So we’re comparing quotes from books and movies. I have a memorable line from a book (for me, at least) that will never, ever make it into the movie intact if they make one.
The book in question is Time to Hunt by Stephen Hunter. This is the third book of his “Bob the Nailer” series about an ex-Marine sniper reluctantly and repeatedly drawn back into service to fight the bad guys. The first, Point of Impact, was turned into the 2007 film Shooter. One of the characters in the books is Julie, Bob’s wife who is also the widow of his former spotter, Donny. While Bob and Donny were in the field in Vietnam, the phrase “Julie is beautiful” was shouted out to make sure they didn’t accidentally shoot each other. If Time to Hunt is ever made into a movie (which I doubt, since there’s been no hint at more Bob the Nailer movies for the past five years), “Julie is beautiful” won’t be included. Why is that? Because of totally unnecessary changes they made to Shooter. Julie is no longer a nurse (which sure came in handy when she helped a wounded Bob back to health), but a teacher. Oh, and she’s no longer Julie. Now, for some unknown reason, she’s Sarah.
They made many, many changes to the story. They wanted the setting to be current, as opposed to 1993, with a younger Bob. So Bob’s no longer a Vietnam veteran. Fine. Bob didn’t suffer a near-fatal wound when Donny was killed. Okay. FBI Agent Nick Memphis is only semi-effective and primarily comic relief. Alright. These things all served a purpose to allow them to tell the story they wanted to tell. I might not agree with all these, but I can live with them.
What I don’t understand is why they had to do something as pointless as change the name of a major character. The “Julie is beautiful” call is one of the things that helped keep Bob and Donny alive in one of the most intense scenes I’ve ever read. If anyone knows the story behind this name change, please let me know.
On a side note, there was another name change that does make sense. Danny Glover’s Isaac Johnson was named Raymond Shreck in the book. Apparently they didn’t want people confusing Danny Glover with a giant green ogre, which, you know, is an easy mistake to make.