Winners of Our Pre-Holiday Quiz

It took a while, and a couple of hints, but we have two correct answers to our pre-holiday quiz.

We asked what would tie together a list of 35 titles in a book display and why this display would be particularly relevant right now.

Most of you figured out that all books on the list have been made in to movies, or have been optioned for movies.

However, the correct answer is that producer Scott Rudin was involved in all of them. Rudin, who has been called “The Godfather of the Literary Adaptation” will receive the David O. Selznick Award from the Producers Guild of America on January 22nd.

The winner is J.P. Johnson, Adult Services, the Lexington (KY) Public Library. The runner-up is Sallie Swank of the Fort Worth (TX) Library. No prizes offered for this one, but they now have bragging rights to all their friends.

The rest of you may have been thrown off by a few of the titles.

Some of the books ended up with different names on the screen:

Jane Austen’s Emma was the basis for Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone.

Upton Sinclair’s Oil! became There Will be Blood.

Ben Mezrich, Accidental Billionaires is now in theaters as The Social Network and is an Oscar contender.

The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz is The Way Back, recently released in a limited run to qualify for the Oscars. It will expand to more theaters in January.

Three of the titles are often thought of as remakes of earlier movies:

The Stepford Wives, 1972 book by Ira Levin. The 1975 movie starred Katherine Ross; Nicole Kidman took on the role in the 2004 version.

Shaft, Ernest Tidyman adapted his novel into the movie starring Richard Roundtree in 1971. “The Theme from Shaft” by Isaac Hayes won an Oscar for Best Original Song. The 2000 version starred Samuel L. Jackson.

True Grit, Charles Portis. It may seem ridiculous, but there’s at least one writer who appears to have no idea that this was a more intersting book than the 1969 John Wayne vehicle. The new version, directed by the Coen Brothers, is supposed to be truer to the original.

A few of the movies have not yet gone in to production:

Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian — in fact, this one may never see its name in lights; in a recent interview, William Monahan said that although it’s the best script he’s ever written, it’s unlikely to get made because it is too violent.

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close — this one is also iffy. In August, Deadline reported that Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks were interested, but that the book is “not the easiest film adaptation.”

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff — Angelina Jolie has been flirting with this one for months.

One is currently filmingThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (English-language version), directed by David Fincher, who also directed The Social Network.

Two have not been released:

True Grit — Directed by the Coen brothers, starring Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges. However, it sounds like the real star will be the young actress playing the lead, Hailee Steinfeld. It is scheduled for release on 12/22.

Moneyball — Based on the best selling book about baseball by Michael Lewis is scheduled for 9/23/2011, starring Brad Pitt.

One Response to “Winners of Our Pre-Holiday Quiz”

  1. Ann Chambers Theis Says:

    I hope that the remake of TRUE GRIT will draw folks back to reading Charles Portis – an amazing writer.