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Archive for June 11th, 2019

By J.D. Lafrance

Prolific crime novelist James Ellroy has only had three of his books adapted into films (Blood on the Moon, L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia) while other novels continue to languish in development hell. On the surface, this is baffling as they are chock full of memorable characters, colorful period dialogue and engrossing mysteries at their heart. Dig deeper and it becomes readily apparent why his novels have largely failed to go into production; they feature large casts of characters, each with their own subplots pivotal to the main story. Additionally, the period dialogue is sometimes raw with racial epitaphs, and his lengthy tomes are quite plot heavy.

Where does a screenwriter begin in tackling one of Ellroy’s novels?

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