Oscar-winning screenwriter of 127 Hours and Slumdog Millionaire Simon Beaufoy will again be collaborating with director Danny Boyle (who’s got some Oscar hardware of his own). This time the duo will be adapting Toby Barlow’s novel-length poem Sharp Teeth> for the big screen.
And these dogs bite … hard.
Beaufoy recently sat down with io9 to talk about just how they would go about creating this lycanthropic tale. “Sharp Teeth is a really fantastic novel-length poem,” Beaufoy said. “It’s gangland LA, except the gangs happen to also shapeshift into dogs. It’s all about the pack dynamics — it’s very mad, but really fabulous.”
Considering the best way to bring these were-creatures to life, Beaufoy mentioned that the easiest method might not be the most effective way. “They’re kind of dogs, more than werewolves,” Beaufoy said. “It’ll probably not (be animated), that would be too easy. We have to make life much more difficult for ourselves and use real dogs. That would be the best because that would be truly terrifying. I think animation would allow too much distance from it.”
Beaufoy is also currently adapting Catching Fire, the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy, for the screen. Not an easy task considering the rabid fan base of the books expecting a brilliant film to follow their beloved book. “Oooh… that’s more difficult because one has to be very loyal to a fan base that is rigorous beyond anything I’ve ever come across,” Beaufoy said. “And yet, you still have to do the kind of brutal process of turning it into a film. Just transposing the book wholesale onto the screen isn’t doing anybody any favors, I don’t think. I always think faithful adaptations are a real mistake. That’s not reinventing what’s wonderful about the book onto the screen. That’s just a slightly scared way going, ‘We’ll keep it the same and it will be fine!’ And it actually won’t because it’s the brother or the sister of a book, it’s not its twin, it’s different.”
About Sharp Teeth
An ancient race of lycanthropes survives in modern LA and its numbers are growing as packs convert the city’s downtrodden into their fold. Stuck in the middle are a local dogcatcher and the woman he loves, whose secret past haunts her as she fights a bloody one-woman battle to save their relationship. Meanwhile, dog packs fight and scheme all around them, hiding out in old warehouses, city kennel cages, or the plush comfort of suburban homes. Paying no heed to the moon, these packs change from human to wolf at will, squaring off against one another as they seek dominance at any cost. Sharp Teeth is a novel-in-verse that blends epic themes with dark humor, dogs playing cards, crystal meth labs, and acts of heartache and betrayal in Southern California.
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