David O. Russell is writing a film script for his book series. Article by Julie Bosman.

Enjoy!

ThatActionGuy.com
When the children’s book series “The Spiderwick Chronicles” became a popular Hollywood film, its publisher, Simon & Schuster, enjoyed a subsequent lift in book sales — and little else. But under a new deal with the Gotham Group, a Los Angeles-based management firm, the next time Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing owns the film rights to a book — and that book is eventually turned into a movie — the publisher will be promised its own piece of the pie.  Simon & Schuster plans to test-drive the new deal with a middle-grade book series by the filmmaker David O. Russell, scheduled for publication in the fall of 2009.“It’s about having more control in the process,” said Rick Richter, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. “Typically publishers tend to stick their heads in the sand after the book hits Hollywood.”
In exchange for a percentage of the revenues, Simon & Schuster may agree to publish a book long before it is written, based on an assurance from the Gotham Group that it has Hollywood potential.

Simon & Schuster will also receive money when its children’s books are turned into video games, comic books or other properties.

“Traditionally, the big incentive for them is hoping to sell books,” said Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, president and chief executive of the Gotham Group, which has an exclusive partnership with Simon & Schuster. “Now they’re going into this, and there is already planted the notion of film and television and some other form of media. And the two go hand in hand.”

Publishers and Hollywood producers refer to the arrangement as an “end-in-mind relationship,” where decisions on what is made into a book or pitched as a movie are made long before a book or a script is written.

Under the new arrangement, when the Gotham Group has a possible film project it can turn to Simon & Schuster and promise a percentage of its revenues — anywhere from 5 to 25 percent, or potentially millions of dollars, Ms. Goldsmith-Vein said — if the publisher agrees to turn it into a book.

With a percentage of the Gotham Group’s share promised to the publisher, “he might be willing to take that leap of faith” on a book that might not otherwise have been published, she said. “What we’re really trying to do,” Ms. Goldsmith-Vein said, is “lock arms and sort of walk down the road together in terms of the economic incentive.”

Mr. Russell’s series, “Alienated,” is his first book project. He wrote the screenplays for his films “I ♥ Huckabees” and “Three Kings,” among others.

Mr. Russell said he became interested in writing for young teenagers partly because of the sway books like “Huckleberry Finn” and “Lord of the Flies” held over him when he was young.

“It’s a pretty strong period from your own life,” said Mr. Russell, who also cited his 14-year-old son as an influence. “In terms of taste, I would say the same things that enchant him are the same things that enchanted me.”

With a co-writer, Craig DiGregorio, Mr. Russell has written several drafts of a script for an “Alienated” film, which could be produced in tandem with the book series. The story is centered on two children who work for “an old tabloid that covers the world of freaks and aliens,” he said.

“I always liked the idea of playing with the idea of transformation and alien nature and freak nature,” Mr. Russell said. “I just want it to be really fun and really funny and be really original. I think that’s the hardest thing to do.”

Some children’s authors, aware of the benefits of turning their books into multimedia properties, said they are taking a more active role in the film adaptation of their books, at the publisher’s urging.

Tony DiTerlizzi, who wrote “The Spiderwick Chronicles” with Holly Black, said he tried early in the publishing process to develop the film at the same time.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE

Cheers!
Brian M Logan
ThatActionGuy.com

 

 

EMAIL ME HERE

Advertisements