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Sharpening Your Teeth

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"Sharpening Your Teeth"

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I’m glad to hear the movie adaptation of The Passage is finally underway, at least in so far as it has a director. The first major section of the book, from the discovery of the bats through the moment the virals (vampires, but oh so not Twilight-style) reach the mountains where two of our main characters are holed up to hide from the plague should be visually stunning, the kind of thing that is only partially realized in Justin Cronin’s prose.

But I have no idea how the hell they’re going to adapt the story. Whether it’s the time lapse between the first and second sections, which is absolutely critical for reasons of plot, or the long interstitials of primary source documents, the thing is a text-bound bear. Some of the primary sources, like the journey of an armored train across the country to a viral-free safe haven, could be filmed as flashbacks. But some, like the letters of the scientists, retain their menace in text in a way that they’d lose if they were translated on-screen. And frankly, the second half of the book could use a significant truncation (much like Kavalier and Clay, should it ever make it to the screen, really ought to lose the Antarctica section). The adaptation here is critical, and I’ll be curious to see how they pull it off.

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