Movie Deal!

The contracts are signed and in the mail, so it’s finally safe to announce: I have sold the movie rights for “I Am Not a Serial Killer.” Hooray! At this stage it is what we call an option, which works like this: a producer pays me X dollars to “reserve” the rights for a certain period of time. During that period I can’t sell the rights to anyone else, and at any point before that period expires they can pay me Y dollars (already defined in the option contract) to purchase the full rights and begin production. Typically, this will happen after the producer has found a director and a screenwriter, and they’ve worked out a screenplay and a shooting schedule and a workable budget; in other words, they don’t buy the full rights until they have a very clear plan of how to make the movie, and they’re confident they can do it right.

In my case the producer already has a director lined up, and I’ve talked with him, and I’m incredibly confident that he can do a great job with the book. Everyone involved thus far is European, for what it’s worth: the director is Irish, and production company is French, and that turns out to be a very good thing because the European movie industry is not nearly as strapped for cash as Hollywood is right now. What this means overall is that the movie stands a better than average chance of actually being made, which is great news. Keep in mind, though, that it could just as easily crash and burn and never happen at all. We’ll cross our fingers and hope for the best.

So what are they going to do with the book, specifically? I have no idea. I know they intend to shoot in the US, but that’s about where it ends–it’s too early to talk about casting (though you are free to speculate), and it’s even too early to say conclusively what they plan to do with the structure of the story. So much of the book depends on John’s voice–will they use narration? Will they find some wacky gimmick to turn inner monologue into outer dialogue? Will your favorite minor character appear or be written out for the sake of time? At this point, we literally have no idea.

But I’m very excited to find out.

23 Responses to “Movie Deal!”

  1. Very cool, it really sounds like things are going great for you right now. I look forward to the U.S. release.

  2. stacy says:

    Inner monologue is tough to translate to the screen. Laurie Halse Anderson’s excellent Speak is a great example–the main character *doesn’t* speak until the very end of the book. They had to have her speak a little in the movie, or it’d be a silent film. But I think what they came up with was a nice adaptation. (It was a small indie film, not Hollywood.)

  3. Kristy says:


  4. Wow! I have no idea how they’ll do it, but if the director is great–he’ll find a way.


  5. Sean - Texas says:


    So, um, what are you going to do if they turn it into a grisly horror film? I mean, there is enough ammo in the book to do it for sure (torturing animals, playing with cadavers, gory murders, etc.). Or were you already assuming that was the route they’d take?

  6. Raethe says:

    Congratulations–that’s fantastic!

  7. Congratulations. Wonderfful news. Keep us posted.

  8. Congrats! I hope it makes it all the way to the screen and that you love the movie! I think you might have a better chance at nuance and depth outside Hollywood,too. YAY!

  9. Sarah Bylund (Shrain) says:

    How very exciting, Dan! Even Brandon didn’t get a book optioned for a movie until recently. Congrats!

  10. Wow, very exciting. Congrats!
    (we met briefly at Worldcon, in case you were wondering where I was popping out of–we were running the same writing workshop for teens)

  11. admin says:

    Of course I remember you, Aliette! Thanks for dropping by.

    Sean from Texas: The director actually told me that he thought my book was a little too grisly, so I assume that means he’ll keep the focus on tension over gore. Most of the gore in the book is seen from a distance anyway, through darkness or trees and such, so it wouldn’t be hard.

  12. Titus says:

    Congratulations! I’ll try not to clog up this comments section too much. See you on TWG. 😀

  13. Grokmeister says:

    Congratulations Dan,
    Does the deal involve books no.2 and 3 as well, or is it specifically for no.1?

  14. Callisto says:

    That’s fantastic, Dan! A great big congrats to you.

    I know my little sister will be dying to try out for the part of Brooke. :)

  15. Steve D says:

    Sorry, Callisto, I think Dan is going to put on a wig and audition for that part himself.

  16. Arlene says:

    Wow! That’s so awesome! And I’m sure you’ll play a great Brooke. 😉

  17. WEKM says:

    Be sure and hold out for a better cameo than Stacy got.

  18. Hey Dan congratulations with the movie deal! I’m not sure if you remember me and my partner from CONDuit but we now have a live radio show and would love to interview you about your book and the movie deal. You can do the interview from the comfort of your own home, all you’d need to do would be call in and do the interview? Let me know if your interested?


  19. […] Die Fortsetzung erscheint 2010 (keine Angst: Band eins ist abgeschlossen – ist aber quasi prädestiniert für ein Sequel). Und natürlich sind die Filmrechte auch schon verkauft, wie Mr. Wells Ende September in seinem Blog verkündete. […]

  20. That is SO cool. I want to be Brooke.
    unless she gets killed down the line.
    Dramatic death scene? Perhaps I can do it.

    I always wanted to be an actress.
    Took Drama classes in college and high school.

  21. mkhai says:

    hey Dan, congratulations on the movie deal! I just got done reading the series, and I was hoping that you hadn’t sold the rights for a movie yet because I wanted to make it! I hope you work with them every step of the way. if you need someone to direct Mr. Monster, I’m your guy! I can’t even begin to tell you how strongly I feel for the story, every moment of these books was nothing short of amazing. I would like to bounce some ideas off of you, to keep ourselves sharp, if you catch my drift. I’m an aspiring author myself and I would be interested to hear about your method. Get back to me please!

  22. Alan says:

    Damn I’m late to the party.

  23. BenPen says:

    What could happen is that his monologues could be like Frank Underwood’s in House of Cards. They have a slightly similar voice, and it’s Frank’s deadpan snarkiness that allows him to pull off breaking the 4th wall.

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