Authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Talk ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Book and Movie

The movie has been out for a few weeks now, and there were obvious changes during the transition from page to screen.  I have to say that I really loved the acting and the interaction between the two main leads as well as the supporting actors.   And from what it seems, the writers of the Caster series liked them, too.  So, what did they think about the movie and the people involved?  And what did they think of that quite surprising ending in the film?  Read on. 

Hey guys! It must be really strange seeing the world you imagined on the big screen – were you nervous about letting others in on the creative process?

Margaret: We weren’t nervous after we met Richard LaGravenese, our director. After one meeting with him, we knew we were kindred spirits.

Kami: We have so much respect for the teens we write for, and he does too. Richard took our magical universe as seriously as we did, so we knew we could trust him with it.

Ethan wants to get cuddly with Lena

Ethan wants to get cuddly with Lena

We really love that the books are written from the boy’s point of view. What made you decide to tell the story from Ethan’s point if view and not Lena’s?

Margaret: We wrote the first book on a dare from my oldest daughter. My daughters and Kami’s sister and their friends gave us stipulations – no more vampires! No girl narrator. No generic setting. And the girl had to be the magical, powerful one. She had to be able to do something other than fall in love.

Kami: Emmy Rossum calls it a girl power story, but it’s also about the kind of boy we wanted to write. We have six brothers between us. We wanted to show the boy’s side of the story, what it is to be a boy falling for a girl. And how decent and loyal and kind a boy can be.

Lena is pretty kick ass, but there’s a lot of feisty girl characters around at the moment. How do you think she’d stand up against the Katniss Everdeens, Clary Frays and vampire Bella Cullens and out there – do you think she could take them in a fight?

Margaret: When we wrote Beautiful Creatures, there was no Katniss Everdeen. How great is that, that you could even ask this question? Go YA! We’ve come a long way, baby.

Kami: Lena’s the most powerful Caster the mortal world has ever seen. We’re pretty sure she could stand on her own in a fight. Plus, she has Ridley for backup.

How did you feel about the movie casting – were the actors how you imagined or did you feel like it was important that the movie was a unique entity in itself?

Margaret: As we said, we really trusted our production team. We were shocked to hear Viola Davis and Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons and Emmy Rossum would be in the film. But the teens were the really pleasant surprise – Alice [Englert] and Alden [Ehrenreich] are going to have brilliant careers, and Thomas [Mann] and Zoey [Deutch] are fantastic.

Kami: Jeremy Irons was the person I imagined as Macon while we were writing the book. That said, I always say that the movie is an extension of the book universe. I think it’s wonderful that Richard can show things we sometimes only refer to in the book – like Ridley’s Claiming, for example. And vice versa. They’re not meant to be exactly the same, but the heart of the book is in the movie. We’re happy.

How did you feel about changes being made to the story to make the movie work – like Amma and Marian becoming one person?

Amma (Viola Davis)

Amma (Viola Davis)

Margaret: Combining characters is not an unusual thing for a book to movie adaptation. We were worried about it at first, but Richard really did a great job bringing out aspects of both characters exactly as we’d written them.

Kami: I agree. Richard is a genius, and Viola Davis is a wonderful actress. We were definitely lucky to have her in the movie.

We HAVE to talk about the ending to the movie, which was definitely a bit of a surprise! How did you feel about the way it was reworked? If Beautiful Darkness is made into a film, it’s definitely going to make that interesting…

Margaret: Many of the elements from the end of the movie are taken from the series, some of them from Beautiful Darkness. We actually really love the ending, it’s so emotional.

Kami: We do. It all works with the spirit of our book. And as for Beautiful Darkness, all we can say is that Richard has a plan. We’re not worried.

I do like how stated that the movie is an extension of the book.  The spirit of the characters are still there and the tone for the movie was great.  Whether or not the ending was to your taste, I can’t say, but I enjoyed it for what it was and I still feel like the actors portrayed the characters correctly.  Everyone has their own opinions, I suppose, but seeing how the movie has been doing on theaters, it would be hard to imagine there being a sequel – in which case we won’t be able to see what Richard had planned, unfortunately.  

Have you seen the movie?  If not, do you plan to considering that the authors gave their approval?  

Read the whole interview at Sugarscape.

