09 August 2004


Went to see M. Night Shyamalan's The Village last night. The film was okay, except...

It seems to be largely lifted from Margaret Peterson Haddix's 1995 award-winning juvie novel, Running Out of Time! We watched through all the credits, waiting to see if Ms. Haddix would be credited somewhere, but to no avail. M. Night Shyamalan claims to have written the story.

Others have noticed the similarities, too, though, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Times. From the Times: "The author, Margaret Peterson Haddix, said she saw 'The Village' on Tuesday after receiving several telephone calls and e-mail messages from friends and from fans noting the parallels between the film and her book, 'Running Out of Time,' published in 1995 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 'The spoiler ending is the thing that is the biggest similarity,' Ms. Haddix said."

Of course, "Dennis Rice, senior vice president for publicity at Buena Vista Pictures, a unit of the Walt Disney Company, said yesterday, 'Whatever claims are being made of similarities between the book and the movie have no merit.'"

I'll be interested to see where this goes, or if, indeed, it goes anywhere. I hope Ms. Haddix chooses to fight this battle.

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