Archive for July, 2009

Comic-Con – Signing schedule

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Wednesday July 22

6:30 pm ­ to 9:00 pm

Thursday July 23

11:00 am ­ to 1:00 pm
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Saturday July 25

1:00 pm to 3:30 pm
5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Sunday July 26

11:00 am to 3:00 pm

World War Z: The Movie – UPDATE

Friday, July 17th, 2009

At every book signing, someone always asks what’s going on with the movie version of “World War Z.” Who’s directing it, who’s going to star, and, most importantly, when is it coming out? I don’t mind answering these questions, but I feel bad that I don’t have much to tell. I’m not involved in the making of “World War Z: the movie.”  My participation ended when Paramount Pictures optioned the rights to the book. That’s usually how it works in Hollywood, and it’s not the worst way to operate.  Writing a book is very different than writing a movie; especially because the latter is extremely collaborative. Sometimes an author can do both. I can’t. I don’t play well with others. As a friend, husband, father and citizen, I firmly believe in the ideals of democracy. But when it comes to art, get the fuck out of my way.  So they didn’t offer me the job, and I wouldn’t have taken it, and I think everybody will be happier in the end.

Here’s what I can tell you about the progress of the WWZ movie adaptation:

-Brad Pitt’s movie company, “Plan B,” bought the movie rights (through their deal with Paramount) after a bidding war with Leonardo DiCaprio’s company, Appian Way. That was almost 4 years ago.

-J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Changeling, Jeremiah, and whole lot of other AWESOME STUFF), was the first screenwriter on the project. He wrote the first two drafts of the script, although I think there might be a third draft somewhere out there. I’ve only read the first draft, and I can say that, as the protective, uncompromising author of the book, it was a genuine masterpiece.

-The new screenwriter is Matt Carnahan (The Kingdom, State of Play). Anyone in Hollywood will tell you that most movies go through half a dozen screenwriters before a movie ever gets made. For everyone that’s credited, there might be two or three more that are brought in to do discreet ‘polishes.’ (Any wonder why I didn’t want the job?) I don’t know Matt’s work very well, although. I can say that he’s one of the hottest, highest paid screenwriters in Hollywood, and bringing him onboard speaks volumes in studio confidence.

-Marc Forster (Kite Runner, Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace), has signed on as the movie’s director. He has a ‘development deal’ which means that he now oversees the progress of the script. He came on after JMS had already written several drafts. In his words, the story is “still far from realization.”  Right now he’s working with Carnahan on a new draft. I’m not sure when that will be completed.

And this is all I know.

Will this movie get made? Who knows. The odds are against it, but the odds are against any movie getting made. What helps is the continued enthusiasm for the project. Paramount has already renewed the option for another two years (one year left now), and hiring such a high profile writer as Carnahan is always a good sign. What also helps is the fact that Paramount has gone through more regime changes than a Banana Republic, and the World War Z is still in the mix. What hurts is the sheer size of the movie. World War Z is just that, a WORLD WAR! You can’t make this kind of movie on the cheap. It’s gotta be massive, epic, with the kind of budget that scares the hell out of anyone holding the studio purse strings. Only a few of these movies are made a year, and if one of them bombs, it can kill the careers of anyone involved. You can understand why those at the helm are being cautious. Sometimes a movie can spend 20 years in development (”I Am Legend” anyone?).  Who knows what will happen.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

I’m always happy to answer your questions, but truthfully, you’ll get better answers if you ask those directly involved. Marc Forster, Matt Carnahan, the folks at Plan B and Paramount all have phone numbers and email addresses. They can all answer your questions better than I.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Recorded Attacks – UPDATE

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I finally looked at the last polish on the last of the artwork (although saying this, I’m probably inviting more trouble). It’s been a long, long haul but I think we’re actually go to press! Still not sure if we’ll have any galley copies ready by Comic-Con. Even uncorrected proofs would be better than nothing. News on that should be coming soon.

Wizard World proposal

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I got to my first signing at 10AM and found there was already a line. The guy waiting in front asked me to inscribe a copy of WWZ to his girlfriend then ask if she would marry him. He then turned to the woman behind him in line, got down on one knee and presented her with the book and a ring. Thank God she said yes. That could have been really awkward for the people behind him in line.