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Aline Brosh McKenna To Adapt Graphic Novel 'Rust' For 20th Century Fox

by Catherine Scott
July 16, 2011 5:23 AM
5 Comments
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There are quite a few screenwriters that we here at The Playlist think are incredibly overrated. Someone like Allan Loeb ("21," "The Switch") comes to mind, but Aline Brosh McKenna wouldn't be far behind him. She's a rom-com writing star, penning films like "27 Dresses" and "Morning Glory," though she hasn't had much critical success since "The Devil Wears Prada" in 2006. It's possible that she's moving away from her roots, as Deadline reported yesterday that she's signed on to adapt graphic novel "Rust: Visitor in the Field" for 20th Century Fox.

"Rust" hasn't even hit bookstore shelves yet with a release date of September from Archaia Entertainment, but it clearly caught Fox's eye as a winner. Author Royden Lepp tells the story of boy Jet Jones, who crashes into a family's farm in the middle of America after being pursed by a decommissioned war robot. Jet Jones could be the war-ravaged farm's savior or just a danger to the entire town. The movie is being produced by Archaia's Stephen Christy and Simon Kinberg from Fox.

It's hard to say whether the studio will take a family approach or amp it up to compete with comic book adaptations. Either way, this is hardly McKenna's normal cup of tea. She just wrote "I Don't Know How She Does It," an insipid-looking romantic comedy starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a baby-juggling career woman. She also ventured into more serious fare, adapting Benjamin Mee's "We Bought a Zoo," about a man who purchases a zoo to fulfill his dying wife's last wish for Cameron Crowe.

Seeing that McKenna is taking on an action-based gig and moving out of her comfort zone, we're a little more upbeat about 'Zoo' and what it could have to offer in terms of serious drama. Or this new project could turn out as gag-inducing and eye-rolling as her last ones.

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5 Comments

  • alan | July 17, 2011 8:02 AMReply

    calling a writer "overrated" is not only naive, but ridiculously stupid. get in the business before writing about it.

  • alan | July 17, 2011 7:58 AMReply

    chris,

    your comparison of the movie industry to politics is silly. we elect politicians into office, and they serve the public. the film business is completely private; they offer a product not a service.

    furthermore, you'd be surprised how *often* a screenplay, as creatively approved by a writer, makes it through production untouched. contrary to fanboy belief, akiva goldsman has only written *three* screenplays that've made it through production without the guild or execs fucking him over. that's why he's a producer now. on batman and robin, they had six writers brought in a week before principal photog. all the way through the shooting. akiva wanted a story credit, but the guild completely fucked him over.

    this is more or less the case with about 95% of all major hollywood productions. to assume that a writer's work, as executed by the millions and millions of dollars afloat some creatively contrived execs, is overrated *is* naive.

    these folks can write all they want about who's overrated, or who's not making the box office, etc. but that's all they are cut out to do, is talk about a business they legitimately have no fucking clue about. the people who think they're aesthetically significant because of their taste are just as untalented as the people who utilize tumblr as some sort of aesthetic outlet.

    truffaut realized the aesthetic insignificance of his career as a critic, and did what most should do: stopped talking about it, and did it. if you have no urge to make a movie and to just sit around and talk about them, find another profession ( is blogging a profession? ). you're embarrassing yourself.

  • Chris | July 17, 2011 6:31 AMReply

    Alan:

    What the hell are you talking about? It's perfectly legitimate for someone to call a writer overrated, if you've really looked at the work in question and found it to be so. It has nothing to do with being in the business or not.

    That's like saying you're not allowed to have a political opinion unless you're a politician. My earlier qualm was simply on the writer calling someone overrated who didn't seem to be rated very highly in the first place. Then again, as Peter suggested, maybe Mr. Loeb's work really is high-quality but simply gets diminished as everyone else gets their hands on it after it's sold. Who knows. (With the consistently low level of quality of the films with his name attached, I find that a tad hard to believe, but I obviously don't know for sure.)

  • Peter Tom Maatta | July 17, 2011 2:19 AMReply

    Most people who complain about writers being "overrated" are actually wannabe writers who can't get a deal themselves and see a guy like Allan Loeb cashing checks every month for writing jobs for Kevin James, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Anniston and now Miley Cyrus and get pissed because they think they can write better. "Why does Allan Loeb get all of these jobs and I can't get in?"

    The truth is, those in the business who know Allan Loeb, find his work to be great and find him to be a very good writer to work with. What happens after he hands in the script, is not his fault.

    The studios are greenlighting his work and they get made by directors and actors who change things and what-not. The truth is, name one writer whose scripts all turn into blockbuster hits that everybody loves. Most writers, if they're lucky, get five or six credits during their careers, yet may find success with only one of them.

    Most movies today aren't liked by moviegoers and certainly not internet writers who hate nearly everything because they're jealous and bitter.

    Unless you're Steve Kloves, who writes nearly every "Harry Potter" film, then your track record at the box office will be poor. That's just the nature of Hollywood today.

  • Chris | July 16, 2011 9:40 AMReply

    Serious question, Catherine: Is Allan Loeb actually considered a particularly impressive screenwriter by anyone? Because at least in terms of his features, only "Things We Lost in the Fire" was considered any good. The rest have been largely panned - and in many cases savaged. I think a prerequisite for anyone being called "overrated" should be that people actually rate the person highly.

    For example, I find the highly decorated and respected Peter Morgan extraordinarily overrated.

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