Adapting the Book into a Movie

Adaplting “A Walk To Remember”

An article by Tim Ryberg

This article will track and discuss the evolution of the changes that were made in the story for “A Walk To Remember” from it’s early form in Nicholas Sparks’ novel to Karen Janzen’s early draft script, through the production draft, and finally to the big screen. Information here comes from various sources and some of it is conjecture based upon outside sourcesThis article will discuss changes in the four sources that I have:

  1. The Novel A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks (Summer 1999)An early draft script (the first?) by Karen Janzen (July 27, 2000)The pink shooting draft script (probably the last complete script revision) by Karen Janzen (March 30, 2001)
  2. The final edit of the movie directed by Adam Shankman.

The Setting

Each version made changes to the setting.The Book: — takes place during the 1958-59 school year as mentioned by the author numerous times in the book. The date of Jamie and Landon’s wedding was March 12, 1959.The First Script — takes place during the 1985-6 school year as the opening scene is dated November 1985; Hally’s Comet (which last came in the spring of 1986) and the explosion of the space shuttle challenger (which took place in January of 1986), the movies Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Three Amigos! (both from 1986) among with numerous refferences to 1980’s era music date the script.The Shooting Script — Spring 1996 as dated in the script and demonstrated by reference to the movie “Twister” on a movie marquis.The Movie — The mid or late 1990’s. All references to date are gone; but since the song Flood by Jars of clay was played it had to be after 1995.

The Characters:The Basic Plot:The Play:

The Novel — The Christmas Angel by Hegbert Sullivan (a character in the book)The Early Script — The Rainmaker by _____The Shooting Script — Thornton’s Way by Eddie Zimmerhoff (a character in the movie)The Movie — Thornton’s Way by Eddie Zimmerhoff (a character in the movie)

In the DVD commentary Karen reveals that they considered many different plays in the various drafts including: The Christmas Angel (changed to avoid having to deal with the subplot of Hegbert’s insecurities as a father), The Rainmaker, The Gift of the Magi, etc. Thornton’s Way was written by someone else after Karen turned in her final draft. It was written to provide humor and reduce cost of the movie in the form of royalties.A