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Posts made in February, 2015

WoT Pilot: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

WoT Pilot: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

By on Feb 10, 2015 in Fiction, Film, News | 0 comments

Did you hear about the stealthy “pilot” for a tv series based on the much-acclaimed Wheel of Time series? Probably, as blogs on several geek and nerd/science and entertainment sites have spent time on the subject. Aside from the general surprise at a rather low-budget production for such a big property (airing without fanfare, in the middle of the night, as paid programming), is there much else to talk about? Well, there were two added twists: the nature of the production & broadcast are believed to have been a gambit to retain rights to the property by Red Eagle Entertainment, while author Robert Jordan’s wife appears to have commented that she was not aware of any such official project. This is all made very interesting by two additional twists: in 2008 it was reported that Universal Pictures paid a large amount of money for the film and television rights to the property, with Red Eagle handling the potential production, and the rights were set to revert back to the original owners as of this Wednesday (02/11/2015). This latter sort of clause has a history, notably with several contracts Marvel Comics engaged in before their eventual success in the film industry, allowing the owner of a work to regain property it has licensed to other parties if those parties don’t do anything with it. Who Is Red Eagle? A few of the articles I linked to give much more information, but here is a summary. Red Eagle, the company that optioned the film rights for the first novel back in the early 2000s (I have seen the year 2000 mentioned several times, but cannot find confirmation of that particular year), has been the source of numerous disappointments when it comes to the Wheel of Time property. There were short-lived comic book series, promises of videogames followed by mishandled crowdfunding initiatives or missed opportunities, and even Jordan himself wrote scathingly of the company before he died. But Can They Even Do That? Maybe. And it seems more likely than a few people are making it out to be, unless the people in charge of Red Eagle are far more foolish than they seem (yes, even given the above). Until we find out more about the relationship of any production agreements or...

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Should Authors Panic Over ‘Gravity’ Case?

Should Authors Panic Over ‘Gravity’ Case?

By on Feb 2, 2015 in Announcements, Film, News | 0 comments

  Not yet. Excuse me while I brush off a bit of the dust on my keyboard. Now, if you are a creative type or movie buff that hasn’t seen articles with big headlines about Tess Gerritsen‘s suit against Warner Brothers over money she claims is owed due to the production of the film Gravity [I originally linked to the film’s official site, but dislike websites that auto-play sound]. Some blogs aimed at writers and screenwriters have made a larger deal of the impact this could have on future contracts with studios. Why? Well because it looks like if you sell a property to a studio and that studio later gets acquired by another company, the new owner could use your work without having to honor the original studio’s responsibilities. And that would be bad. I just don’t think we’re there, and any talk of precedent (in the important legal sense) is probably extremely premature considering that all we have a is an order based on preliminary motions.   So What’s Going On? The crux of Gerritsen’s position is this: 1) The rights to her book were purchased by the Katja Motion Picture Corp., an arm of New Line Productions, Inc. 2) The contract between her and Katja was guaranteed by New Line, who it was understood would actually be making the movie; she claims that Katja was a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Line that it used to acquire and develop literary property. 3) The movie was in the works with, unknown to Gerritsen at the time, the future director of Gravity attached to direct and he would have been given her book as well as additional material. 4) She created a modified version of the story for production that’s more like the movie than the book initially was. 5) The director and his son sometime later wrote a screenplay that not only is very similar to her novel, including a fidelity to scientific details, but to the additional modifications she produced for Katja. 6) Warner Brothers acquired control of New Line and Katja, and therefor all its rights and obligations regarding her work. 7) A year later the director and son transferred all their rights to their Gravity project to Warner Brothers. 8) Her...

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