Monday, December 27, 2004

Manfredi adapts "Memoirs of Hadrian" for the cinema

The Music Tiger:

Although Dr. Valerio Manfredi's take on Alexander did not make it in the race to produce an epic film about him, he is apparently busy collaborating with Dino De Laurentis and a couple of other historical projects:

"De Laurentis took an option on The Last Legion, Manfredi's novel which merges the last days of the Roman empire with Arthurian legend. Production should start next year, with Anthony Hopkins being talked of as a likely star. If anything, however, Manfredi is more enthusiastic about his own screenplay of another historical novelist's work, the widely acclaimed Memoirs of Hadrian, by Marguerite Yourcenar. It is going ahead, he explains, with Antonio Banderas as Hadrian and John Boorman directing.

Responding to occasional criticism from peers over his film involvement, Manfredi has observed in the past that 'a minority read books, while millions go to the cinema. You have to simplify, condense.' Mention Ernest Hemingway's famous comment about writing for the studios - 'You throw them your book, they throw you the money. Then you jump into your car and drive like hell back the way you came' - and he laughs. He would certainly have reservations about giving his work to certain directors, he says, although he regards his Memoirs of Hadrian screenplay as (relatively) safe in Boorman's hands - 'unless he has to make cuts ... But we have control of the screenplay.'"
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