"Charly" is currently in development by Kaleidoscope Pictures of Pleasant Grove, Utah. The film is based on Jack Weyland's Latter-day Saint novel Charly. This contemporary romantic comedy set in Utah tells the story of Sam, a student at BYU, and his often perplexing, always amusing romance with an enigmatic young convert named Charly.
Weyland's Charly has the distinction of being the best-selling LDS novel in history. Although his place in literature is hotly debated, Weyland is recognized by literary critics for his immeasurable influence on popular Latter-day Saint literature, and he was awarded a special Association for Mormon Letters (AML) award in 1983. Weyland, who points to Neil Simon, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck as his literary influences, is noted for his natural and humorous dialogue.
Weyland has written over 25 books since Charly was first published in 1980, yet it remains his best known work. It filled a niche for accessible contemporary fiction that was largely untapped at that time, and influenced a generation of Latter-day Saint readers and writers.
Noting the significance of the novel, Bryant P. Castleton, citing work by Chrisopher Crowe, wrote (Jack Weyland: Popular Fiction: Contribution to Mormon Literature):
In his own research Professor Crowe has tried to gauge the impact that Jack Weyland has had on the LDS literary community. Though his efforts at obtaining specific sales numbers were unsuccessful, Professor Crowe was able to take available information combined with educated calculations to establish that Weyland's first novel Charlie, which is still in print today, has sold over 250,000 copies. Crowe stated the significance of such a number in pointing out that church membership is at 10 million. Of those 10 million members only 5 million speak English. By just guestimating how many households fall into the 5 million, it is clear to see, as Crowe pointed out, that Jack Weyland has received "universal coverage" within the LDS community.
"Charly" is scheduled to shoot in summer 2001 pending funding, with an anticipated budget of $800,000.
The director is Adam Anderegg and the producer is Micah Merrill. Anderegg and Merrill, have previously worked together on The Touch (1997), the award-winning short film they made while they were students at Brigham Young University. "The Touch" tells the story of a fictional ancient Hebrew woman named Sarah who was considered unclean and untouchable due to a fatal bleeding condition.
Adam Anderegg graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Fine Arts. Since graduation, he has been working on various film and television projects in Utah, where he resides. He has worked as an assistant editor on CBS' "Touched by an Angel."
It should also be noted that Lance Williams is a co-producer of the movie. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Lance Williams' film company, Focused Light Films, is co-producing "Charly" with Kaleidoscope Pictures, which is Adam Anderegg and Micah Merrill's production company. Tip Boxell, an employee at Focused Light, is an associate producer on "Charly." Herb Christensen is the executive producer.
Meet Sam, the straitlaced computer-science major from Brigham Young University. And then meet Charly, the sparkling, quick-witted girl who steps into his world and turns it upside down. Their courtship is a never-ending round of ups and downs -- literally. On their first date Charly tricks Sam into taking a Ferris wheel ride, then tells the operator they're engaged! All of this seems to be a little more than Sam can cope with. But he gradually comes to appreciated Charly's point of view. From the girl who loves to laugh, he learns to do the same. He finds out for the first time what it's like to be really alive. Charly is a story of joy and spontaneity, learning and loving, and, most of all, growing.
BYU graduates are uniting to produce "Charly," a new independent film based on the novel by Jack Weyland.
"I remember reading 'Charly' in ninth grade, my friends and I loved Jack Weyland's books when we were little," said Sanae Warner a 21-year-old history teaching major from Yokohama, Japan, "It'd be awesome to see it as a movie."
"The story takes place in the context of an LDS person's life," said Micah Merrill, BYU film and screenwriting graduate, and Charly producer. "But primarily it's a love story, a romantic comedy, with drama."
Merrill explained that the script has variations from the book, in order to enhance the story for a broader audience.
"We've changed it a lot from the book and Jack Weyland has approved our script," Merrill said. "We've always made it a policy, even though it's not in our contract, to check any major draft back with Jack."
Finding the right cast to fulfill the film's vision is proving a hard task for the Charly production team.
