The Rosie Project: Discussions with Graeme Simsion on reverse adaptation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145



Graeme Simsion’s internationally best-selling novel, The Rosie Project (2013a), began life as a romantic comedy script that nobody wanted. One year later, having ‘reverse adapted’ his screenplay into a novel, The Rosie Project (2013a) was on the New York Times best-selling list and swiftly sold to 40 territories around the world. This article, based on my discussions with screenwriter and author Graeme Simsion, and informed by my own practice-led research into ‘reverse adaptation’, will examine this little discussed manifestation of screen adaptation. What are the creative challenges facing the screenwriter in taking on the ‘opposite’ of a traditional adaptation? How do professional and industrial conditions differ for the screenwriter undertaking a reverse adaptation? Why even begin a reverse adaptation? This article also briefly contextualizes reverse adaptation as belonging to the greater contemporary ‘ecology’ of transmedia adaption, and places it in relation to the commercial novelization.


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