Keillor told reporters in New York recently he had hoped the "Gosford Park" and "Nashville" director would bring one of his books to the big screen instead of his radio show.
"I didn't want to make a movie about radio," Keillor said. "That was the last thing I had in mind. I've been working in radio for years. But Altman wanted to make the movie. I had lunch with him in Chicago in 2002 and I was trying to pitch him a 'Lake Wobegon' movie. I've been trying for years to make a movie about 'Lake Wobegon.'... But he wasn't buying it."
Keillor said Altman asked him to pen the film's script and he agreed because, "I decided that I would rather write the screenplay than have someone else write it."
The Minnesota native says he trusted Altman with his material because Altman hails from Missouri and shares his midwestern sensibilities.
"He essentially says what he thinks and so I found it easy to work with him," Keillor added.