John Grogan - The Longest Trip Home


Snow Falling on Grogan

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A beautiful snow is falling outside my window as I write this, threatening to keep the kids home from school in the morning and me off the steep winding roads around here. I know I've been AWOL recently and wanted to drop in to say hello and offer a brief update. I've been busy! For most of the past year I have been writing my next book, a memoir about growing up in an Irish Catholic family near Detroit in the 1960s and '70s. The good news is I recently wrote those two sweetest words in any writer's arsenal -- "The End" -- and shipped it off to my literary agent. Someone described writing a book like having a baby, and I can't disagree. Except in my case I'm heading straight from the delivery room to the corner pub to have a couple cold beers. New moms, don't try this at home!

Although my mind has been very much on my new book these past months, Marley & Me, just like the slobbering pooch himself, continues to nudge its way to the front burner. After twenty-eight months in hardcover, the paperback version will be released March 11, along with the paperback edition of the young-reader adaptation, "Marley: A Dog Like No Other." But that's not the only reason March is shaping up to be an exciting month for me.

Marley & Me the movie is set to begin shooting March 10 in Miami. Additional scenes (basically the last third of the book) will be shot later in the spring here in and about Philadelphia. As you've probably heard by now, Owen Wilson is starring with Jennifer Aniston. And yes, Jenny and I are both beyond thrilled. We think they will be just great. Besides being immensely talented, they both are so likable, charming, and disarming -- the word "adorable" comes to mind in both cases -- that it's impossible to imagine them being anything other than amazing together on the screen. Alan Arkin costars and he seems the perfect choice to portray my curmudgeonly (aren't they all?) newspaper editor. I met director David Frankel ("Devil Wears Prada") in Philadelphia a couple weeks ago while he was in town scouting locations, and left our dinner knowing my story is in very capable hands. I am impressed with the thoughtfulness and intelligence he is bringing to the film adaptation and his sensitivity to getting it right. I really love his vision and the care he is taking to capture the book's essence on celluloid.

I'm trying hard to not be too shameless of a groupie here, but it's not easy!

Here are a couple clips that ran in the last couple days...

From People:
Owen Wilson Ready to Head Back to Work
By Steve Helling and Nicole Weisensee Egan

Six months after his apparent suicide attempt, Owen Wilson is ready to act again.

The 39-year-old is starring in Marley & Me, a comedy about a writer who adopts a mischievous dog. The film, which costars Jennifer Aniston as Wilson’s wife, is scheduled to be shot in Miami from March 10 until mid-May.

"I'm thrilled they're starting production on this. It's been a long time coming and I really couldn't be happier on that," Marley & Me author John Grogan tells PEOPLE. "I read the script and I like it. I think it's really true to the book."

Grogan is equally excited about the casting. "I'm actually really thrilled to have Owen Wilson portray me. We don't look anything alike but I think his personality will be a great fit to my own," he says. "And my wife, Jenny, is thrilled with being played by Jennifer Anniston and so am I. What's not to like, right?"

Wilson's been keeping a relatively low profile, and this marks the first time Wilson has worked since the crisis that landed him at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

In September, the actor dropped out of the Ben Stiller-directed comedy Tropic Thunder and was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

Miami is a familiar city to Wilson – he vacationed in South Beach with Woody Harrelson after the two returned from some male bonding in South America.

Marley & Me is scheduled to be released on Christmas Day.

And from The Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES - Owen Wilson is going back to work for the first time since his reported suicide attempt last summer.

Wilson, 39, and co-star Jennifer Aniston begin shooting March 10 on 20th Century Fox's "Marley & Me," the studio said. It tells the tale of a couple who adopt a dog to give parenthood a trial run, then find the mischievous pooch more than they bargained for.

After he was hospitalized last August, Wilson dropped out of this summer's comedy "Tropic Thunder," which already had been in production. He was replaced by Matthew McConaughey.

Due out Christmas Day, "Marley & Me" is directed by David Frankel and based on the book by John Grogan. Alan Arkin co-stars.

posted by John Grogan at 9:52 PM 27 comments

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