The news popped yesterday evening, while I was at dinner. This is one of the things I’ve been working on for the last few months, and it eventually all happened last week (and then I took a long weekend to rest). Deadline.com has the press release: Fox Buys Thriller From Chernin’s Company Based On Upcoming Warren Ellis Novel.
Basically, this happened: Chernin Entertainment (in the form of a relentless and charming lady called Lauren Stein) bought GUN MACHINE pre-emptively, sight unseen, half a year before its publication.
Then we went looking for a showrunner, which we found in the body of Dario Scardapane. I went with Dario because he got the themes of the book immediately. Dario, with me mostly just sort of getting in his way, came up with a take on the book as a series. We got in a room with Fox Broadcasting (who partly arrived in the form of Jon Wax, an acquaintance and supporter) and told them what we wanted to do. And the next day I got a phone call telling me that we had successfully fooled Fox into buying it for development.
It’s important to note at this point that I take the credit for none of this. This is down to Dario, and Lauren Stein and Katherine Pope, and my agent Angela Cheng Caplan and my patient lawyer George Davis of Nelson Davis Wetzstein. And I have to take this opportunity to thank all of them. Particularly Angela and George, who save me from myself on a regular basis. Also, Lydia Wills, without whom none of this would have happened at all, and John Schoenfelder and Michael Pietsch for believing in the book at the start.
There have, of course, been a lot of jokes about Fox cancelling their series. I loved PROFIT, and I, too, would have liked to have seen that second season of HOUSE. Anyway. It’s all the luck of the draw, and I’d rather be in this position than not.
As I learned on GLOBAL FREQUENCY way back when, tv is a series of hurdles, and nothing’s a locked deal even when you’re actually out in the world shooting the thing. There are no guarantees in television, just like any other commercial creative art. But we’re in good shape at this point. Dario and I are talking a lot and agreeing on stuff. Next up, Dario writes the script, with me sitting on his shoulder screeching. Actually, trying not to screech, because if you don’t want your book adapted, you shouldn’t sell anyone the right to adapt it. At this point, though, I’m pretty involved in the adaptation, and having fun.
All of which is pretty good for a book that hasn’t been published yet.
(At a later date I’ll assemble links for other bookstore services.)