Instead of sitting around complaining about Hollywood being devoid of ideas, we’re taking the initiative and stealing ideas from books first! So before the next sequel, franchise film or remake hits the screens, please consider investing in a library card and discovering the wonderful world of literature. Then start making speculative casting and directorial choices. Film That Book! It’s a game the whole internet can (and will) play!
Lauren Graham, star of Gilmore Girls and Bad Santa to name but a few, penned this fictional account of a struggling actor in New York during the 1990s. Franny Banks only has 3 months left on a self-imposed deadline to “make it” on Broadway or other serious work. However, all she can manage to do is nab the odd commercial or soap opera audition. It doesn’t help that she keeps getting sidelined by the flirtatious acting classmate James Franklin, one of the few in the group to have made a modicum of success, and there’s a love triangle (of sorts) with her flatmate Dan. With a thoroughly frank but lighthearted look at life in New York and LA, it’s a little bit of less sexy Candace Bushnell mixed with Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary. Kinda.
WHY SHOULD WE?
Back in 2013, the CW ordered Graham’s book to be adapted as a 1-hour drama series called Unfamous. Graham was to write and executive-produce the project alongside A Very Good Production’s Ellen DeGeneres and Jeff Kleeman. The following year, the CW President Mark Pedowitz was quoted as saying “The script is excellent.” It’s been all quiet on the western front since, with the series not being picked up, but we think now is the perfect time. Graham’s most famous character of Lorelei Gilmore made a triumphant return in 2016’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, with a second book dropping around the same time, an autobiography entitled Talking as Fast as I Can. Dealing with a struggling actresses, it could happily sit between That Girl and La La Land.
There’s two very distinct ways you could go with this. David Frankel has developed a style on “struggling actor” series Entourage, as well as the tonally similar The Devil Wears Prada. On the flip side, Daniel Palladino directed Graham for six seasons of Gilmore Girls plus the four revived movie-length episodes, so there’s some simpatico there. Perhaps it is time he did a theatrical feature. Throwing some other names into the mix: Rob Reiner, David Moreton, and Elizabeth Banks.
It’s difficult not to picture a young Lauren Graham when reading the novel, as the semi-autobiographical book covers the early commercial and soap work that Graham became known for prior to Gilmore Girls. It is, however, about a struggling actress in her late 20s during, so some recasting may be called for. The character is often described as a brunette unaware of her own talents and attractiveness. Vanessa Marano, who played opposite Graham in Gilmore Girls, has primarily done TV work but this could be a terrific feature role. James Franklin has a slightly douchey, New Jersey native with a southern accent, self-confident just-abut-to-break-it-big actor vibe to him, so let’s slip Josh Hutcherson in there for some reason. For Dan, we have to like him but he also has to disappear into the background a little. So who better than Wallflower Logan Lehrman? Yeah. That’ll do.
Did we get it right? Completely wrong? Who would you pick? What other books would you like us to do in this series? Let us know any or all of those things in the comments below.