"We've had at least one hundred people audition over a two-and-a-half week period," said Charly director Adam Anderegg, 1995 BYU film graduate. "This is the hardest process because it's the biggest part of the director's job to get the right people."
BYU music dance theater senior, Jason Celaya, 25, from San Meteo, California, spent over seven hours in the offices of FMG productions in Salt Lake, auditioning for a role in Charly.
Celaya made it through numerous cuts, and was in a group of only a few other males being auditioned for the lead role of Sam. He explained how the music dance theater program has prepared him for the experience.
"We're prepared to audition, not only for film, but for also for theater and dance and anything vocal." Celaya said. "I don't think I would be auditioning if I didn't love the script and the message it's conveying."
Though being a movie star often brings to mind fame and fortune, Tip Boxell, BYU theater and film M.A., and Charly producer, explained that due to their limited production budget the actors' salary had not yet been determined.
"This is a low-budget, independent feature film, we have enough money for all the technical aspects, but we've already promised our investors that they will get paid first," Boxell said.
Boxell said they have earmarked a portion of the profits for the actors. Over the next four years the actors could do very well, even better than if they had a fixed salary.
"But there's got to be that profit - so the actors are taking a risk, they're taking a risk to star," he said.
Boxell explained that the auditioning process was a combination of pain and joy.
"When an audition starts a hundred people come, and they are beautiful people. They are gifted and talented, and it is so much fun to have them come and give you everything they've got," said Boxell.
"They compete and they compete until it gets whittled down to a few, but there can be only one. We're telling wonderful people that we love, that they didn't make it, and that's the painful part. That's the despicable part."
BYU music dance theater graduate, Joy Gardner, 22 from Gainsville, Florida, was one of the few called back for Charly auditions. She, however, is no rookie to the auditioning process. Gardner stared as Laneah in the Legacy Theater film, The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepard.
"Being a part of The Testaments was a real gift for me. I felt very much at peace during the auditioning process and was very much guided by the spirit as to the things I should say and do." Gardner said.
"It was a project where you knew that it was in Heavenly Father's hands who they cast, and all you could do was do your best."
Gardner approached her auditions for Charly with the same dedicated attitude.
"It's a wonderful and beautiful script and I'm very happy to have made it this far." she said.
During the casting process the directors and producers tried diligently to find the lead actors, "Charly" and "Sam."
"If we don't find the right people here, we won't shoot the movie, we'll keep searching until we find them," director Anderegg said. "The actors are so important that it'd be a waste of money to film it with the wrong people."
Filming is tentatively planned for 22 days at the end of August. The film is scheduled to be released Spring 2002.
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL MEDIA/KALEIDOSCOPE PICTURES "Charly" American International Media and Kaleidoscope Pictures are producing a feature film entitled "Charly." This is a film adaptation of the novel, "Charly" by Jack Weyland, published by Deseret Book. "Charly" is the story of a young LDS man in Salt Lake City who struggles to win the heart of a young woman from a wholly different environment. He must also deal with her death and his questions about eternal life. This is a film that treats LDS subject matter and is focused on the LDS audience. The characters, however, are from a broad social and spiritual spectrum. The film will probably receive an MPAA rating of PG. -- This is a non-SAG, low budget, independent production. Compensation will be professionally acceptable but not in accordance with published rate structures. Principal photography will begin approximately 15 August 2001 and conclude 31 August 2001. There will be additional principal photography in the first two weeks of October, 2001 and also in the last week of November and first week of December, 2001. The theatrical release of the film will be in March or April of 2002. The film will be shot on location in Salt Lake and Utah Valleys. -- Copies of the script will be available at the audition and the three recognized agencies where this notice has been posted. Copies of the casting breakdown are also available. "Sides" will be available at the audition. -- Auditions will be held Wednesday, 25 July, through Friday, 27 July at the offices of FMG Productions, 2065 West Parkway Boulevard, West Valley City, Utah. Simply stated, at approximately 2400 South, turn west off of Redwood Road (which is 1700 West in Salt Lake Valley) onto Parkway Boulevard. Go west about one quarter mile and look left (south). There will be FMG Productions. Auditioners needing help when they are getting close can call 205-3011. Auditioners must bring head shots and resumes. They will fill out casting forms at the audition. Auditioners will perform a reading from the script on camera. -- First and second callbacks will be the following week. Auditioners or their representatives will be contacted to arrange callback appointments as necessary.
