After years of trying, Hollywood has finally brought one of Jim Harrison’s novels to the screen. It’s Columbia’s just-out “Revenge,” starring Kevin Costner, which Harrison began scripting 11 years ago just after its publication.
“I think I wrote about 12 different endings to it,” says Harrison, noting that, originally, John Huston was going to direct Jack Nicholson in the project. Then it went to Orson Welles. And then . . . “I lost interest for a long time.”
Costner and producer Ray Stark revived the project about a love triangle (Costner, Madeleine Stowe and Anthony Quinn) that leads to violence--and brutal revenge. Tony Scott directs from a script by Harrison and Jeffrey Fiskin.
“They pretty much shot the novella,” says Harrison, who saw a print shipped to Northern Michigan, his home. “I was so swept away by it that I cried--I really did. And I’m not known for crying.” (He’s known more for his macho style, on and off the page.)
Meanwhile, a host of projects--based on Harrison’s novels--are percolating, including:
* “The Man Who Gave Up His Name” and “Farmer,” with Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Prods.
* “Legends of the Fall,” recently purchased by film maker Ed Zwick and Tri-Star Pictures. Bill Witliffe is adapting.
* “A Good Day to Die,” with a French company, Compagne Production International.
As to how Harrison gets along with Hollywood: “As a farmer, I come from a long generation of horse traders. It’s not all that much different.”