Collage of Levin movie posters

Ira Levin's books, plays, and other writings, have provided Hollywood with the source material for over two-dozen film and television productions, including some of the most iconic works of the past century — Rosemary's Baby, The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil, Deathtrap...

When asked how he viewed the film adaptations of his works, Levin told 1991's Good Morning America: “Usually with great disappointment, and regret, for the parts that are missing; usually, the connective tissue seems to get lost when a movie is made.”

Yet Levin opted not to write any of the feature film adaptations of his own works – explaining to syndicated columnist David Handler in 1980: “I always felt it was better to go on to something else, rather than do the same thing over again simply because another medium wanted it.”

Rosemary's Baby was the one exception: “The only one I was actually involved in was Rosemary’s Baby. That was the most satisfying film of my work. Roman Polanski kept ringing me to ask my advice when he was writing the script and it contains scenes and dialogue that are completely unchanged from the novel.” (London Evening Standard, 1994)

Levin's own film writing consisted of the odd for-hire screenplay/treatment, as well as training films for the US Army, while a 1950s draftee.

Though Levin's works have an inherent 'cinematic' quality that renders them easily-translated to the screen, he was never writing with that aim in mind. As he told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1976 “It's really my theater background that makes it seem that way. I do tend to think in terms of scenes. I'll even draw a little floor plan so when somebody walks to the door they don't walk into the table. But it's not an attempt to write a screenplay or make it cinematic.”

  • Ira Levin's IMDB page
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Levin with Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes (Above) Levin on location with Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes

Photo of Ira Levin with Sharon Stone (Above) Levin with Sharon Stone

Levin with director Phillip Noyce (Above) Levin (right) on location with director Phillip Noyce

Levin with Otto Preminger and Lee Remick (Above) Levin (right) dining with Lee Remick and director Otto Preminger