Author Input Not Needed?

It's pretty mysterious to me why authors don't have say in the tv or film versions of their novels.  It's only right that they should have creative input on the works they created.

There are plenty of books turned into movies and tv shows that the authors have no say in.

True Blood
FlashForward
Justified
Gossip Girl
The Vampire Chronicles: Interview with a Vampire and Queen of the Damned
Bones
Dexter
Jumper

Bones and Dexter

Hart Hanson is the creator, writer and executive producer of the tv show Bones, which has been renewed for a 6th season (congrats Hart).

Jeff Lindsay's Dexter is going into its 5th season in September, this is a show that followed the book in the first season and then later adopted other plot lines not in the original novels.

Justified



The jury is still out when it comes to Justified, I really enjoy the show, and not just because Elmore John Leonard wrote 3:10 to Yuma which is one of my favorite movies but because 24 got cancelled, so this is my new western version of 24.

In cases like FlashForward, Gossip Girl and True Blood the author is seen as a footnote almost.  And oh yeah, that guy/gal over there.

Questions

Why don't the authors of these shows get to write a few episodes for the tv show that was created by the book that they wrote?

Do they not want to?
Is the story too far removed from what they're used to?

If someone were to write a fanfiction of something I've written and asked me to take it from there, I'd have a problem and want to change everything back, so I could understand if they didn't want to.

Queen of the Damned Debacle


I was reading about Anne Rice's displeasure for Queen of the Damned.  I read the book and I saw the movie and I read the book so long ago I really didn't remember it but yes, they're two different animals, add the fact that it was a mistake to intertwine The Vampire Lestat with The Queen of the Damned novels into one movie I could see why people disliked it so much.  I wouldn't rate it as terrible.  Let me put it to you this way, I'd rather watch Queen of the Damned over The Room or Spiderman 3.


Anne Rice's reaction

By July 2001, author Anne Rice had mellowed her previous stance on the film, much as she had with Interview. When asked about the film's progress, she answered:[5]
"Everything I hear about the movie is good. Warner Bros. is extremely enthusiastic. They are working very hard to make it perfect. I have no real news. Let me repeat what I mentioned in a recent message. I met Stuart Townsend, the young man who is playing Lestat and he was absolutely charming. He had Lestat's excellent speaking voice and his feline grace. I cannot wait to see him in the film."
By late 2001, Rice had seen the completed film and was sufficiently satisfied to allow her name to be used on promotional materials[6], although she later dismissed the film in 2003, stating that a television series format would be more suited to her work.[7]
On her Facebook page, any time the subject is brought up, she repeatedly comments that The Queen of the Damned film is not something she can understand or embrace, that she encouraged them not to do the film and that it hurt her to see her work mutilated the way it did.[8]

I knocked down her reaction a bit because sometimes I think she's a little peeved about everything, she even banned fanfiction so, yes it's bad but not that bad, in my opinion.

But I'm brought back to my original question, just why didn't the producers opt for her to do her own screenplay or at least listen to her?  She wrote it.

Jumper


 I really like teleportation.  I really like teleportation stories, my very, very first favorite science fiction show was the Tomorrow People.  More old school Nick people.

Jumper wasn't terrible, but I feel the same way about it as I do Queen of the Damned.  It was okay, but the book was so much better.  If I didn't read the book I would have said it was a good movie but now it was busted down to okay.

I like Rachel Bilson, I really do, if she's in something that I wouldn't normally watch, I'll give it a shot because she's in it.  I didn't give a crap as to what Marrisa and Ryan were doing on The OC it was always Summer and Seth.  So when I heard she was going to be in the movie I thought great!  And as I was reading the book before the movie release, I really did not have her face in mind.  Millie was older than David, I thought that part of their relationship was important, and the storyline concerning the mother was all done differently.  Not to mention the fact that the man hunting David was not a Samuel L. Jackson type of guy so...I kept watching the whole movie with this nagging bird on my shoulder, "That's not how THAT happened!"  I liked it the first way, lol.

Are the stereotypes about authors true?  Are we just a bunch of lushy, unruly, stuck up, self-entitled jerks that no one could ever work with us?  Are we too close to the work?  And we could possibly have a five hour movie on our hands?


I don't know, but it seems like shows do better when the writer is involved, I don't hear or read about that much controversy about Dexter which followed the novel in the first season or Bones.

FlashForward is facing cancellation, yet if the book were followed in that case we would have had a completely different show.


Hopefully producer Michael De Luca of Sony will allow the creativity to flow from author Jonathan Maberry when Patient Zero becomes a tv show (positive thinking, it's only in development for now).

 Review of The Dragon Factory one of Jonathan Maberry's novels
Maberry posted after the review
Thanks for that insightful and intelligent review of THE DRAGON FACTORY. Glad to hear that you enjoyed the book. There are also two free Joe Ledger short stories available online: “COUNTDOWN” is a prequel to PATIENT ZERO [pdf] and “DEEP, DARK” [pdf], which takes place just before the second book, THE DRAGON FACTORY.

The series has been optioned by producer Michael De Luca (Seven, Magnolia, Blade) on behalf of SONY and is in development for TV


I think it hurts the work when the author isn't involved.  Let them in the writer's room or at least as a creative consultant...please?

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