The Twilight Saga author, Stephenie Meyer, has brought the first feature from her Fickle Fish Films to the Sundance Film Festival. The film is based on Shannon Hale’s book, Austenland. Deadline had a chance to chat with Stephenie!
Deadline: How did Austenland come together as Fickle Fish’s first feature?
Stephenie Meyer: Austenland happened because years ago my good friend and author Shannon Hale sent me the manuscript for her book. I loved it obviously and I thought it read like a movie to me. You could see everything, it’s very visual. And I got halfway through and thought how much fun it would be to go and make it real. So I figured 10 years down the road, we’re going to go to England and film it ourselves. Which my partner Meghan Hibbett and I did but a little earlier than scheduled and a little more elaborately than we planned. I’ve always loved book adaptations. I don’t always love what comes out of it but I love the idea of it. Every time I read a book I’m casting it in my head. So producing for me started out as really cool hobby and Austenland was the perfect place to start.
Deadline: For, you, what is the difference being a writer and being a producer?
Meyer: Writing for me is a lot more fulfilling that producing. But with producing, you get an opportunity and you don’t want to let it go by. You see it in your head and your really want to make it real. So for me, right now, it is still an indulgence to be able to step aside from my writing and have fun producing for a while. Movies to me are more shallow than writing but they are a lot more fun.
Deadline: What’s next for Fickle Fish after Austenland?
Meyer: We have a couple of other properties optioned that we are working through in the scripts phase right now. And this is what I mean by opportunities happening. We found out that the only Lois Duncan book that was available to option was my favorite Lois Duncan book Down A Dark Hall. So we acquired it and we’re working on a script for it. It is really something to take a book that you loved when you were nine and have a chance to play around with it like that. It wasn’t the plan, but we also have Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood too, so right now we are focusing on women authors. Maybe, I think, that books and then movies by women more naturally speak to women. But there are a lot of books by men that would be pretty exciting to do too so I’m sure that focus will change for us.
Read the rest of the interview here.