Archive for August, 2007

Movie Update: It’s Owen and Jen!

Monday, August 20th, 2007

On the message boards, many of you have asked for updates on Fox 2000′s plans to make a movie of Marley & Me. Today, this article ran in Daily Variety, the Hollywood trade publication, which gives the latest. I couldn’t be more excited, not only about Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, who I think will be great in the lead roles, but about David Frankel as director. His most recent movie, “The Devil Wears Prada,” I found to be brilliant and very engaging.

Here’s the story:

Two wag dog tale

BYLINE: MICHAEL FLEMING

SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 1

LENGTH: 226 words

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston will star in “Marley & Me,” the Fox 2000 adaptation of John Grogan’s bestselling memoir about an incorrigible Labrador retriever.

David Frankel, who last directed “The Devil Wears Prada” for the studio, will helm; Scott Frank is working on the latest draft of the script.

Plan is to begin production next year. Gil Netter and Karen Rosenfelt are producing.

Marley is the yellow lab adopted by Grogan, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his wife. Their idea was to give them a taste of parenthood, but the dog proved to be a hyperactive handful. He wreaks havoc, gets kicked out of obedience school and gets even worse when the children begin to arrive, yet becomes an indispensable part of the family.

Fox 2000′s Elizabeth Gabler and Rodney Ferrell have been trying for weeks to pull the cast together in this frenzied climate ahead of a possible strike, and deals are in final negotiations. Pic should shoot early next year.

Wilson will next be seen in the Wes Anderson-directed “The Darjeeling Limited,” recently wrapped “Drillbit Taylor” and is filming “Tropic Thunder” for director Ben Stiller.

Aniston recently committed to the Sidney Kimmel Entertainment-financed Stephen Belber-directed “Management,” and she is reportedly in talks to play a small role in the ensemble of “He’s Just Not That Into You” for New Line.

"Every Home Should Have One"

Friday, August 17th, 2007



Part of why the new paperback version of Marley & Me is doing so well in the UK is because of my publisher Hodder & Stoughton’s ingenius publicity campaign. These posters, my spies tell me, are plastered across London, in Underground stations and on street corners. The poster shows a woebegone Lab looking up at the cover of the book beneath the heading, “Every Home Should Have One.”

When Jenny saw this photo, she nearly screamed, “We’ve got to get one of those for the living room!”

I’m working on it.

Oh, and by the way, a paperback release date has not been set for here in the United States.

Good News from London

Friday, August 17th, 2007

My British publisher, the always wonderful Lisa Highton at Hodder & Stoughton, emailed me recently with exciting news. Marley & Me had just been released in the United Kingdom in paperback, one year after the hardcover edition was released there.

In it’s first week out in paperback, Marley hit #2 on the UK’s paperback bestseller list. I was tickled, of course. But that’s just the pretty good news. The really good news came the following week when Lisa wrote to tell me Marley was moving up to #1 on the UK paperback list. So far it’s remained in the top spot for two weeks. Obviously, I am over-the-moon thrilled and humbled, and I want to thank all my UK readers for their outpouring of support. Thanks so much, guys! (And thanks for all your notes on the message boards.)

Lisa was pretty enthusiastic, too. In her email announcing Marley’s rise to #1, she pointed out that during that week, it was not only Britain’s top-selling paperback, but also its second-best selling book of any kind. After….yes, you guessed correctly…. the new Harry Potter book.

“What can I say?” Lisa wrote. “Am speechless with pleasure.”

As am I, Lisa. I owe her and her whole team at Hodder a great big double-cheek kiss for all they’ve done to put my book in the hands of so many readers in the UK. Smooch smooch!

john