Charly: American International Media and Kaleidoscope Pictures are producing a feature film entitled Charly. This is a film adaptation of the novel, Charly, by Jack Weyland. A copy of the script and casting breakdown are available in the TMA Office. Auditions will be held at the offices of FMG Productions, 2065 W. Parkway Blvd., West Valley. Contact Tip Boxell at 685-9523 (or cell # 205- 3011).
Internships available for feature film, Charly. American International Media and Kaleidoscope Pictures will interview interested individuals over the next few weeks. Interns will be integrated as full run-of-show crew. Students will get real experience with professional department heads. Contact Carolyn Hanson for information at 378-4576. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
REXBURG - Jack Weyland didn't plan on going to a Broadway play 20 years ago. He was just going for a walk.
He didn't plan on rewriting his short story, "Charly," and turning it into a Broadway play until after watching a Neil Simon production.
He didn't plan on all the rejections, or on turning his play back into a novel.
He didn't plan on having a producer, director and screenwriter come to him and ask to make the book into a movie.
Sometimes you can overplan these things.
Sometimes you have to let things just happen.
Like Weyland, who is now watching "Charly," originally published in 1980 with current sales peaking at 250,000, become a movie.
"I hope that it will do well. My dream is to have other books turn into movies," said Weyland, whose full-time career is as a physics instructor at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg.
"Charly," the story of the courtship of two complete opposites, is Weyland's first novel to be transformed into a movie, although he has had short stories, such as "The Phone Call" and "The Award," made into movies.
"The Award" (1985) was released on video and apparently sold to non-Latter-day Saint markets as well as to Church members, while "The Phone Call" was produced by the BYU film school and released to mostly Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints audiences in the early 1970s.
"Charly" is Weyland's most successful book, and he credits its success to the fact that he wrote it the summer after his father died.
"I transferred some of the grief I was feeling into the book," he said. "It just rings so true."
In the book, Charly teaches Sam, a strait-laced computer science major, how to be spontaneous and to laugh. As time goes on, Sam learns to appreciate life the way Charly does.
Taking "Charly" and turning it into a movie began seven years ago when Adam Anderegg, the film's director, asked Janine Gilbert, currently a BYU-Idaho English instructor who lives in Hibbard, to write a quick script of "Charly." It was her first full-length screenplay.
"I think this is her story perhaps more than mine," Weyland said. "She suffered writing the screenplay over and over again. Janine is the most patient person I have ever known as far as screenplay."
Gilbert, who went to film school with Anderegg, traveled to Utah over the weekend to watch the filming, which started Sept. 4 and finished Saturday.
"When I saw the set, I was amazed," she said. "It's looking really good. It's fun to see it come to life. I think it's going to be a great film."
The movie - billed as "Charly Forever" and filmed by Kaleidoscope Pictures - is scheduled to come out in March, said Micah Merrill, the producer. The movie will be released regionally, mostly in Utah - similar to "God's Army," which also played in eastern Idaho. If it does well, it may be distributed more widely.
Heather Beers, who is in a USA network premiere, "Cover Me," will play Charly. Her suitor, Sam, will be played by Jeremy Elliot, who also starred in "The Testament."
"We're trying not to lose what makes this story so important to lots of readers," Merrill said. "We've got a wonderful cast. It just looks incredible. They want to put their heart in it, and I think that's going to show up on the screen."
Even though Weyland hasn't taken part in the production of "Charly," he hopes to someday be a part of the filming of something he's written.
"I've always wanted to do this," he said, laughing. " 'People, people, work with me here!' I just don't know what happens after I say that," said Weyland, who has written five screenplays he's trying to sell.
