Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Rex Pickett pushing for Sideways sequel

Rex Pickett, author of the popular wine-themed novel Sideways, is pushing the Oscar-winning director of the Sideways film, Alexander Payne, for a sequel based on his second novel, Vertical. “Tens of millions are on the table and no sequel. Why? The book’s been written, the screenplay’s been written,” Pickett told the drinks business. “No one in Hollywood understands why Payne is not in pre-production on Vertical. I’m sick of answering that question,” he added.

Fox Searchlight Pictures owns the film rights to Miles and Jack. If Payne woke up tomorrow and said he wanted to do a sequel then it would be made. Payne has the power to make whatever movie he wants, within reason, for the rest of his life. I like to feel I played a small part in that,” Pickett said. Sideways: the Play is running to sell-out audiences in Santa Barbara through the Ruskin Theatre Group. The play is due to run in LA until mid-August, after which, Pickett is keen to take it outside America, with a London run on the cards.

He also isn’t ruling out a third book: “People are clamouring for part three. I’m circumspect, as whatever decision I make will govern the next two years of my life,” he said. Originally rejected by 15 publishers, Sideways has sold over 150,000 copies in the English-language, and has been translated into 12 different languages. The film, released the same year as the book in 2004, has won over 350 awards including two Golden Globes for best comedy picture and best screenplay.

Pickett admits he regrets “letting (himself) go to a few years of celebratory hedonism” after the success of Sideways. “I should have had my business hat on and been wary of people making millions while I cavorted around in a state of ostensible bliss,” he said. Pickett’s sequel to Sideways, Vertical, was published in October 2010. Set in Oregon seven years later, protagonist Miles has found success with a novel that has been turned into a film and is invited to be master of ceremonies at the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville. The 26th annual event takes place on 27-29 July 2012.

Pickett is due to release his own wine onto the market soon. Unsurprisingly, he has opted for a Pinot in the form of Ne Plus Ultra, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Alexander Payne recently directed The Descendants, starring George Clooney, based on a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings. It won an Oscar this year for Best Adapted Screenplay.

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