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Alice Englert Talks ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’

Alice Englert has a strong head on her shoulders, as well as an experienced head, at least when it comes to the “business.”  Being the daughter of parents in the business, including one with an Academy Award, does that to you.

If you haven’t seen ‘Beautiful Creatures’ in the theaters yet, you should check it out.  You’ll find for yourself that even though she’s new to being in front of the camera, she is amazing in her role as Lena Duchannes.

Here’s another interview in which she talks about the movie:

Alice Englert with director Richard LaGravense

Alice Englert with director Richard LaGravense

Question:  Is it true that you didn’t want to do this film and that it took director Richard LaGravenese to convince you otherwise?

ALICE ENGLERT:  Yeah.  He didn’t want to make the film that we had been pitched, so the fact that we didn’t want to do the film that we had been pitched meant that we all wanted to do the same thing when we came together.  Richard brought together a team of people who didn’t want to just make some generic rip-off.  What I love about the movie and the script that Richard wrote is that, while it sits in a mainstream genre, it just leans a little left of center, in my opinion.  It enjoys and plays with every cliché, but isn’t owned by cliché.

Since he was cast so late, was it difficult to have Alden Ehrenreich show up so last-minute?

ENGLERT:  You didn’t feel it.  He was #1 on the callsheet, which could have been terrible.  We needed something that we could support, and he was that.  It was so bizarre.  He worked so hard.  He’s got such a great work ethic.  It’s really annoying and frustrating.

Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes and Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes

Alice Englert as Lena Duchannes and Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes

What was it like to work with this amazing cast?

ENGLERT:  Viola Davis was the first person cast in this film, and I think I was the second or third.  That, alone, said something to me.  I really love her.  She’s someone who I love because she shows you how you can really just relax and be honest.  Honesty is fantastic.  Viola showed me how to not need to perform for people and know how to take your own time.  Some of us don’t have the energy to be as incredible and riotous and fantastic as Emma Thompson.  You’re constantly just lapping up her incredible hilariousness.  And I’ve had a crush on Jeremy Irons since I was a child.  I love him!

What surprised you most about how inventive this story is, in telling something familiar, but in a way that hasn’t been seen before?

ENGLERT:  That was what really sold me on the script.  What we were able to do was have a film that could just fall left of center of every cliché that we dealt with, or laugh at them, or just completely embody them and love them.  That was great!  We couldn’t have done this film without having a sense of humor.  And we had such a great cast and crew for that.

beautiful-creatures-englertWhat do you think you could accomplish, if you were a Caster, in real life?

ENGLERT:  I don’t think I would accomplish anything, if I had Lena’s powers.  That was difficult, especially being a young person.  Feeling the responsibility of all the women going, “It’s raining again?  My hair!”  I think that’s a lot of responsibility.  I don’t know how I would handle it.

Were you able to wrap your head around the whole Civil War reenactment obsession aspect of this film?

ENGLERT:  I don’t really know how to comment about that. The Civil War reenactors in the film were Civil War reenactors, and they would camp out on Honey Hill while we were shooting.  It’s intense, but it is interesting.

Are you worried about the comparisons to Twilight, at all?

ENGLERT:  No, I’m not worried.  It was pitched to us as Romeo & Juliet meets Twilight, but then I read the script.  I think “the new Twilight” really is a media phrase.  Even The Hunger Games, which isn’t a Twilight story and has nothing to do with Twilight was called “the nextTwilight.”

Alice Englert BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Interview | Collider.

How the ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Movie is Different From the Book *SPOILERS*

If you haven’t checked out the movie, then I definitely recommend that you do, whether or not you read the book.  I know many fans will still find that there’s too many differences from the book to enjoy it, which is really too bad.  But if you’re able to shove the book aside to entertainment yourself from a visual perspective, and be able to have fun with the movie, then I think you will enjoy it.

However, if you’re just merely curious as to what the big differences are from the novel, you can check out the list of 14 down below.  This list may or may not dissuade you from going to watch it, but I hope that it actually just eases the worry off some people who are expecting the movie to be exactly like the book, because let’s be realistic here and say that it’s not.

So, here you go.  Please keep in mind these are major spoilers for both the movie and the book.  You have been warned!

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‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Authors Spill More Secrets of Gatlin County, Plus the Opening Track “Interception!”

