Funke Demanded Fraser for Inkheart

Though authors get notoriously little say about who gets cast in movies made from their books, Cornelia Funke put her foot down when the time came to cast the film version of Inkheart. From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

A film studio, says author Cornelia Funke, “doesn’t want the writer to say who the leading man should be” in a film adaptation of the author’s book. That didn’t stop her from insisting Brendan Fraser be cast in the leading role of Mortimer Folchart in the film – in theaters Friday — based on her hugely popular novel Inkheart by threatening to withdraw her book from the project if she didn’t get her way.

Funke told Newsday we’re in a “golden age of children’s books.” The author, who has been called the German J.K. Rowling, is certainly in a position to know:

The bestselling children’s author has sold 15 million copies since beginning her career as a writer, published 47 books of varying types in 43 countries and seen six of her stories turned into movies — including “Inkheart.” “Book eaters” are what she calls people like herself, for whom literature is as essential “as chocolate” and whose numbers may even be growing.

“I think we want the feeling that life has a beginning and an end – and a center,” she said. “We want to feel that everything falls in place. It’s a classic way of dealing with our existence.”

The film version of Inkheart will open January 23rd. It is directed by Iain Softley (Hackers, The Wings of the Dove, The Skeleton Key) and stars Fraser, as well as Helen Mirren and Paul Brittany.

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