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Meg's Blog

Movie Stuff and Selling Out

So there's some movie stuff going on, besides Princess Diaries 2 (due in theaters August 11. The trailer will be out soon) and 1-800-Missing's 2nd season. I keep getting emails about something I wrote called Ice Princess.

Ice Princess isn't a book. It's a movie. I actually have no idea if my name is going to appear on the final product. But I did write the original script. Disney is putting it out in 2005, starring Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Trevor Blumas.

The reason I don't talk about this movie much is that movie-writing? It's not for me. I just wrote this one for Disney because they approached me like two years ago and asked me if I'd be interested in writing a “girl ice skater movie”, and I was all, “OK,” like a ditz, because I heard writing screenplays is really easy, and that they pay a lot.

Well, it turns out writing screenplays might be easy for SOME people, but it was really, really hard for me (although it did pay a lot). It just seems like such a weird way to tell a story, thinking of it VISUALLY instead of in WORDS. It's sort of like playing Barbies. Only not as much fun, of course.

Still, I guess it was a good exercise in writing. But now I feel I've learned that lesson and I'm happy to return to the world of book-writing, and stay there.

Ice Princess, for those of you who are interested, was originally conceived as a story about a girl hockey player named Casey who moves to a new town so her hockey star brother can train for the Olympics, and starts figure skating on the sly after she gets a job at the local rink concession stand and meets a bunch of figure skaters training for the Olympics. The love interest is the hunky Zamboni driver, who also has a band.

In the revised version (they brought in a professional screenwriter to do some revisions) I think they dropped the hockey part and made Casey a physics whiz. Go figure. I heard the Zamboni guy love interest is still in it though. I'm glad because I fought hard for that Zamboni guy. I was all, “Dude, how cool would it be if she gets to ride the Zamboni?”

Yeah. Ridin' the Zamboni. Good stuff.

Other movie news:

I know some of you are going to be disappointed about this. Others will be filled with joy. But here's the Mediator movie news, for what it's worth:

As of now, there will be no Mediator movie. There will be no Mediator TV show.

Yes, it's true. So please STOP sending me your headshots and scripts.

I know in the past I've mentioned that the film rights to the Mediator have been optioned, and they have. But now the option is up, and I've decided to hang on to the rights for now. It's just a personal thing, really.

So that's it for the Mediator movie for now, may it rest in peace.

Which leads me to….

A lot of people have been accusing me lately of being a “sell-out” for selling the film rights to my work. They never say this to my face, but I've seen them do it on message boards, especially in reference to All American Girl. “Meg Cabot is such a sell-out….” etc.

The worst part of it is, they don't mean it as a compliment!

Don't these people realize that if their favorite artists had not sold out, we would not have their brilliant work to enjoy? Artists like South Park co-creator Trey Parker, who agreed, when accused of selling out: “Our entire goal was to get to Hollywood and sell out as quickly as possible.”

And what about Ernest Hemingway? He was so accustomed to selling out, he even suggested the best way for authors to do it: Meet the producers at the California state line, then….”You throw them your book, they throw you the money. Then you jump into your car and drive like hell back the way you came.”

Rock on, Ernest. I could not agree more.

This is the kind of attitude to selling out that we ALL need to adopt. Everybody, PLEASE stop using the term as a pejorative. We have to rethink selling out the same way we've rethought fatty foods: Just like cheese, SELLING OUT IS A GOOD THING.

I know some of you are going to be like, “But by not selling out, authors are being true to their art!”

In fact, I believe the OPPOSITE is true. If they were being true to their art, they'd have sold the film rights so EVERYBODY would have the chance to see it.

Because isn't that what being true to your art REALLY means? Sharing it with as many people as possible?

So I guess based on that logic, you could say that by NOT selling out with the Mediator, I'm NOT being true to my art.

And you would be correct. I am bitterly ashamed and disappointed in myself. It is something I am going to have to live with for the rest of my life.

I know what you're saying. “Well, she can afford NOT to be a sell-out with Mediator because the film rights to her July release, Teen Idol, were just optioned by the people who are making the movie based on Because of Winn-Dixie.”

Yes, this is true.

And it's also true that there's a lot of interest in Avalon High, a book I have coming out next year that's a modern re-telling of a popular myth, set in an American high school.

And yes, they just finished the script for Boy Next Door, the TV movie.

And I think All American Girl just went into production, and is scheduled to be released in August 2005.

Really, there's only so much selling out a girl can do in one twelve month period. I'm so tired from all this selling out, I need a break.

In fact, I need to take a little nap right now, so I can be fresh to sell out again tomorrow.

More later.

Much love,

Meg