Others have posted the latest news about the upcoming The Dark is Rising movie, but I feel compelled to comment on it. In case you missed it, Devin Faraci wrote at Chud.com that Walden Media has pretty much changed everything about the book: “The answer seems to be to keep the concepts and ideas from Cooper’s novel and throw much else out…” They’ve even “…dropped all the Arthurian stuff from the film.” Faraci makes no secret of the fact that he didn’t like the book and approves of the changes.
Um, excuse me? Didn’t they realize when they took on this project that that annoying “Arthurian” stuff is kind of key to the story? It’s true that the “Arthurian stuff” isn’t as important in this particular book as it is in some of the others in the sequence, but when you take the series as a whole, the Arthurian link is kind of a central concept.
It sounds like Walden has stripped this story of its heart and soul. They’ve taken a story rich in folklore and turned it into an action movie. Now, I like a good action movie as much as the next person, but that’s not what this book is about! It’s an exciting book, not a “slog” as Faraci claims, but the excitement doesn’t come from Indiana Jones style action sequences.
The Dark is Rising Sequence is one of my favorite series of all time. I’m sad that they’ve gutted it of any beauty or meaning. I’m often cautious about seeing movies of favorite books, because it makes me upset when the director’s vision is different than mine. But it’s safe to say that this is one movie I won’t be seeing. Susan Cooper, my heart goes out to you. Your masterpiece deserves better.