We Might Get an 'Empire of the Summer Moon’ Movie

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4 years ago

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S.C. Gwynne

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S. C. Gwynne is an American nonfiction writer. He is the author of the prize-winning "Empire of the Summer Moon" and his latest book "Hymns of the Republic" is now available.

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Someone needs to make a movie. Yeah. You know, I mean, someone really needs to make a movie about Cynthia Ann Parker, about Kwanah, about the Comanche, just about what it must have been like for these poor, hapless settlers that didn't know they were being used as a meat buffer. The whole story. Well, Warner Brothers has been working on this for nine years. Have they? Yeah. Maybe one day. They came very, as I understand it, very close. If this book came out nine years ago. Right. So that's when Warner Brothers was... Right. And the first screenwriter was Larry McMurtry. It was very famous. You know, if you had to pick a screenwriter, it would be Larry McMurtry. And Hollywood, well, you know, you're in the belly of the beast here. You know what it's like. Hollywood just does what it does. I mean, there are two modes here, I think, Hair on Fire and Glacier. And I've been through both of them over these years. Maybe we can get your hair on fire again. But we know we've got a great screenplay now that I didn't write. But you know, Derek Cianfranz is the director who's been attached to it. Are you happy with it, though? I am extremely... I didn't think it was possible to do a two hour movie about that. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. So what they did is they basically made it about McKenzie and Quanna. It's just flat brilliant. And I think, as I'm told, even though I wasn't part of it, they came pretty close last summer to doing this. But the budget was too high. The budget was so high, I think, that they thought that the only way they could make their money back is if they had Batman or Wonder Woman in it. That might wreck the atmosphere. But yeah, I'd love to see it get done. And it is a wonderful screenplay and we'll see.