It took screenwriter David Paterson long time -- 14 years from the time he first bought the film rights to his mother's book -- to see Bridge to Terabithia brought to life on the big screen. While on his recent PA tour for the film, Paterson sat down for a phone interview with Cinematical to talk about the book and the film.
I know the book was based in part on your own childhood. Can you talk about that?
Yes, but I have to be careful, we want to guard the ending -- not everyone's read the book, so I have to be careful how I talk about it. There are a lot of people who read the book when they were younger, but there's also this whole new generation that may not even be familiar with the book. And you know, if everyone who's read the book brought two friends to the movie, that still wouldn't be enough. We have to reach out to a whole new audience here.
The book itself was about an important part of your life, though, which is something not every screenwriter can say about a script they've adapated.
There are lot of similiarties yes -- the events that led to my mom writing the book happened when I was seven, eight years old. My best friend was Lisa Hill, and I met her on my first day at a new school. We became the best of friends, right from the start -- neither of us had any other friends. At that time, it was very unusual for a boy and girl to be friends, but we never even thought of it that way. My mom wrote the book as a way of trying to make sense of a senseless event. So she wrote the book, and then took the book to her publisher -- she didn't think it would be even be published but they recognized the importance of the subject matter. She asked my permission to have it published -- imagine that, being an adult who's written a book, and relying on the whim of an eight-year-old -- and I said okay, as long the book is dedicated to Lisa and to me, because it was really our story.
More after the jump ...