Hearts In Atlantis (The script)

Posted: August 29, 2000
Category: Movies
So, Hearts In Atlantis is being turned in to a movie? Well, part of it is. The movie is only based on Low Men In Yellow Coats and Heavenly Shades Of Night Are Falling so I guess the title should be Low Men In Yellow Coats instead of Hearts In Atlantis. Then that title isn't as known as Hearts In Atlantis, the books title…

How is the script then? Well, William Goldman has a wonderful way of writing scripts. It's very detailed and descriptive. You wonder how much of that writing magic will be lost to the movie audience that can't read the script. It's really important that his ideas and visions translate into film and end up on the screen.

Very much in the script follows King's book as well as can be expected. Some lines are directly from the book. There are some changes though. All the references to The Dark Tower and The Crimson King are gone. This is sad but I guess necessary. Let's face it, the world of The Dark Tower and The Crimson King isn't something the average reader and moviegoer is familiar with. It would be too complicated to explain it in the movie and it would be too weird (for those who don't know about it) if it was just put into the movie the way it was done in the book.

Unfortunately there are some changes that aren't so good. Goldman has also removed all the references to the book, Lord of the Flies, which in Mr. King's book plays a big part in the relationship between Bobby and Ted. [Note: This may have been done for copyright reasons.]

There are also some scenes that have been changed but are still in the script. Unfortunately they are not changed for the better. [SPOILER ALERT! -- Jump ahead to 'Lilja's final word' if you haven't read the book yet!] One scene is when Bobby and Carol are attacked by the St. Gabe boys. In the book there is a woman who saves them but instead of using that, Goldman has Ted doing it. This I can live with though, but…

…what's harder to live with is the finale. The scene where Ted (followed by Bobby) goes to get the money he won on the boxing match has been changed, big-time. The result is the same but it happens in a different way, a way that is going too fast and has lost the feeling King's version has. It's just wrong...

Lilja's final words about Hearts In Atlantis (The script):

This is a pretty good script. It seams a bit short though. There are some changes that have been done compared to the book, some I can live with but others…oh, well, you know how I feel if you've read this far. This is only a second draft and I hope there will be some rewriting before it's filmed.

Oh, and I also have a hard time picturing Anthony Hopkins as Ted. Hopkins is a fantastic actor but, in my opinion, no Ted. Hope Davis will be perfect as Liz Garfield though!