Today one finds the following text:
A major motion picture coming to theaters in 2002
Charly in the News
2 October 2001 - BYU-Idaho Professor's Love Story Turned into Feature Film - Idaho Falls Post Register
13 August 2001 - Y Grads Create Film Based on Charly - Daily Universe
11 April 2001 - Charly - Adherents.com [Link to the old location of this website's Charly page: http://www.adherents.com/movies/Charly.html]
Charly Official Website - Copyright © 2001 Kaleidoscope Pictures. All Rights Reserved.
Anyway, I'm anxiously looking forward to seeing more information on this site. Even if it's not fancy, that's okay. I'd love to see a cast list, the names of the filmmakers, projected release dates... that kind of thing.
There will probably be one or two lines about the story. But we don't really need that, do we? I already know the basic story. I've read the book. We've all read the book. (You have read the book, haven't you??)
A few interesting things one can't help but notice... The site is headlined "Welcome to Jack Weyland's Charly." It isn't "Adam Anderegg's Charly." This is probably a sensible move, as everybody knows who Jack Weyland is, and very few people are familiar (yet) with the film's director, Adam Anderegg.
Now, for Anderegg's next film, we might expect to see it called "Adam Anderegg's [FILL IN THE BLANK]." For example, nobody ever talks about "Shakespeare's Hamlet" when they refer to the 1948 film which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. They talk about "Laurence Olivier's Hamlet."
So if Anderegg does a great job with "Charly," people will call his next film "Anderegg's Macbeth" or "Anderegg's Beowulf" or "Anderegg's Sam." (I'm just thinking about the future, here.)
The "Charly" feature film is not the first novel written by a Latter-day Saint to be made into a feature film. Novels by many other Latter-day Saints have been made into feature films, including "This Island Earth" (1955) by Raymond F. Jones, "Goldenrod" (1976) by Herbert Harker, and "Windwalker" (1980) by Blaine Yorgason.
Also, a number of novels (or novellas, short stories, etc.) by Latter-day Saints have been made into made-for-television movies, including James C. Christensen's "Voyage of the Unicorn" (2001, based on Voyage of the Basset), Zenna Henderson's "The People" (1972, starring William Shatner), Anne Perry's "The Cater Street Hangman" (1998), Richard M. Siddoway's "The Christmas Wish" (1998), Chris Oyler's "Go Toward the Light" (1988), Richard Paul Evans' "Timepiece" (1996) and "The Christmas Box" (1995), and "The Last Dance" (2000, based on Todd F. Cope's The Shift). Producer Beth Polson is the woman responsible for bringing many of these books to television audiences.
"Only Once" (1998) was based on the novella Greg & Kellie by Douglas and Donlu Thayer. The book is about Latter-day Saint characters and published in the LDS market. Its 56-minute running is technically considered feature length, but "Only Once" was a direct-to-video product, and was not shown in commercial theaters.
"The Other Side of Heaven" is a feature film based on a book written by a Latter-day Saint (John H. Groberg), featuring Latter-day Saint characters. But Groberg's book, In the Eye of the Storm, is a true story -- his memoirs. Although exciting to read, it is not a novel.
There actually have even been novels written by Mormons, about Mormons, which were theatrically screened feature films: "The Great Brain" (1978, starring Jimmy Osmond) was based on the classic children's novel by Mormon/Catholic writer John D. Fitzgerald, about his own childhood growing up in turn-of-the-century Salt Lake City. There is also the great 1940 film "Brigham Young - Frontiersman", which was based on the novel Children of God by Vardis Fisher. Neither Fisher nor Fitzgerald were active church members at the time they wrote these books, however, and both books were published for the national market. Also, note that "Brigham Young: Frontiersman" and "The Great Brain" were based on historical novels.
There have also been a few feature films about Latter-day Saints based on books written by non-LDS authors, such as the 1962 political thriller "Advise and Consent," based on Allen Drury's Pulitzer-winning novel.
"Charly" isn't even the first film based on fiction by Jack Weyland. Two Weyland stories, "The Award" and "The Phone Call" have been made into short films available on video. "Charly" is the first feature film based on Weyland's writing.
