Publication: NZ BookLovers

Prize-winning author Dennis Lehane is no stranger to the intricacies of Hollywood. After seeing three of his novels – Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island – made into high profile movies directed by and starring some of Hollywood’s “A- listers”, Lehane was not too surprised when production company Chernin Entertainment bought the movie rights to one of his short stories, called Animal Rescue. Published in 2009, the characters and plot of Animal Rescue had been on Lehane’s mind for a long time, as they had been the material of what Lehane has called “a failed novel”, which he shelved in 2002.

Lehane’s surprise came later, when Chernin Entertainment approached him to write the script for the movie, and Lehane – who had previously refused to adapt his own novels into a script on account of feeling too close to the material – got the opportunity to re-visit the story’s characters who were still “floating around waiting to pop in”. It is lucky Lehane did have the chance to rework his original short story, as the resulting movie The Drop – directed by Michael R. Roskam, and starring Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini – is a visual tour de force of the elements that distinguish Lehane as the king of “Boston Noir” writing.

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