Re: RARA-AVIS: name changes - Parker

Date: 31 Mar 2002

Re Terrill's comment below:

> Smarter than most
> writers, Westlake wisely put clauses in his
> contracts when Hollywood (and
> France) came a callin' allowing the producers to buy
> the stories of the
> various Parker novels they were interested in, but
> not allowing them to own
> the character . . . Writers
> who write series characters
> and get courted by the movies should emulate
> Westlake's business savvy
> whenever possible, otherwise a producer can tie up
> two or more books just by
> optioning the rights to one. It's happened to some
> pretty smart people out
> there.

One smart writer it happened to was Tony Hillerman who sold (or optioned) one of the early Joe Leaphorn books to a studio only to find that, unbeknownst to him, he'd also signed away the rights (or at least options to the rights) to the character, which not only meant they had some claim on the rest of the series (and any future entries in the series), but also meant the studio could develop original screenplays about the character without regard to Hillerman at all. This was one of the reasons Hillerman developed the Jim Chee character. It allowed him to continue his series of Navajo police procedurals without using a character who was already in bondage to Hollywood.


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