Obviously, in terms of studio tent poles, everyone is looking for the next great YA title that has the possibility to break out as a franchise à la the Twilight and Divergent series. In terms of adapting books, that’s where the home runs are to be found.
What draws the attention of a film producer?
Well, first and foremost, it has to be a great story, one that pulls you into the world of some interesting characters, whether they’re good, bad or somewhere in between. Also, when you’re reading something, you have to be cognizant of how well it might actually translate to the screen. Some books aren’t easily adaptable or don’t lend themselves as well to a visual medium. So that’s all part of the challenge.
What book/genre/topic would you like to see cross your transom?
Well, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to get the next big thing in YA, but really, it would just be a story that resonates with me in a way that made me think I could make a great film out of the source material. I’m always on the lookout for great dark/black comedies (à la Coen brothers movies), but they are harder to come by than you might imagine.
What topic don’t you ever want to see again?
I could do without all those sexy, kissy-faced vampire movies and TV shows. In my new TV series, The Strain (based on a trilogy of books!), we have some serious scary-ass vampires, and that’s what I believe a vampire story should give you.
What is unique about your corner of the industry?
I don’t really occupy a particular corner, as it tends to be one big community. Each producer WANTS to be the king of his or her own corner, or the block, or the town, but it’s not that easy. Instead, the good producers are themselves kind of unique.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I love Lori St. John’s book, and I’m looking forward to making it into a great film. Erin Brockovich meets Dead Man Walking (1995). Keep your eyes out for it. It’s a great story!
J. Miles Dale recently produced the critically acclaimed remake of Carrie (2013), starring Chloë Grace Moretz and four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore. He also recently partnered with Guillermo del Toro to produce the horror hit Mama (2013), starring two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain.
Dale executive produced The Vow (2012), starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum; The Thing (2011), starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Joel Edgerton; Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), directed by Edgar Wright and starring Michael Cera and Oscar-nominated Anna Kendrick; Love Happens (2009), starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart; Flash of Genius (2008), starring Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear; Talk to Me(2007), starring Academy Award nominees Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor; and Hollywoodland (2006), a film noir starring Adrien Brody, Ben Affleck and Diane Lane.
For television, Dale produced USA Network’s critically acclaimed Mary Kay Letourneau: All American Girl (2000) starring Penelope Ann Miller and Mercedes Ruehl. Among the many pilots and series he has produced and directed for major networks are F/X: The Series, RoboCop, Top Cops and Friday the 13th.