Adapting Ira Levin: A Case Study

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


Few people may have heard of Ira Levin (1929–2007), but many will recognise the various titles of his novels—A Kiss Before Dying (1953), Rosemary’s Baby (1967), The Stepford Wives (1972), The Boys from Brazil (1976) and others—from their film adaptations. Three of these novels—A Kiss Before Dying, Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives—have in fact been adapted twice, the most recent being a two-part 2014 television serialisation of Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Agnieszka Holland. This chapter focuses on these three novels to explore what they offer to some of their adaptors; it also remarks on the novels themselves, to chart common threads and structural elements. I shall look at just how closely some of these screen adaptations reproduce or ‘remake’ these novels, and also comment on the significance of Levin’s legacy in a context where such adaptations often ‘define our first experiences or encounters with their precursor work of art’ (Sanders 2006, p. 158).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Directions in Popular Fiction
Subtitle of host publicationGenre, Distribution, Reproduction
EditorsKen Gelder
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)9781137523464
ISBN (Print)9781137523457
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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