Then someone with Red Wagon Entertainment (Working Girl, Wolf, and then later Memoirs of a Geisha and Jarhead) wanted to take Circles to Disney. There were two ways they could do it: pay me money up front, and if Disney said yes, I would get less money overall. Or pay me nothing up front, and if Disney said yes, I would get tons more money. We went for door number 2.
Disney said no.
Then someone at Meyers-Shyer (Baby Boom, Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride, and later, after they divorced and it was just Meyers, Somethings Gotta Give) said they couldn't get Circles out of their mind. They had it three times.
They chose something else.
Then this producer called and told me that Circles was on Drew Barrymore's short list. At the time, Drew was in early 20s. The character is in her late 30s. I said, "Isn't Drew a little young for the role?" The producer's voice turned frosty. "Drew has emotional baggage that makes her older than her years," she informed me.
Drew made Riding in Cars with Boys.
There have been other nibbles on other books over the years. I spent two years thinking Learning to Fly would be a film. There was a producer. He had thought through my book even more carefully than my editor had. Here's a story about a movie he did get made that's coming out soon, Invincible. And over time, there were three screen writers attached to the project, including David Rabe (best known as a playwright, he also wrote the screenplay for The Firm). And Akiva Goldsman's (Da Vinici Code) production company was attached to produce. And they were talking to Natalie Portman. I was sure it would really happen this time.
Can you guess what happened?
But you know what? I wouldn't trade those two years of hope for two years of knowing the truth. It was so fun to think about. It made me joyful and excited. Even if the only movie that ever got made was in my head.