Of late, I have noticed a certain topic coming up on social media. And it boils down to the question at the top of this page.
I get it, though — if you’ve read the books and you really, really liked them1 then you’re sitting around going, “WTF, Hollywood? These books are perfect for (as one person wrote to me) ‘a television show or series of blockbuster movies.’ Get on it!”
You want a movie or a TV series. Hell, so do I.
Here’s the deal: There are a ton of books that would make great TV or great movies. A ton of them. Thousands of books are published each year; mere hundreds of movies are made. Not everything that’s worthy will be chosen.
And in general, so far as I can tell, Hollywood decides to make a movie or a TV show from a book based on one of two factors:
- Someone very powerful really loves the book and insists on turning it into a film, or
- The book is a mega-super-duper-bestseller, so Hollywood knows there’s a built-in audience for it, making it a risk worth taking
It’s not just about “It’s really good and would make a great movie!”
As to #1: Well, look, if any of you out there are close personal friends with someone powerful in Hollywood, sure, go ahead and hand that person a copy of I Hunt Killers. Because if Brad Pitt or Reese Witherspoon or Ryan Reynolds or Jennifer Lawrence read and love it, it’ll become a movie. I guarantee it.
But so far, that hasn’t happened.
As to #2: Hey, I know you loved the books, but we need a couple hundred thousand of your friends to love it, too. Or at least to buy it. Don’t get me wrong: I Hunt Killers is without a doubt the most successful book of my career; it even landed at #3 on the bestsellers list! But what makes something a “hit” in publishing doesn’t always measure up to something that will get Hollywood’s attention. As best I can tell, I’d need to sell four or five times more copies of I Hunt Killers to get Hollywood to sit up and take notice. And at this late date, with the book being so old, the odds of hundreds of thousands of readers suddenly discovering it are pretty slim.
The news isn’t all bad, though. There’s still option #1. Rest assured: My agent is always working to put the book in front of the right people, and even though we’ve had no luck thus far…we only have to get lucky once.
- And thank you for that!↩