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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

There have been two Jesse Stone novels translated into made for TV movies and shown on CBS. A third movie is now in post production and will be shown this spring. Tom Selleck stars as Jesse and that is fine with Parker as he feels Selleck is good in the role even if he is about twice the age as Jesse. Parker has no pretensions about his books being made into movies or television shows. He was listed as a consultant for the television show "Spenser For Hire", based on his stories, during its 1985-1988 run on ABC. He realized that the TV show didn’t have much similarity to what he had written in his novels, but he knew that comparing the two was pointless. His feeling is that "the business of television is to put on good television, not to replicate my books. A thing is, after all, what it is, and not something else." Hence, when he sees one of his works being highly edited by a screenwriter, he understands where it is coming from.
Sometimes it is difficult to translate a popular novel into an interesting screenplay. Many good novels have long scenes of dialogue which, if transferred to the movie screen in their entirety, would seem boring and impossible to assimilate by the attention span of the average movie customer. Therefore, it is the job of the screenwriter to adapt a different format to alleviate this problem. That is why one can read a novel and then see the movie and point out many discrepancies and it is also why in the movie credits the words "based on" will accompany the title of the original printed work.

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