When’s the Movie Coming Out?

The cartoon pretty much says it all!

In Frank McCourt’s most recent memoir, Teacher Man, he writes about the huge increase in attention he got when his book Angela’s Ashes was made into a movie. He gently pokes fun at Americans’ complete preoccupation with film. “In America there is always talk of The Movie,” he writes. “You could write the Manhattan telephone directory, and they’d say, So, when is the movie?”

Certainly this has been my experience with The Lightning Thief. Ever since Twentieth Century Fox optioned it for feature film, I get ten emails asking about the movie for every one email asking about the book. Unfortunately, movie questions are the ones I am least able to answer. I don’t know much about the movie project, since I’m not directly involved.

So what can I tell you? The script is finished. The producers are securing the funds. The studio is enthusiastic. I am told the movie will definitely happen, and sooner rather than later. But what does that mean? I don’t know. It took several years for Hollywood to bring Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket to the movie theater. Curious George took sixteen years. Narnia and The Lord of the Rings took a generation! So I’m not holding my breath. It’ll happen when it happens.

Next to “When is the movie coming out?” the question I get asked most often is: “Can I be in the cast?” Alas, I have nothing to do with that either, nor do I know exactly how the casting process will work, once the studio gets to that point in production. Actually, it’s probably better I am not involved! I would not be a good casting director.

I realized just how seriously people took my movie option a few weeks ago, when the Papa John’s pizza guy arrived at my door and said, “Hey, I hear you write books.”

I asked him where he’d heard that. He said somebody at work had told him. As I was paying for my pizza, he said, “So . . . I hear they’re making a movie.”

“Um . . . possibly,” I said.

“Well, my wife’s an actress. Do you think she could get a part?”

At that point, I started closing the front door.

So for the pizza delivery guy, and for everyone else who is curious, I have nothing to do with casting the movie. If I do get any more information about the progress of the movie, I will post it on my website,

In the meantime, my advice while you wait is read a good book!

Rick Riordan