Director of ‘The One and Only Ivan’ says Disney adaptation is faithful to the book

By August 19, 2020Adaptations, News

The One and Only Ivan will be coming to Disney + very soon and is set to be as faithful as possible to the original story.

The new movie follows a gorilla who can paint and is adapted from the children’s novel of the same name written by KA Applegate.

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) stars as Mack the owner of the Big Top Mall, with Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Chaka Kahn, and Angelina Jolie voicing some of the animals who hope to escape from captivity.

Director Thea Sharrock explained how it was important for the film to keep the essence of Applegate’s book alive, even if there did have to be a few changes to the narrative.

Sharrock spoke to The Radio Times, “For me the most important thing was to hold onto the spirit of the book and the spirit of what I felt the book was really about. I learnt very quickly that there were certain things that happen in the book that the fans of the book absolutely live and die by.

“Those are the pinpoints that you have to get right, you have to really understand what it is that everyone else loves about it, and you have to get those right.”

Sharrock and her team did their best to keep the film adaptation as true to the book as possible but for the audience’s enjoyment they did feel the need to add a little more drama.

“In the book dramatically speaking, until right at the end, nothing really happens, so in a way the hardest job Mike White and I had was to create a sense of drama. We did that by bolstering up some of the characters that were very small in the book, and also crucially we thought of it like a prison escape movie – and in order for that to really land properly, we needed to have an escape that was foiled and then didn’t work.

That isn’t in the book, and is probably the biggest moment that isn’t in the book, isn’t a parallel. In the book you don’t need it because you have this incredible narration by a gorilla and that voice feels so close to you.”

The movie will be on Disney + streaming service from August 21st 2020.

(Credit to The Radio Times for the quotations.)

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