Annals of wrongitude, pt 652

Fans of Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh will know there’s a movie of it coming; they may not know (spoiler, I guess, though you’ll know it fairly soon after the movie starts anyhow) that the screenplay eliminates a major character entirely. Screenwriter Rawson Marshal Thurber says:

I suppose the most glaring change is the removal, whole cloth, of Arthur Lecomte from the story. In the novel, there’s this sort of a four-pointed love rhombus — for lack of a better term — between Art, Arthur, Phlox and Cleveland. I felt strongly that in order for the film to function properly, it needed a more efficient and more cinematic engine — in short, a love triangle. So I eliminated Arthur from the narrative and folded in important elements of his character into Cleveland’s and moved from there. I think the result really gives the story the momentum needed in the medium.

Review of the screenplay here: “Fair enough, but is it really Mysteries of Pittsburgh any longer?“. There’s also a protest site, you know. Just sayin’.

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Posted in books, film. 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Annals of wrongitude, pt 652”

  1. Abigail Says:

    Well, that kind of kills what little interest I had in seeing this film. I’m not a big fan of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, mainly because I thought Arthur was the only likable character in the novel. I really can’t see how one justifies dropping Arthur in favor of Cleveland, who isn’t even a person in any meaningful way.

    On the bright side, at least it seems that the homosexual element isn’t being dropped from the film.

  2. MOPFan Says:

    To be fair the screenplay and film have Michael Chabon’s stamp of approval, so clearly Thurber did something right….

  3. franQ Says:

    As the leader of the official MOP Film Boycott, the question being asked is: WHY would Chabon ever give Rawson Marshall Thurber’s screenplay the “stamp pf approval?”

    Does he really not care about the story and characters that first put him on the literary map? Not to mention the loyal fans who have been waiting to see MOP come to life on the Big Screen…

    As for Thurber’s reasoning behind the changes… He ALREADY had a love triangle with Art/Phox/Arthur. There was no need to make Cleveland a part of Art Bechstein’s love-life. In fact, doing so totally negates the reason why Cleveland is even in the story! He’s the only character in MOP that does NOT want anything sexual from Art.

    After reading the screenplay, I couldn’t help but think RMT had his own “love triangle” story he wanted to tell, and is doing so under the guise of THE MYSTERIES OF PITTSBURGH.


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