After getting over my shock that the cars of the NY subway system are now embellished with painted advertisements all over their outsides and insides (I did think it was kind of cool that the interior of one car was done up so the plastic bucket seats all looked like old-fashioned rail-back chairs) I had to pinch myself again. Here I was, going in to meet with Paula Mazur of the Mazur/Kaplan Company, the producers who have optioned The Orphanmaster in order to get it off the ground as a living, breathing motion picture.
These guys specialize in transforming books into film. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a magnificent book, is currently under development, as is Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. Paula was responsible for Nim’s Island, a wonderful fantasy flick. Mitchell Kaplan, her partner, owns a ridiculous number of book stores in Florida and conceived the Miami Book Fair, one of the biggest and best of its type.
We talked idly of casting (with Michael Fassbender the perfect Drummond in my eyes) but all that is far in the distance.
Writers who have heard of the novel are actually approaching Paula and Mitch, lining up to take a whack at a script. After that come the studios, the actors. One big challenge will be finding or building a location that looks, feels, smells (or, in the movie, looks like it feels like it smells) like 17th century Manhattan, with authentically muddy streets and the odd canal just down the block.
The Orphanmaster has clearly left Cabin World. It hovers in the ether somewhere above the book stores on Main Street and the studio lots of Hollywood. Its time awaits.