Terry Southern, who was born this day in 1924, was a writer familiar with the movies. He adapted other people’s work—freely satirizing Peter George’s thriller novel Red Alert into Dr. Strangelove—and had his own work put on screen—Buck Henry adapted Southern’s sexual fantasia Candy for film in 1968.
So, when Southern has advice about writers whose work is so (un?)lucky to be optioned by Hollywood, it’s best to listen:
If a writer is sensitive about his work being treated like Moe, Larry and Curly working over the Sistine Chapel with a crowbar, then he would do well to avoid screenwriting altogether…The wise thing, of course, is to become a filmmaker.
Note that The Three Stooges in the Sistine Chapel would have been a keeper.