So... "Charly" is not the first commercial feature film made by and about Latter-day Saints. "God's Army" holds that distinction. "Brigham City", "The Other Side of Heaven", "The Singles Ward" and "Out of Step" also precede it. "Charly" is not the first feature film based on a novel by a Latter-day Saint author. Nor is it the first feature film based on a novel about Latter-day Saint characters. It is not even the first feature film based on a novel written by a Latter-day Saint about Latter-day Saint characters. But "Charly" is the first feature film about Latter-day Saint characters based on a novel published primarily for the LDS market.
Also, because "Brigham Young: Frontiersman" (1840s), "The Great Brain" (1890s), and "The Other Side of Heaven" (1950s) were all set in the past, "Charly" is the first feature film about contemporary Latter-day Saints adapted from a book written by a Latter-day Saint author.
Alas, "Charly" just barely missed out on being the first Latter-day Saint "romantic comedy" feature film. Kurt Hale's "The Singles Ward" (based on an original screenplay) holds that distinction.
The craft of writing wasn't always an obvious choice for Jack Weyland, despite toying with creative writing as a freshman at Montana State University. In Jack's English class, his instructor asked to speak to Jack privately after class. "He told me he was starting a special section," Jack says. "Instead of meeting four times a week, the new section would only meet once a week. There would be no textbook for the class, no exams, and everyone would get an automatic A. Because I saw it as a way to get out of work, I readily agreed to be in the class. All the time I thought I was ripping off the system, I was learning to read, discuss and write. It was the best class I've ever had, and it is in large part responsible for later developments."
Regrettably, progress wasn't immediate. When told of Jack's desire to write LDS fiction, the instructor commented, "You're not serious, are you?"
Now, when Jack considers the comment, he says, "The instructor could have meant, 'Are you crazy? There is no such a thing as LDS fiction.' because that was nearly the case then. Or he could have meant, `At the present time you're not a very good writer.' Which was true. However he meant it, I took it to suggest that I didn't have what it takes to be a writer, so I dropped the course and gave up on my dream."
Although the tutor's disparaging remark steered Jack away from writing for several years, by the time he had a PhD in Physics, and was teaching at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Jack was ready to follow those writing instincts once more.
Reluctant to undergo further face-to-face discouragement, Jack decided his second attempt at learning the necessary author skills would be through a correspondence course. In order to cover costs, Jack sent his first short story, Punch and Cookies Forever, to the New Era. "They accepted it!" he says. "So I sent in another one. It was also published. Unfortunately, my third attempt was rejected. That's it, I thought. Writing's a tough life. Back to being a physicist. There's no future for me as a writer."
No one could have foreseen the way future events would contradict Jack's opinion, getting him back on track, bringing into focus once more a creative talent that would produce enjoyment and direction for thousands of LDS youth around the world.
In 1972, Jack was called as Bishop of his ward in Rapid City, South Dakota. He recalls, "In my job at the School of Mines, I was paid on a nine-month basis. I was now married with five children. At the end of every school year the problem became - how do we survive the summer? Previously we had left town to do research, but as a bishop that seemed impossible. The driving question was - how else could I earn the money?"
Then came an idea. Jack wrote again to the editor of the New Era, asking if they needed more short stories. "Brian Kelly was most encouraging," Jack says, "so each summer for the next four years I wrote stories. I ended up with a ten year supply!"
Jack's four year calling as Bishop held other blessings. With a responsibility for youth came insights into most of the issues they faced, and he developed a longing to help them in some way. At the same time, his love for, and knowledge of, the Savior grew ever more profound. He also discovered many occasions to learn and teach the value of goal setting.
When his release came, and with it the new calling of early morning seminary teacher, setting goals became a way of life for Jack Weyland, as did getting up at 5 a.m. each day. "The year after that I was called as stake clerk and no longer taught seminary, but as I was already in the habit of rising early, I decided to continue doing so in order to write. I sat at my desk and set myself a goal in May 1979. I wrote down, I will write a novel this summer and will send it to a publisher by October. It was a good goal - measurable, specific, and with a deadline."