One thing that I forgot to mention in my review of the movie, Beautiful Creatures, was the fact that I actually enjoyed the score that was by thenewno2.  It’s not played as loudly as some other movies play the soundtrack, but I definitely noticed it because it had a unique sound to it, but still fit in with the feel of the movie.  I loved it, and you can listen to the first track after the jump.

First, let’s read what things the authors, or in this case, Margaret Stohl, had to say about the books.

JJJ: How did the “Sixteen Moons” poem come about?

Margaret Stohl

Margaret Stohl

Margaret Stohl: Sixteen Moons was the original title of our first draft, and it’s still the title of our book in many countries. Those two words came to us during the lunch where we invented the Casters, and for months after that we wondered, “What would happen in a book called Sixteen Moons?” The song is one way that the universe tries to warn Ethan about his dangerous destiny, and about the mysterious Caster world that lies beneath regular old Gatlin.

JJJ: How did you want the reader to feel when Ethan and Lena first went into the Lunar Libri underneath the DAR?

Margaret: [They are] very much like catacombs [in Paris]. We wanted the reader to take that mysterious journey with Ethan and Lena, to feel the darkness of the place. Ancient magic is neither good nor evil; the Lunae Libri is part of the Caster Tunnels, which is sort of like an ancient highway. Anything can happen there!

JJJ: Some of our favorite chapters are the ones where Lena and Ethan are having real life relationship problems. Did you have trouble writing those chapters where they break up and get back together at all and how many tears were shed over her breaking his heart a bit?

Margaret: Oh yes! We’ve shed our own tears at some point during not just those chapters but each of the four Beautiful Creatures Novels. Kami and I are very fond of both Ethan and Lena, as well Amma and Macon, Ridley and Link, and really all of our characters; it’s been very hard to let them go as our series has ended. Thank goodness we have the movie to keep the series alive, so we can keep revisiting our beloved Caster County!

JJJ: Did you plan on this becoming a four-part series?

Margaret: It’s hard to say, considering that we never really even planned on publishing a book at all! We were just two moms writing a story, not even a book, and it was for seven teens in our lives – my daughters, who were Kami’s students, her sister, and their friends. We did it on a dare from my oldest teen. The things we will do for our children! That said, Kami and I did know we had a massive saga planned, and the story does follow our original idea – we just didn’t know if anyone would give us a chance to tell it!

via Just Jared Jr..

REVIEW: ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ (movie)

Let me say first off that I did read the book.  And even though there were some differences, essentially, the movie captured the feel and the main story of the novel.  And I really enjoyed how the movie turned out overall.  In fact, I was rather impressed with how much I did enjoy this book-to-movie adaptation.

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich)

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich)

Being a fan of the books, the fandom’s natural tendency is to nitpick at everything that’s different from the book from what the actors are wearing to how they’re speaking to how tall or how short they are (granted you don’t want someone who’s 4 feet tall to play someone who’s supposed to be 6 feet tall, but I’m not talking about extremes).  This in itself is somewhat of a disadvantage, because we as fans leave nothing to alternate interpretation.  If it isn’t how you imagined it, automatically it’s under severe scrutiny.  If the fans have memorized specific details that they find important, and it doesn’t show up on the big screen, well, then, all of a sudden the movie is “ruined” or “NOTHING like the book.”  The scrutiny can be as bad at Emily Asher and Savannah Snow’s prejudice against Lena Duchannes.

With that said, I found that I probably had an easier time accepting whatever changes they made in order to get this story made.  The book is huge, so there’s just no way they can possibly fit every single detail into the movie (the book is over 500-pages, dude!)  So, yes, there were things or characters that you may have wanted to see on screen but aren’t there.  And there are things that weren’t in the book that are in the movie.  But there’s a reason for these things, because you can’t just cut here and there and expect people who haven’t read the book to understand the character or the story if you do that.  So, the screenwriter does what he can to make the story flow as much as possible to avoid confusion.

Ethan helps Lena over the wall

Ethan helps Lena over the wall

Okay, now onto the actual review of the movie, and some of which I will be quoting from another review, because he explained it better than I could.  First off, I loved it!  I loved the interpretation of a lot of it. I loved the actors that played the characters.  And I loved the witty and quick humor of the dialogue, especially in the introduction of the characters and that between Ethan and Link as well as Ethan and Lena.  The actors played their roles superbly, most importantly the newcomers and leads of the movie, Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert.  

