J. K. Rowling is one busy lady — she's currently got about a million irons in the fire: She just announced the fast-approaching arrival of her third detective novel (or rather, Robert Galbraith's third detective novel), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in pre-production (and producing buzz like crazy) — and last, but not least, the miniseries-ification of her novel The Casual Vacancy will premiere on April 29. The series is definitely something to get excited about, so here's the real question: Just how much was Rowling involved in the filming of The Casual Vacancy?
Now, when it came to the Harry Potter films, Rowling definitely fought for creative control — she famously stipulated that Harry Potter should be shot in Britain with a predominantly British cast... and she demanded that Coca-Cola donate millions to charity. She's definitely known for exercising some control on the various sets of her films — heck, she's even writing her own screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (her first ever, it's worth noting). So did she throw her considerable metaphorical weight around in similar fashion when it came to The Casual Vacancy?
Well, as it would turn out — yes. You could say that good old J.K. had rather a lot to do with the production of The Casual Vacancy, seeing as she was the executive producer and everything. Interestingly enough, she co-produced the whole thing along with her longtime literary agent/producing partner Neil Blair through their joint company Bronte Film and Television (of course J. K. Rowling loves the Brontës, right?).
Unfortunately, although she may have co-produced the whole shebang, unlike Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she didn't pen the actual script (nope, that honor went to successful playwright/former EastEnders writer Sarah Phelps). Even though she didn't adapt her novel into miniseries form, Rowling seemed pretty happy about the way things worked out — according to the Mirror, Rowling said of Phelps, "Having met Sarah, and discussed the television adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, I was happy and confident to hand over the job of crafting my novel for the small screen. Sarah has done a great job and I am delighted with how it has turned out.”
As the new miniseries has been garnering positive reviews from critics like nobody's business, it looks like things really did work out for the best!
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