Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook already know that there’s a movie version of my 2003 novel Geography Club in the works, filming just wrapped, for a 2013 release.
I spent some of June down in Los Angeles on the set, and I know I’m biased, but I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the project and the talent involved in making it happen.
But I have to confess: it was all a little surreal. I watched the filming of one scene that had 1000 extras, and I thought, “You’re kidding! All this for a little book I wrote more than ten years ago?” I imagine it’s a little like what the pharaohs felt like when the pyramids were being built (I’d like to think I lack their delusions of grandeur, but who knows?).
I think people will be really pleased with the cast. Russel and Kevin are played by Cameron Deane Stewart, who’s done a few things but is still pretty unknown, and Justin Deeley, who is currently on 90210.
I know everyone always says about young actors, “He’s going to be a big star someday!” But I really do think they’re both going to be big stars someday. Plus, they’re both fantastic for the parts (and they also seem like really nice guys, which counts for a lot).
The rest of the cast includes Hairspray‘s Nikki Blonski (Terese), Ten Things I Hate About You‘s Ally Maki (Min), Transformer‘s Andrew Caldwell (Gunnar), Glee‘s Alex Newell (Ike), Hannah Montana‘s Teo Olivares (Brian Bund), and Joyful Noise’s Dexter Darden (Jarred).
Those of you who look at the picture of Ally and think, “Wait, she doesn’t look like Min is supposed to look!” Rest assured that when she’s in hair-and-make-up, she looks perfect (sounds perfect too).
There weren’t any adults in the book, but there are few in the movie: Scott Bakula (Kevin’s dad), SNL’s Ana Gasteyer (the health teacher), and Two and a Half Men’s Marin Hinkle (Kevin’s mom).
As for the director (Gary Entin), screenwriter (Edmund Entin), producers (Michael Huffington and Anthony Bretti), and executive producers (Frederick Levy and Bryan Leder), they all treated me like royalty. A movie is a totally different thing than a book — this is a movie based on and inspired by the book, not a film of the book.
Even so, I was touched and honored and humbled how important the project (and the book) seemed to be to them.
I’ve always heard the Hollywood cliche about how horrible they treat writers there, but that hasn’t been my experience at all. So far, I couldn’t be more pleased.