At the Variety Screening Series unspooling of “The Kite Runner” at Hollywood’s Harmony Gold Theater, helmer Marc Forster explained that his goal for this film goes beyond box office success.
“I felt Afghanistan is a nation that has been forgotten and that Khaled Hosseini’s novel gave a voice and face to the nation. In that sense, I hope this film brings healing and forgiveness and hope to that country.”
Scripter David Benioff had the challenge of transforming the best-selling novel into a film.
“There were so many wonderful things that I wanted to put in and I knew it was going to be incredibly hard to do this in 120 pages,” he said. “It was a process to try to take out whatever we could and still maintain the spirit of Hosseini’s book.”
He also admitted he wasn’t the first choice for adapting the book to into a screenplay.
“I think I was about the seventh choice and after a series of calamities other people ended up having, I ended up getting it.”
Before shooting began, the pic’s star Khalid Abdalla spent a month in Kabul getting a crash course in the language and culture.
“I had four or five hours of Dari lessons a day. I traveled everywhere referenced in the book and ate everything referenced in the book,” he said. “Somehow in the course of a month, I came out speaking the language.”
It’s been the most difficult journey I have been on,” said Forster. “It has been emotional in many ways and I have tried to honor the culture and Hosseini’s book. It’s the most challenging film I have ever made.”