the book is, among other things, about personal communication, eye contact, soul contact. why spoil it?

  15. Karla Says:

    I would like to see Matthew Knight as Edgar. He is a wonderful young actor.

  16. Jack Millet Says:

    Edgar should be an unknown actor. Emphasis should be on the story and the dogs…not a new venue for a known actor.

  17. Brigitte Says:

    Books are always better than their movies but I’d love to see this one made into a movie. Casting will be very important – strong cast for the adults and and unknown actor for Edgar. The dogs should be look-alike mutts from shelters – this would offset a little the fact that the breeding of strays to create a new breed is kinda unacceptable these days with all the animal-rescue-shelter-spay-neuter awareness going on. The rescue folks will be all over that one and the director will need to be careful not to glamorize it and/or in any way encourage backyard breeders to follow suit. That aspect, as well as a mute main character and the training of the dogs will make of a very challenging project indeed.

  18. Kathleen Says:

    hamlet meets castaway meets beloved in garrison keiller land.
    A good dog is hard to find.

  19. HERB Says:

    I THINK THE BEST ACTOR TO PORTRAY HENRY LAMB

    WOULD BE MICHAEL SHANNON . HE WAS THE TROUBLED

    SON OF KATHY BATES IN “REVOLUTIONARY ROAD.”

    ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE FOR THAT PART.

  20. Tyler Says:

    Another question. What breed of dog do you think will play almondine and the sawtelle dogs? I am personally thinking a german shepard or golden retriever.

  21. J.B. Says:

    Film it on location in Northern WI, Chequamegnon Nat’l Forest…it would be beautiful !

  22. CINDY Says:

    I just finished reading this book – spent a month getting to know Edgar and the dogs….the first half only reading during my lunch hour but this weekend I finished the remaining 1/2. All this time believing this is one of the best books I’ve ever read and hoping to pass the book on to others.
    Until I got to the end. I almost threw the book in the garbage !!
    I cried racking sobs and had to force myself stop. My teenage son said “It’s just a book, Mom, it’s not real”. It was very real to me. How could an author take us that far and than do that to us ?!?! I will never get over this…….
    And seeing it on the big screen – NEVER. I agree with some of the other posters – you can NOT make a movie out of this story. No dogs are this well trained and the whole point of the book is listening to Edgar’s and the dogs’ thoughts.

  23. melissa b. Says:

    i absolutely agree with cindy!!! i just finished the book also. had the best day ever sitting in my hammock swinging out there all day thinking this will be the best book i have ever read. i stayed up til wee hours of the morning reading it. got to the end and just sat there with my mouth open no bellieving what i just read. these characters didn’t deserve the terrible fate this guy gave them and if the movie ends the same way, i will not see it. they will probably change the ending for the movie because of so much protest. i think the actors should be:

    edgar: a new young actor no one knows
    gar: a little known but recognizable actor
    trudy: kate blanchett (trudy is tough and fiery)
    claude: hugh jackman(evil eye and rugged)
    henry: justin bartha (riley on national treasure)

  24. Rpost Says:

    I loved reading this book and look forward to watching the movie. Even though Edgar uses sign language it would be nice to see them express his thoughts by using a voice. This would breakup the silence of the two main characters. I always pictured a big burly boy with dark hair and a kind, innocent looking face.