>E.B. White was years ahead of his time. Not only did he foresee the future with his book Here is New York, but I discovered his knack for predicting the ways of Hollywood. This occurred to me while talking to Rebecca a few minutes ago about sequels.

She was reading a review of The Descent in Entertainment Weekly and mentioned that the American version has a different ending than the British version, in which no one emerges alive. Rebecca pointed out that American audiences can’t deal with the death of a movie hero(ine), and the studios will not let that happen anyway because they need profitable sequels, which brings me to E.B. White and Charlotte’s Web.

I read Charlotte’s Web one summer, maybe before 3rd or 4th grade. I was utterly inconsolable when Charlotte died. We were supposed to go to my grandparents’ house to celebrate my grandpa’s birthday, but I refused to leave my bed because I could not stop crying. (Incidentally, this is also the reaction I have every time I read that damn tearjerker Where the Red Fern Grows. I actually ruined a page in the book because I cried so hard it became soaked.) My mom eventually got me in a semi-presentable condition by reminding me that Charlotte’s daughters were there to carry on her legacies.

Before I get too choked up (and the lump is definitely forming in my throat), my point is that E.B. White gave the studios lots of spin-off movies by making sure that the book ended with Charlotte’s daughters. Mark my words: if the latest Charlotte movie makes money, we’ll be seeing more of those eight-legged critters.

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