Stephen King’s REVIVAL: Russell Crowe Cast, Director Josh Boone On Writing Process Compared To NEW MUTANTS
It certainly feels like we’re living in an impending Stephen King resurgence on the big screen. The for the past several decades, King has been quickly churning out bestseller after bestseller, and in that time, some of his most passionate readers have grown into talented storytellers of their own. Such is the case with writer/director Josh Boone, the man behind such movies as Stuck in Love and The Fault in Our Stars, who has proven to the quite the Stephen King fanatic. Seriously, one of the characters in Stuck in Love is obsessed with King, and King himself even has a vocal cameo in the flick.
As such, it made sense when Boone was attached to such films as The Stand and Lisey’s Story. One of the more recent King-related projects Boone’s been attached to, however is an adaptation of King’s 2014 novel Revival.
Speaking with Creative Screenwriting, Boone discussed the process of getting the rights for the project, and also offhandedly dropped actor Russell Crowe’s involvement in the horror story:
“I’ve had very, very different screenwriting experiences based on how the project comes together. For example, I have a good relationship with Stephen King, so when I wanted to adapt his novel Revival I really just went and asked him. I was able to write it in a very pleasant bubble and we attached Russell Crowe. I plan to make that right after New Mutants.”
So what exactly does Boone mean by writing in a bubble? He delved deeper into how writing a project like Revival is so different from a studio-heavy project like The New Mutants.
“But New Mutants is different – when you work with a studio, you’re not in a bubble. The process of writing becomes a much different thing because you have so many people who have an opinion since the movie is so expensive.”
“It’s a balance of getting to do things in a bubble, which I’d say is the best way of writing anything, and then having to negotiate all the politics of studio filmmaking, which is its own special beast. With New Mutants, we wrote a few drafts, and I brought in Scott Neustadter and Mike Weber, who are the friends of mine that adapted The Fault in Our Stars, to do a draft while we did something else. My guess is that it will never be done until we’re done shooting! [Laughs]”
“It’s a different experience, because on my last two movies I went into shooting them with very locked scripts. I knew every beat of what they were going to be. This has been different because it’s constantly morphed as we’ve gone along. It will probably continue to morph as we’re making it.”
Indeed, whenever you add another set of zeroes to the budget of the project, you’re guaranteed to face more interference from the studio, who have to constantly fight tooth and nail to ensure that their investment doesn’t go off the deep end. Given the relative low budget for a film like Revival, however, it’s no wonder he’s facing such a different experience.
“Whereas I wrote Revival it in a bubble in a month, did a rewrite a few months later that took two weeks, and haven’t touched it since. We just went and put the money and cast together. It’s certainly the better way to do it, but to get the opportunity to do these big properties you have to go through a much longer process to get to the same end result.”
Coming from the more indie background that Boone does, it certainly a different experience when all said and done. It’s undoubtedly these types of financial roadblocks that are keeping The Stand — another project Boone is involved with — from getting into production on schedule.
If nothing else, the casting of Crowe will definitely go a long way to help them. Crowe is a proven talent in Hollywood, and so long as they're able to get a serviceable script done and keep Crowe's name attached, there's little reason we won't see Revival hit the big screen before long.