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4 Great Books Adapted for the Screen By Their Own Authors

4 Great Books Adapted for the Screen By Their Own Authors

[Editor’s Note: This post is presented in partnership with 
Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today’s pick, “Big Stone Gap,” is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here.] 

READ MORE: Springboard: Why ‘Big Stone Gap’ Writer-Director Adriana Trigiani Thinks Her Film Needs to Be Seen in a Theater

Adriana Trigiani, “Big Stone Gap”

Multi-hyphenate Trigiani got her start on the television side of the business, serving as a long-time producer and writer on shows like “The Cosby Show” and “A Different World.” In fact, that’s where she first got inspired to tell the story that would become the book “Big Stone Gap,” which she initially conceived of as, you guessed it, a movie. Advised to take her story about small town life to the pages of a novel, Trigiani turned her story into a popular trilogy that eventually resulted in a very successful writing career and a dedicated fanbase (eager for a movie, no doubt). By the time she was ready to turn “Big Stone Gap” into the movie she had long dreamed of, it only made sense that she would be the one to do it. The resulting feature brings to life Trigiani’s period-set novel, thanks to a star-studded cast and a whole lot of heart. 

Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

Chbosky penned his cult hit “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” way back in 1999, but it took thirteen years for the high school-set adolescent drama to make its way to the big screen. Chbosky himself adapted the material and directed the feature (only his second, he first directed the little-seen “The Four Corners of Nowhere” in 1995), a big risk that signaled just how dedicated he was to seeing his beloved book cinematically translated the correct way. The book’s reliance on the use of music to convey tone and meaning certainly lent itself to the big screen, and he lined up a strong cast of up-and-comers, including Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller and a post-“Harry Potter” Emma Watson.

Elia Kazan, “America, America”

Kazan wrote, directed and produced this adaption of his own novel of the same name just a year after it first hit shelves. “America America” was partially inspired by experiences of Kazan’s own uncle attempting to immigrate from Greece to America. A sprawling three-hour epic almost totally populated by newbie actors (including star Stathis Giallelis), the film was an ambitious undertaking that was also very close to Kazan’s heart.

Stephen King, “Maximum Overdrive”

King’s work has been adapted for both the big and the small screen many times before, but “Maximum Overdrive” holds the distinction of being the only effort he’s actually directed himself. Based on his short story (yes, a little cheat) “Trucks,” the film imagines what happens after the Earth comes into contact with a comet trail that brings inanimate objects (like trucks!) to murderous, bloody life. The film itself isn’t King’s best work, but even he owns up to it, having told “Hollywood’s Stephen King” author Tony Magistrale (via Wikipedia) that he was “coked out of [his] mind all through its production, and [he] really didn’t know what [he] was doing.”

READ MORE: The 5 Best and 5 Worst Patricia Highsmith Film Adaptations

Indiewire has partnered with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand for February’s Indie Film Month. Enjoy exceptionally creative and uniquely entertaining new Indie releases (“Grandma,” “Youth,” “Room” and more) all month long on Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand. Go HERE daily for movie reviews, interviews, and exclusive footage of the suggested TWC movie of the day and catch the best Indie titles on TWC Movies On Demand.

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