It’s surprising to me to know that Alden had not even prepared for the role, not even auditioned for it, and yet he embraced Ethan as if he had played him for years.  There’s this non-important scene in there right before he meets Lena that I absolutely thought made his character so endearing and so real and it has nothing to do with the book, but it made me believe in Alden as Ethan.  Alice’s character was probably a bit more complex because she’s the one having to deal with the struggle of not only being a teenage girl that can’t fit in, but also dealing with being a caster that may not have a choice in her own future.  But Alice played Lena so well, brooding yet not being overcome by moodiness, and even being able to smile and laugh despite what becomes of her on her 16th birthday.   Lena is vulnerable at times, but not weak, and it shows.

Sarafine and Macon discuss matters of claiming

Sarafine and Macon discuss matters of claiming

The major supporting cast was really well suited for their roles.   Jeremy Irons was fantastic as the curmudgeonly Macon Ravenwood, as I believe the authors pictured him as Macon in the first place, and he does the Southern drawl very well, I might add.  Emmy Rossum can definitely play the sexy minx part very well, as well as the scared, innocent Ridley in one flashback scene.  Thomas Mann seems to have been born to play a Southerner himself and does well enough for the bit of time he gets in the film as Ethan’s comedic best friend Link.  I’m sure he wasn’t complaining all too much though considering he got to make out with Emmy more than once.  I imagine Emma Thompson loved chewing up every scene she was in, no matter if she was Mrs. Lincoln or Sarafine, because either way, I loved that she went a little campy without being unintentionally funny.  Obviously, it was when she was playing the dark caster Sarafine, that’s where she really wanted to play it out, and the confrontation between her and Macon was delicious fun.  However, I think this campy-ness did slightly downplay her darkness a bit, and you only get to see her really frightening in one brief scene with Ethan.  

Amma with Lena and Ethan

Amma with Lena and Ethan

But if I had to pick my favorite supporting actor for this movie, it would definitely be Viola Davis.  I won’t spoil it, but there’s a scene in which she realizes something has changed in Ethan.  That little scene, even though I don’t think it’s in the book, truly stands out.  She doesn’t even say anything in that moment, but the expression on her face just breaks your heart because you feel it, too, and you understand, and she just conveys all that angst that you have on her face.  I’m even glad that they combined the characters of Marian and Amma into one, because that gave Viola more screen time.

For the book reader, the changes will probably be significant to you, and you may hate that.  You may despise everything they did differently, but again, I actually didn’t mind the changes.  As a major fan of movies in general, I can appreciate the work they did in trying to strip down the film to its core while make both a movie that will be liked by both readers and non-readers of the book.  That’s pretty hard to do.  

Link entranced by Ridley

Link entranced by Ridley

Sure, if they continue with the franchise (depending on the success of this film), more things will have to change to adjust for what’s been done in this movie, but I honestly don’t feel that the changes made hurt the main storyline, and that’s essentially what it comes down to.  The core of the story is always what a movie needs to focus on, because there’s just not enough time for all the subplots to be included, and there’s plenty of asides in this book.  I liked most of what director Richard LaGravenese did for the movie, however, it did seem at times a bit choppy from one scene to the next.  The CGI itself wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t heavy-laden with effects where it didn’t need it.  This story deals more with human interaction and emotions anyway, which is why I’m so glad that had such a talented cast to portray the characters.  

I hope that the fans of the books will keep in mind that a movie based on a book will never replace what they imagined in their head.  That’s impossible.  But that they allow this version as a respectful visual take on the characters of the first book of the Caster Chronicles.  

‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl Talk About Seeing Their Novel Brought To Life On the Big Screen

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Beautiful Creatures" - Red Carpet

The authors of the Caster Chronicles talk about what it was like to see their beloved novel being turned into a major motion picture, including being able to consult with director Richard LaGravenese, and how they feel the fans will take it.  

Bookish: What scenes from “Beautiful Creatures” were you most excited to see adapted onto the screen?

Kami Garcia: I was really excited to see the scene in the movie between Mrs. Lincoln/Sarafine and Macon, where they square off in a church about Lena being able to go back to school. I love that scene in the book, and knowing Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson were going to play the roles made me want to see it even more.

Margaret Stohl: Ethan and Lena’s meeting in the rain was super-exciting. I loved seeing Lena’s bedroom. That was always a thrill for me. And I was curious to see how they would [show] the claiming.

