Writer Annie Proulx regrets writing Brokeback Mountain, saying that since the film's release it has been a source of “irritation” for her.

The story was adapted into a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in 2005.

Proulx's story, released in 1997, follows Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar, who meet while herding sheep in 1960s Wyoming. Their 20-year relationship ends with the murder of Jack Twist, the victim of a homophobic attack.

“I wish I'd never written the story,” Proulx told The Paris Review. “It's just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film, it was all right.”

Proulx said that people write to her with suggestions to “fix” Brokeback's unhappy ending.

“So many people have completely misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most strongly have powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it ends – they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story, including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild.”

“They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way. And they all begin the same way – I’m not gay, but?.?.?.?The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”