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Posts Tagged ‘John Gregory Dunne’

Norman Mailer’s Son to Adapt ‘The Deer Park’

In the 1980s, novelist Joan Didion collaborated with her late husband John Gregory Dunne on a script for Norman Mailer‘s novel, The Deer Park. The adaptation has collected dust ever since.

Now Mailer’s son, film producer Michael Mailer, wants to shoot the Didion-Dunne screenplay. According to The Daily, Mailer will collaborate with producers Cassian Elwes and Matt Palmieri on this project.

Here’s more from the article: “The Deer Park chronicles two romances during Hollywood’s Red Scare era. It was rejected as obscene by Mailer’s publisher in 1955.” Norman Mailer (pictured, via) adapted The Deer Park into a stage play. It opened off-broadway in 1967 and ran for 128 performances.

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Author and Journalist Dominick Dunne Has Died

7623_dunne_dominick.jpgAuthor and journalist Dominick Dunne has passed away after battling cancer, leaving behind a collection of bestselling novels, a memoir, and two essay collections.

In a mediabistro.com interview last year, the legendary Vanity Fair special correspondent talked about the journalism stories that defined his career: the death of Princess Diana, the O.J. Simpson media circus, and trial for the Menendez brothers. In the last year of his life, he was dedicated to finishing his novel, “Too Much Money,” which will be released in December.

Here’s more from the interview: “I was always so proud of my brother [John Gregory Dunne] He got his book finished and had the heart attack. His book came out after he was dead. I’ve just got to get this book finished…I just knew there was something wrong. I came back and they found this. I’ve taken the first of six treatments and then I go in the hospital and they go in and see how much they got…I’m more than half-way through. But I haven’t actually worked on it for a long time. Now I’m back on it full-time–that’s my life now until I finish.”

The Verdicts Come in on Magical Thinking Play

And so far, the reviews for the adaptation of Joan Didion‘s bestselling memoir THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING – playing at the Booth Theater until June 30 – are, shall we say, less than kind. “An arresting yet ultimately frustrating new drama,” says the New York TimesBen Brantley, and he’s being one of the more generous critics. Peter Marks at the Washington Post also wanted to like it but said the one-woman show starring Vanessa Redgrave “is too much like an austere alternative to “Oprah,” an adaptation that replaces the supple mystique of the book with the driest kind of earnestness.”

But most of the vitriol is dished out by the Wall Street Journal‘s Terry Teachout. He admits up-front he wasn’t a fan of Didion’s original memoir: “I found it hard to shake off the disquieting sensation that Ms. Didion, for all the obvious sincerity of her grief, was nonetheless functioning partly as a grieving widow and partly as a celebrity journalist who had chosen to treat the death of John Gregory Dunne as yet another piece of grist for her literary mill.” So when the show opens with a speech that, in Teachout’s words, “has all the subtlety of the proverbial blunt object,” he figures his reaction to the adaptation and to Redgrave’s performance (“she never lets you forget that she’s acting”) won’t be very positive. By the end, after which the lights obligingly go up on a billboard-sized reproduction of the glossy dust-jacket photo of the author and her family, Teachout “half expected Ms. Didion to be signing books in the lobby after the show.” Ouch.