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Bookish: How involved were you in the adaptation process?

KG: Richard [LaGravenese] consulted us a lot in the beginning. He asked us a lot of questions about the universe, the way things operated. And then we were very clear: We did not want to co-write the screenplay. We had other books in the series to write, and we are also not screenwriters, and he is incredibly talented not only as a screenwriter, but particularly at adaptations. We felt we were in good hands and we needed to let him do his thing. We feel like there are differences, but there are also additions. You get to see Ridley’s claiming, and you get to see scenes that we only mention very briefly in the book. We feel like the movie is a great representation of our world if you have never read the book. But, if you have read the book, it’s almost like an extension of the universe, where you get to see some of your favorite scenes, you get to see your favorite characters, and the romance. And then you get to see some things that we didn’t spend as much time on as we would have liked.

MS: If we were worried about anything, it was a big deal to learn that he was combining the characters of Amma and Marian. Those are very important characters to us. When we actually saw how it was going to go down, he did it so gracefully and seamlessly, we thought it actually really worked. So, I would say that was the one worry we had and it wasn’t, ultimately, a problem.

1Beautiful_Creatures_19-x-large

Bookish: How do you think the loyal fans of the series are going to react when they see that on screen?

MS: The fans of the stories have already been going through this. Our readers know about [the film's combination of Amma and Marian] and it’s already been hotly debated in the online world. So definitely people will have reactions, but nobody will be able to argue with the strength of Viola Davis in the film. She’s sort of the soul of the movie, and her eyes carry the weight of the sacrifices that go on at the end of the book. I don’t think anyone will argue with that.

Bookish: Books are central to both of the main characters: For Ethan, they serve as his way of escaping Gatlin. Were books a form of escape when you were kids or teenagers?

MS: Kami was my children’s teacher and we met because we are the two people who love books the most of anyone we know. We swap books back and forth all the time. I grew up sitting in my closet waiting to go Narnia. I was the head of the Susan Cooper/”Dark Is Rising” fan club in third grade. I was an obsessive fantasy reader from the time I could read at all. I was very shy–I didn’t speak to anyone outside of my family until the fourth grade. I was the person who stayed awake reading by the nightlight until the scary shadows made me crazy.

KG: I was the same way. Books were also really important to me; I read all the time. I got in trouble for reading books in my desk while the teacher was teaching lessons. I was a huge fantasy reader; I loved Tolkien but I also loved Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. I read “The Outsiders” 150 times. I had friends, I was never an outcast, but I always felt kind of weird–like I didn’t fit in. And books were kind of a way for me to find a place where I felt comfortable.

Read the full interview at Bookish.

‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Featurette – “Forbidden Romance”

forbiddenromance‘Beautiful Creatures’ opens this week!

I’ll try to keep you updated as much as possible on it.  So, here’s another featurette focusing on Lena and Ethan’s risky relationship.

TV Spot #7 for ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’

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Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena (Alice Englert)

There’s really not much that you haven’t seen already from the other spots, but the music is different.

Latest ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Stills Show Link, Emily, and Ridley

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Still from ‘Beautiful Creatures’

The ‘Beautiful Creatures’ movie comes out in 9 days!  Here’s some more stills from the movie, including a couple of Link, Ridley, and one of Emily reading a letter.  

via JustJared and JustJaredJr

 

A ‘BEAUTIFUL CREATURES’ Interview with Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich

WATCH: Check out our exclusive Beautiful Creatures interview with Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich - Celebs & Entertainment News - handbag.com

Alice Englert & Alden Ehrenreich

It’s kind of hard to hear the interview in this video, but Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich share some wonderful insights into becoming the characters from this beloved book, ‘Beautiful Creatures’, including having to deal with fans’ opinions of them, the idea of seeing the story through a male point of view, and the humor of the movie.

The story follows Southern boy Ethan Wate, who’s whole world is turned upside down with the arrival of the mysterious Lena Duchannes.

It soon becomes clear that Lena and her family possesses strange powers but Lena and Ethan are drawn together by fate.

Their romance is threatened by the dangers posed by Lena’s being a Caster and her family’s Dark powers because on her sixteenth birthday Lena must undergo the Claiming, a process that will decide her fate forever: Light or Dark.

via handbag.com.