That novel was Charly.
Jack's reflections on this period of his life touch him profoundly.
"My experience has taught me this: when we accept a calling, we often think how much of a sacrifice it's going to be and how noble we are to donate our time and talents. But when we do serve the Savior, there is no sacrifice. He blesses us well beyond what we deserve, and when we finish we are more in debt to him than ever before."
From that time onward Jack wrote every summer, most Saturdays, and daily from 5 a.m. until work at 8 a.m. His latest novel, Megan, published by Deseret Book, looks like being another bestseller. It took a year to write, and much delicate handling. "Writing Megan was like walking through a minefield," admits Jack. "The main character is a young woman who has become pregnant just out of high school. The story addresses many of the issues and decisions resulting from Megan's choice."
Jack already has plans for his next book. Charly becoming a movie triggered in him the aspiration to repeat some of the same magic. "Charly has had remarkable longevity, and popularity," he says. "I'd like to create something new that has the same effect on readers."
Over time, Jack Weyland has had an incalculable effect on young people throughout the church and beyond. His purpose has been to help adolescents learn valuable principles from the experience of others. Young and old alike can identify with each story's message. The day Jack decided to resume writing has proved a blessing beyond measure.
It started as a summertime supplement to personal income. Now it has become almost a full profession. It is a career of writing for Jack Weyland.
The newest attraction for this acclaimed author is a big screen adaptation of his first novel, Charly. The screenplay for the movie was written by Janine Gilbert, a professor in the BYU-I English Department.
Charly is the first novel of Weyland's to be turned into a movie. It is to be released in October. The process of turning the novel into a book was an arduous one and began seven years ago.
"The biggest difference between a novel and a movie is point of view," Gilbert said. "Charly is told in first person from Sam's view. In reading, Sam tells the story. In film, you don't have the narrator to tell the story."
The process all began when the director approached Gilbert.
"I was actually approached from the director and producer when they decided to go ahead with the project," Gilbert said.
The director, Adam Andregg, knew Gilbert from previous projects they had worked on together and had attended film school with her. When Andregg heard about the project, he contacted Gilbert to write the script because he liked her writing style, Gilbert said.
The film was not created by a single person, but was done through the efforts of many.
The process of creating a film is more complex than people think and is actually done in three different stages. The first is pre-production. This is when the director makes creative plans and basically decides how the story is going to be told visually, Gilbert said.
The second stage is production. This is when actual filming of the movie is done. Gilbert had a small part in this stage.
"Once or twice, I was called from the set and asked to write new lines because the actors were not comfortable with the [original] lines," Gilbert said.
The third stage is post production. This is when the sequences of the movie are edited together, music or any sound effects are added and basically any final touches are put on the movie, Gilbert said.
"[We] tried to make decisions based on the core of Jack Weyland's story," Gilbert said. "We tried to find out the most important elements about Charly and Sam and stay true to the intents of characters in telling the story."
Weyland was involved in this process.
"We would take drafts for him to read," Gilbert said. "It was a process of approval. We asked what he liked [or if] the changes didn't damage the original story or events. He was very gracious and supportive of the changes we made in taking it to the big screen."
Another difficult thing about this movie was the fact it is a complex novel. Normally in movies, the ending happens after the characters get together. In this case, there is additional story after Charly and Sam are married, which complicates things, Gilbert said.
"The key is we didn't want to lose the characters Jack has written and we wanted the characters to go through the same things as in the novel," Gilbert said.
Janine Gilbert, a professor in the English department, spent seven years turning Charly into a movie script. It is set to premier in October 2002
SALT LAKE CITY, February 28, 2002 - When fledgling author Jack Weyland published his first novel, Charly, overwhelming response shot the book to Deseret Book's top-selling fiction list throughout much of the 1980s. That best-selling novel will soon premiere as a full-length feature film, debuting in Utah theaters fall 2002 and satiating a generation of fans who have followed Weyland's novels for 20 years.
