Monday, March 14, 2016

WHY PARAMOUNT? (Or I have to wait a further unspecified length of time to see The Little Prince)

We continue waiting for the release of The Little Prince.

Over a year ago I posted the announcement that The Little Prince, the classic "children's story" by French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery would be made into an animated movie. Since then, for what feels like an age, I have been waiting for a mere RELEASE DATE for this movie. Then, just in the last few weeks, Little Prince merchandise began to appear at the mall. I hoped desperately that this was a sign the movie would be coming out in the U.S. soon, and apparently it was. But then catastrophe struck.

On Saturday, Mark Osborne, director of The Little Prince, tweeted that the film's release would be delayed. This was followed by another tweet announcing that the film "will in fact be released by another distributor later this year."

The most maddening part of this whole affair is that the film was scheduled for release one week after Osborne made his announcement. Now, no one knows when it's coming out.

To those of us who have been waiting for ever for this thing, Osborne advises that we head to Canada, as the film opens there this weekend.

Why Paramount would drop such a highly anticipated film adaptation of a book that has been translated into 250 languages and remained a classic since its publication in 1943 eludes me, but Osborne's reluctance to explain why Paramount dropped the film and his grateful acknowledgment of everyone who has offered "love and support in these strange times" makes me suspect that there's something else going on here and maybe it's not all entirely Paramount's fault. At least I can give them the benefit of the doubt, although I'm not feeling particularly generous toward Paramount at the moment.

So I guess I and my fellow Little Prince fans will be waiting a little (or a lot) longer.

On a different but not totally unrelated topic, I learned while researching facts about The Little Prince that Orson Welles, of Citizen Kane and War of the Worlds radio broadcast fame, bought the rights to the book immediately upon reading it, and tried to team up with Walt Disney to turn the book into a film. Reportedly (though I'm not sure this is true, but who knows), Walt Disney stormed out of the meeting shouting, "There is not room on this lot for two geniuses."

Maybe there isn't room in this world for The Little Prince. Whatever else we may think we know or don't know about him, it's clear at least that he's much too delicate, innocent, and intensely alive to last long here. Wasn't the whole book concerned with his attempt to return to his own planet?

Whatever the case, I still hope to see this film adaptation sometime before I die.

Articles consulted in the research for this post:

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