Novelist and screenwriter Elmore Leonard recently sat down with The Atlantic to discuss his thoughts on writing, movies, and adaptations. Leonard has published more than 40 novels over the course of his career, and has had a number of his works adapted into movies or TV series. Some adaptations were more successful than others, but Leonard says much of this has to do with the screenwriter, and his or her ability to extract the most out of any given source material. “I have to consider the screenwriter as a writer, and if he’s really good, he’ll recognize what’s on the book page and he’ll pick it up and use it,” he told The Atlantic‘s James Parker. “Because you’re not gonna get language that’s more appropriate by making it up.”

As for his favorite adaptation, that would be Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, which was based on Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch.

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