Adapting Argo from A History of the Art of Adaptation [Video] (1:06)

You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time… None of the People All of the Time: A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More!

Dr. Rosanne Welch speaks on A History of the Art of Adaptation in Movies like Dune, The Godfather, Harry Potter and More! at the California State University, Fullerton Library

Part of the program series for Dune by Frank Herbert: A 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Watch this entire presentation

Adapting Argo from A History of the Art of Adaptation



Argo which, of course, won the Oscar just a couple of years ago is an example of some changes that were made that are regrettable and yet the movie holds up and it’s not Ben Affleck’s fault. When Ben Affleck went to make the movie, which won an Oscar for him, he knew that in the story, which is a true story, the actual CIA gentleman is named Tony Mendez. Tony Mendez and Affleck doesn’t look like a Tony Mendez. He wanted a Latino actor to be the lead in the film. he looked for someone that the studio would approve. The only Latino actor one considers to open a movie is Antonio Banderas and he’s booked, booked, booked. Because he’s the only Latino actor who can open a movie. So, the studio said to Affleck, “Look, why don’t you play the part?”

“But I’m not Latino. It’s going to erase the ethnic feeling of this movie.”

And they said, Ok, then we just won’t make the movie.”

He said, “Ok, as long as we keep the guy’s name. Maybe people will realize” and of course, if they look at the book they will understand that we’re talking about a Hispanic actor.

About this talk

Dr. Rosanne Welch (RTVF) speaks on the craft of history of film adaptations from the controversy of the silent film Birth of a Nation (protested by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1915) to Breakfast at Tiffany’s (to which author Truman Capote famously said, “The only thing left from the book is the title”) to The Godfather . Naturally, the behemoth in adaptation – Harry Potter (which depended on the relationship created by adapter Steve Kloves and author J.K. Rowling) will be discussed, as will the subject of this month’s celebration: Dune.

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm

About Dr. Rosanne Welch

Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona.  In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University.  She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.

Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”

Her upcoming book, “Why The Monkees Matter: Teenagers, Television and American Pop Culture” will be published in Fall 2016

Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.

Dr. Rosanne Welch Web Site and Blog

Follow Dr. Welch on Twitter

Dr. Rosanne Welch on YouTube

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