Elmore Leonard, considered by many to be the greatest crime writer of modern times, died Tuesday due to complications of a stroke. He was 87.
He wrote 45 novels, many of which were adapted for movies or TV over the years. Films based on his work included Hombre, 52 Pick-Up, Out of Sight, Get Shorty and Jackie Brown.
The film version of Leonard's The Switch, starring Jennifer Aniston, Mos Def, Tim Robbins and Isla Fisher, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. At the time of his death, he was at work on another novel, which was set in the world of competitive bull riding.
The prolific author often had much to say about the film and television adaptations about his work, and was not shy to praise (or slam) the industry. Below, THR compiles 10 of his best Hollywood quotes over the years.
On Charles Bronson's Mr. Majestic: "It made a pile of money. I liked that." [Source: The Daily Beast]
On serving as an executive producer on Justified: "They made me an executive producer on the show, and executive producers don’t really do anything. I thought, 'How can I sit here and collect money and not do anything?' So I wrote a book, Raylan. I didn’t want to interfere with the writers. I gave it to them and told them to take what they wanted. Someone said that when Graham Yost [the show’s creator] read it, he said, 'Strip it and hang it up for parts.'" [Source: The Daily Beast]
On Justified screenwriters: "I don't think many screenwriters can write. They pass as writers. But it's not like that with this show. When they sent me the first script, I read it and didn't see a word to change. It was perfect." [Source: LA Times Magazine]
On being under whelmed by George Armitage's The Big Bounce: "It's a mystery to me why people buy one of my books and then take out everything that made them buy it in the first place." [Source: The Guardian]
More on The Big Bounce: "I don't remember all the bad ones. I know The Big Bounce was bad, though, and they made it twice. It wasn't bad enough the first time. I don't think anybody in the picture knew what they were doing. The second time they made it, they shot it in Hawaii. They would cut to surfers when they ran out of ideas." [Source: IMDb]
On the 1995 adaptation of Get Shorty: "All the adaptations of my books all sucked. This one got it right for once." [Source: IMDb]
On Cedric the Entertainer's role in Get Shorty: "I told Barry Sonnenfeld, ‘When somebody delivers a funny line, don’t cut to someone else laughing or nudging or grinning, because they’re all serious.' And he knew that. But then when they shot the sequel, they forgot all about that, and everybody’s laughing all the way through. There’s a guy named Cedric the Entertainer. Well, I can’t have a guy named Cedric the Entertainer in one of my stories!" [Source: NJ.com]
On John Travolta being cast as Chili Palmer: "When I first heard that Travolta was going to play Chili, I said, 'Are you kidding? Is that the guy in those talking baby movies? If we have final approval, he’s out.'" [Source: The Daily Beast]
On leaving Hollywood: "I quit in 1993. I got so tired of writing and rewriting the script. This producer from Paramount wanted me to do a rewrite on an existing script. The original story was so dumb. I woke up at 5 a.m. in this hotel in L.A. and came up with a story, a way to fix it. Then I had to wait three hours for him to wake up so I could tell him about it. He loved it, but I didn’t have my heart in it. It’s on a shelf. But I got paid for it." [Source: LA Times Magazine]
On why he disliked writing screenplays: "You have to please too many people. I would go against my better judgment and make the changes they wanted so I could get the money. Because that kind of work was really supporting my book writing. . Finally, when I reached the point where I could make more money writing books than screenplays." [Source: Los Angeles Times]