The LA Times did something today that newspapers and major magazines never do — they reviewed a published screenplay of a recent film, Akiva Goldsman’s adaptation of THE DAVINCI CODE. The book critic’s opinion of the script is secondary to the extraordinary nature of the review itself, which probably never would been printed (or even assigned) if not for the fact that the film had one of the biggest opening weekends in movie history. Which, perhaps, is why the anonymous editor felt it necessary to preface the review with his rationale for publishing it:
"The Da Vinci Code" is not just a mega-selling book, not just a
crowd-drawing movie, it’s also, at $21.95, an "illustrated screenplay"
replete with storyboards, stills from the movie, musings by author Dan
Brown and the movie’s principals and boxes of production trivia (such
as " ‘The Da Vinci Code’ had 25 revisions over six months" and
"Twenty-four rue Haxo doesn’t actually exist in Paris.") At the heart
of the "official making-of-the-movie book," though, is Akiva Goldsman’s
script. The Times asked film and book critic Charles Taylor to consider
how it plays on the page.
Screenplays are published all the time but are never taken seriously (or noticed at all) by the general media, only by the script-craft magazines. Does this mean we’ll start seeing more published screenplays reviewed by the LA Times? I doubt it. But still, in its own way, it’s something of a watershed event.