Daniel Schechter raced to finish film for Elmore Leonard

Director Daniel Schechter faced a race against time to finish his new film adaptation of one of Elmore Leonard’s books as he wanted the author to see it before he died. The moviemaker has adapted Elmore’s book The Switch into a film called Life Of Crime, starring Jennifer Aniston, but the writer passed away on Tuesday (20Aug13), three weeks after suffering a stroke, before he could see the finished version.
Schechter admits he tried his best to complete work on the movie when he heard Leonard’s health was failing, but he was unable to finish in time.
He tells Deadline.com, “A week before his stroke, I wrote him a letter because he wanted to see the film and I asked for three weeks. By then, I’d have the score, the sound would be mixed, all the effects would be done. I showed him the sizzle reel I made for the crew and he got a kick out of that. I re-read the letter this morning and it made me want to cry.”
The moviemaker insists the film’s premiere at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada next month (Sep13) will be dedicated to Leonard.
He adds, “That night in Toronto was always going to be dedicated to him because his book brought us together and he was such a massive influence on me,. It will be a very bittersweet evening. We were ready to fly him out, get him a nice seat and let him see the audience respond to 35-year-old jokes that really hold up and characters that really touch people. It’s heartbreaking to not get to do that.”
The Switch, which was published in 1978, is a prequel to 1992’s Rum Punch, which Quentin Tarantino transformed into hit 1997 movie Jackie Brown.