Produced by Focused Light Films and Kaleidoscope Pictures, Jack Weyland's Charly is a modern screen adaptation of the novel, which profiles the oil-and-water relationship of its main characters, Charlene Riley and Sam Roberts. More than a storied romance, Jack Weyland's Charly is a careful examination of the soul's evolution, of joy, of despair and of the enduring, enabling power of love.
"I'm impressed by the screen adaptation, and the film's production quality. The cinematography, direction, acting - it's all top-notch," says Weyland, who is also professor of physics at Brigham Young University Idaho, in Rexburg, Idaho. "It's admittedly a thrill to see the story come to life - especially in a way that's true to the original intent."
The film was shot on location throughout northern Utah in September 2001, under the direction of Adam Anderegg, who makes his feature directorial debut with the film. Anderegg's production experience includes over three years' editing for CBS' Touched by an Angel and Promised Land. The film's lead characters include Heather Beers, whose previous roles include guest starring on USA Network's Cover Me, and several film, television, radio and stage productions. Jeremy Elliott, who played Sam Roberts, was the lead character in Testaments, produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the lead in Out of Step, by Vision Star Entertainment; guest star on Touched by an Angel, CBS; and in many other roles in film, television, radio and theater productions.
According to Focused Light Films supervising producer, Lance Williams, being able to bring Jack Weyland's Charly to the screen is a dream come true. "We considered many diverse projects looking for a voice out there, but Charly is one of those 'once in a lifetime' works that is worthy of putting everything else aside to accomplish," says Williams.
Janine Whetten Gilbert, a professor of English at Brigham Young University Idaho, wrote the screenplay adaptation. Gilbert's skillful interplay of dialog sets a mischievous stage at the outset of the film, when the characters' polar personalities repel - yet intrigue - one another. As their relationship progresses, so does Gilbert's insightful exploration of the film's deeper underpinnings - studying universal themes of fear, faith, weakness and strength.
While true to much of the novel's original elements, the screenplay diverges from the book in some areas: updating and trimming plot; expanding characters, such as Charly's New York boyfriend, Mark Randolph, played by Adam Johnson; and adding characters like Ena Riley, Charly's grandmother, played by Jackie Winterrose-Fullerup [her name is actually Jackie Winterrose-Fullmer].
"As we work through editing, scoring and post-production, we couldn't be more pleased with how the film is coming together," says Micah Merrill, producer with Kaleidoscope Pictures. "It's a privilege to put Jack Weyland's story to film, and news of the movie's already creating a buzz - his novel has been such an enduring favorite, we're getting interest from fans throughout the West."
Set to premiere in Salt Lake City in fall 2002, Jack Weyland's Charly will play in theatres throughout the Wasatch Front, with an expanded national release beginning in Idaho, Arizona and California.
LDS Cinema News
The mini-genre known as "LDS Cinema" marches on with two recent announcements:
* "The Other Side of Heaven," which has grossed more than $1.6 million in regional release, will go national on April 12.
The film -- based on LDS Church official John H. Groberg's experiences as a missionary in Tonga in the 1950s -- will debut in 160 markets nationwide, at between 400 and 1,000 screens, according to Mary Jane Jones, publicist for Excel Entertainment Group.
A TV special on the making of "The Other Side of Heaven" airs tonight at 6:30 on KBYU (Ch. 11).
* A movie version of Jack Weyland's novel Charly, one of Deseret Book's all-time best-selling titles, is scheduled to hit theaters this fall.
Charly is a romantic comedy, first published in 1980. Its protagonists are Sam, an uptight BYU student, and Charlene, a vivacious and fun-loving young woman who teaches Sam "what it's like to be really alive" (a direct quote from Weyland's Web site).
The movie was shot last fall in northern Utah, directed by Adam Anderegg, a BYU graduate who has worked as an editor on "Touched by an Angel." The screenplay was written by Janine Whetten Gilbert, an English professor at BYU-Idaho (where Weyland teaches physics). The stars are Heather Beers, who appeared in the made-in-Utah series "Cover Me," and Jeremy Elliott, who co-starred in the LDS-themed "Out of Step" and the LDS Church-produced "The Testaments."