Suppose you were going to turn Candide into a movie that modern audiences will "get" and like. How will you do it? Consider things like:
- What period of time will you set the movie in? Will it be the 18th century, current times, sometime in between, or the future? Why? How will your choice affect other aspects of your production?
- What will your setting be?
- What kind of dialogue will you use and why? For example, you could stick closely to the dialogue of the story, use modern slang, or even turn it into a musical.
- What actors would you want to play some of the major characters? Consider at least Candide, Cunegonde, and Pangloss.
1. I would set it in modern times. I'm not saying that period pieces aren't good movies or can't be adapted to accommodate a wider modern audience, but often period pieces don't acquire the widespread viewership that production companies are hoping will bring a large financial return. There are exceptions. Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Saving Private Ryan come to mind. You could make an argument for something like Sense and Sensibility being a fantastic period film, but I would argue that it didn't exactly rake in the money of a Spiderman or Transformers. Plus I believe that movie audiences are much more willing to accept something that is based in and around a time frame that they are in and around, comfortable with, and find commonplace. For example, National Treasure could have been set in just about any time period, but setting it in modern times allowed directors the use of familiar dialogue, costumes, weapons, cars, etc. Setting Candide in modern times would accomplish the same things.
2. I would stick to the original text. It's mainly Europe and South America. Europe is great to film in. That's why movies like the Bourne series and The Italian Job are filmed there. A nice mixture of city and country is available in the same locations. It gives old world flavor with modern amenities. South America is great too. Rio de Janeiro makes for a great filming location (Fast and Furious for example).
3. I'm going to use modern dialogue. Audiences "get it" much more easily. As much as I applaud Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, the original text still made much of the movie difficult to follow. A Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger could have used original middle English and speech like Chaucer, but putting the modern language and slang in it just made it so much more accessible.
4. Actors? Take your pick. You could go with unknown actors and hope for a series to be born, or go for big name stars right off the bat. If it's me, I'm trying to make money; therefore, I'm going to go for bankable money-making stars.
Candide = Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt
Pangloss = Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, etc.
Cunegonde = Kiera Knightly, Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman