Minus the assholes...sure, they can; the good ones should. Recent trend, however, seems to suggest novelists write with a future Hollywood orgasm in mind. Why not, studios are marrying publishing companies to snap up quality work by quality writers; not that novelist automatically means quality. There are shitty novelists all over the place. Worse than that, these shitty novelists like to talk shit too. Years ago I attended a reading arranged by 4 novelists at a downtown Manhattan bar - what a choice! As I waited for the reading to start, I overheard 3 of them: A: Universal has optioned 'Wet Dreams May Come'
B: Wow, good for youuu! Who's attached?
A: Don't know. I'll ask my agent. Only if she'll return my calls.
B: What about you?
C: On my 5th draft. It's either 20th or Miramax.
B: Wow...good for you!
C: I could take it or leave it.
B: But still...
A: The summer has been just plain shit with movies.
B: Douchebag studio execs don't know shit, so what do you expect.
C: There's no way I'm letting John Sayles 'polish' my scripts.
B: He was a novelist before he made Matewan and all.
C: Yeah, but what has he really done in novels.
A: What does it matter? His films have a novel feel to them.
B: When Warner optioned 'Crotch On Fire', I told my agent "No B-movie actors, please. I need just treatment for my baby"
C: You gotta learn to let go sometimes. Like sending kids off to college. Let them find their identity.
B: True. But I still want to punish them if they misbehave.
They laugh. Not C. He sips. D enters circle, unwrapping his multicolored scarf.
D: What up?
B: Hey, how's the screenplay coming?
The above is half made up. If you've been around writers, chances are you'll meet a couple of assholes like these. I'd definitely green light 'Crotch on Fire', though.