Mike Carey on adapt­ing his own book for the sil­ver screen

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - The Girl With All The Gifts -

“I was in the glo­ri­ous po­si­tion,” Mike Carey tells SFX, “of writ­ing the novel and the screen­play side by side. So I was liv­ing in that story world and I was mak­ing some choices for the screen­play and some dif­fer­ent choices for the novel.”

Writ­ing the book and the screen­play si­mul­ta­ne­ously “helped in terms of not be­ing pre­cious about what stayed [in the film]... It is re­ally hard if you’ve re­alised the story in one form to look at it and think, ‘Well, that’s un­nec­es­sary,’ or ‘There’s a bet­ter way of do­ing that,’ be­cause that’s how you did it. But be­cause both were in flux at the same time I think that did make a dif­fer­ence and made it much eas­ier.”

The Girl With All the Gifts be­gan life as a short story. “It was present tense nar­ra­tive, a young child as the pro­tag­o­nist, it was post-apoc­a­lyp­tic, it was do­ing a lot of things that I hadn’t done be­fore. But it felt right. I wrote the short story and I thought, ‘I like this one, I’m go­ing to like this voice, I want to see where it goes’.” But de­spite lov­ing the book – and film that it’s be­come – he has no plans for a se­quel. “I think a straight se­quel to Girl would be dif­fi­cult to do be­cause the world has changed so much at the end of the story that the se­quel would have noth­ing in com­mon, re­ally, with the first book.”

For the time be­ing he’s just en­joy­ing his ex­pe­ri­ence with Girl. “I never imag­ined I’d see a novel of mine with ‘Soon to be a major mo­tion pic­ture’ on the cover... it’s a bit in­tox­i­cat­ing!” abi­gail Chan­dler

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