More Winners: The Edgars
A Tale for Poetry Friday

Is This How Hollywood Thinks? Really?

"And, in a story coming today from PW sister publication, Variety, it was reported that DreamWorks, the studio which acquired movie rights to Opal Mehta, had received an initial script for the project just as news was breaking about Viswanathan's potential plagiarism. According to the Variety report, though the studio first considered acquiring McCafferty's work, it now seems that the project is being dropped entirely."

—Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly

(The emphasis is mine.)


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The answer to your question is "yes." But keep in mind that "originally considered" might've meant someone realizing that it was a horrific idea and they should end this project then consider those novels on their own merit. It would still be reported as before, but it might not be as heinous as the worst case interpretation.

As someone who long wrote for Hollywood (not always happily) and who has worked with Dreamworks, I think I'm actually going to defend them.

The Opal Mehta thing is a can of worms. Who knows how many books were cribbed from? I can understand DW walking away.

The thing to remember about H'wood is that literary material costs them pocket change! The real money is for stars and directors and production. There are probably 15 pictures in "development" for every one that gets made. That means they're looking for every excuse they can find to dump 14 of the 15 before they lay out the real bucks.

With Opal Mehta they had plenty of excuse.

Yeah, I was assuming worst-case scenario: that someone had the kooky idea just to patch together a solution by buying the other book, too. Y'all are right to point out that this may not have been the case.

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