Todd Field, he revealed, had been spending the 16 years in question deeply embroiled in several notable film projects that were, sadly, never produced. The Telegraph article makes mention of a political thriller Field was co-writing with Joan Didion (“The Panic in Needle Park,” “A Star is Born”), a screenplay that took the better part of 10 years to assemble. That film was to be called “As It Happens,” and it was reported on back in 2012 by Vulture.
This was only one of many ambitious projects that Field had been writing. Perhaps most famously, Field was attempting to adapt Cormac McCarthy’s bleak war novel “Blood Meridian” to the big screen, a project he was working on in 2010. In 2014, Entertainment Weekly reported that Field was hard at work on the drama “The Battered Bastards of Baseball,” a very personal drama about the Portland Mavericks, a scrappy local team that disbanded in 1978. Field once worked for as a batboy for the Mavericks when he was 13, and has many pleasant — if rough-edged — memories of the team. Field recalled not just retrieving bats for the players, but many, many cases of beer. It was a different time, but hey, he was partially responsible for the invention of Big League Chew because of the experience.
It seems that these projects fell apart for the usual reasons that Hollywood films do; difficulty in finishing a studio-friendly script. No one seemed interested in Field’s intense, literary interests. Also in 2014, CNN announced that Field was working on a drama called “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” based on a 2012 Rolling Stone article, and a biography of real-life POW Bowe Bergdahl. In 2015, Variety reported that Field was working on a film version of Jess Walter’s novel “Beautiful Ruins” with Imogen Poots set to star.
So many unmade movies!