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Novelist Ian McEwan says it’s ‘very difficult to get movies made’ — yet he has two premiering at Toronto film festival

In film, the director is king. But sometimes, the writer is the fan favorite.

At Thursday’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere of the film “On Chesil Beach,” based on the 2007 novel by Ian McEwan, the audience gasped when the writer walked out on stage. As he took a bow next to director Dominic Cooke and lead actor Billy Howle, it was the novelist who received the loudest applause.

Booker Prize winner McEwan, 69, is best known for such critically acclaimed novels as “Enduring Love,” “Atonement” and “Amsterdam,” but he has been writing screenplays for decades. He adapted “On Chesil Beach” — the story of young newlyweds (Howle and Saoirse Ronan) on their first night together — and in Toronto, he’s premiering a second film that he wrote, based on another one of his books, “The Children Act,” about a high-court judge (a perfectly cast Emma Thompson) who takes personal interest in a young man who refuses medical treatment due to his religious beliefs.

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