Sam Mendes Adapting Butcher's Crossing for Film

Butcher's CrossingRecent readers to this site know that I’ve been evangelizing for John Williams since I read his novel Stoner.

This year I’m planning to read his novel Butcher’s Crossing (which I’ve been told is even better than Stoner, though I hardly believe that’s possible), and now I see that Revolutionary Road director Sam Mendes is adapting it for film. Say what you will about Revolutionary Road (I thought it worked fairly well as a film, though it approached the material with with too much of a now-we-know-better smugness), this can only be a good thing for fans of John Williams. With an assist from Leo and Kate, Revolutionary Road experienced a huge bump in sales and Richard Yates was briefly a spot of attention for the chattering classes.

One potential problem with the flick, though, is that Joe Penhall, who adapted The Road for film, is working on the script for Butcher. I know that it takes a lot of people to make a movie, but the end result of the cinematizing of The Road indicated that somewhere along the line they lost sight entirely of what the book was about and what made it so uniquely affecting and effective.

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I just read a review Stoner earlier today and was intrigued. I will have to check out Butcher’s Crossing as well. on another note, I have been patiently waiting for The Road to come to DVD, so I’m a little discouraged to hear it doesn’t do the book justice.

When will Sam Mendes stop hanging on the coattails of artists superior to him?


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