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How Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Outsiders' Got Made, with Help from School Librarian

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 18, 2013 at 1:52PM

As we know from the hugely successful "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter that reached its goal in record time on March 13, fans have a definite sway in getting movies made. Check out this fascinating correspondence from 1980 between elementary school librarian Jo Ellen Misakian and Hollywood producer Fred Roos, which chronicles Misakian asking Francis Ford Coppola to adapt her school's favorite book, "The Outsiders," into a movie, and then Roos responding with "cautious optimism."
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"The Outsiders"
"The Outsiders"

As we know from the hugely successful "Veronica Mars" Kickstarter that reached its goal in record time on March 13, fans have a definite sway in getting movies made. Check out this fascinating correspondence from 1980 between elementary school librarian Jo Ellen Misakian and Hollywood producer Fred Roos, which chronicles Misakian asking Francis Ford Coppola to adapt her school's favorite book, "The Outsiders," into a movie, and then Roos responding with "cautious optimism."

The letter below is the first response from Roos, in which he thanks Misakian for her students' petition, and mentions that "the next step is for myself and other members of our company to read the book." He also misspells her name, an error that is fixed in later letters.

"The Outsiders" of course ultimately went into production and was released in 1983. It stars, among others, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, Diane Lane, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Ralph Macchio.

The entire correspondence is fascinating, and can be read here on the Letters of Note blog.

Letter, the Outsiders



This article is related to: News, News, Francis Ford Coppola


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