|What was the movie-making process like for you, and why did it take so long?
The rights were sold almost as soon as the book was published. It was the Hollywood saga. It just churned and churned. It went through I don't know, six different directors.
It just kept falling apart. There were seven different scripts. I think the problem was that no one quite knew what movie to make. I mean, the biggest knock against the book, and it was a nice knock, is
that there's almost five or six different movies. There's a lot of ways you can take this. And no one quite knew how to take it. And because of that, it just kept churning.
Have you been very involved in the making of the movie?
No. Not really. Pete Berg came aboard about a year and a half ago. We're second cousins, we're very close, and that created probably another layer of tension.
I stayed away because he is my cousin, but I also stayed away because once you sell the rights you have to give them up. No one put a gun to my head to sell them.
I obviously was very nervous. I love Pete, but I love my book more. There was no way he could ever make a documentary. I understood that. To me the key thing (is), does the film totally reflect the tone, the
essential spirit of the book? And I have to say now, having seen the film three times, I think it does that superbly.
Not every aspect of the book is in it. But the underlying spirit of the book, to me, was about these boys and about this incredible rite of passage and about this incredible journey that they go on during the
course of the season.
The movie ends just like the book ends, with their names coming off the board, which to me was the most powerful metaphor of all. That this was your moment, and your moment is over, and now you're being