Larry in La La Land

-Jack, here. Larry shared his Hollywood experience on TwitterX recently and I thought it should be preserved here.

There are thousands of books out there with original ideas that could be made into movies, but Hollywood is mostly illiterate.

Okay, I’m gonna expound on this with a thread about my experiences with Hollywood, as limited as those may be. As a working novelist and red state American I’m like an outsider barbarian there. 

First, I’m not exaggerating about them being illiterate, let me tell you a story-

Back when I was first getting started, Monster Hunter International had just blown up. I got contacted by my first movie producer. Nice guy. Had a made a bunch of movies I’d heard of in the 90s and early 2000s. 

This guy actually read books. Little did I know just how odd that was at the time. So this producer read MHI, loved it, showed it to his friend who was the #2 person at a major movie studio, who also read books. And he was literally like the only guy at the entire movie studio who actually READ BOOKS.

I wish I was exaggerating. I’m not.

The #2 guy at Major Studio you’ve all heard of reads MHI. Loves it. Even had an MHI patch on his desk. I flew out there to meet with these people, only to promptly discover that literally everybody else in Hollywood is functionally illiterate. I have a lunch meeting with these dudes, some Studio People, another novelist (way more famous than me), and a guy who has won an Academy Award for special effects. 

First time in my life I had mango chutney. Which is pretty awesome. Not so awesome was the rest of Hollywood. Studio guy starts pitching who should star in MHI, and this is when I learn Hollywood doesn’t give a fuck which actor actually fits the part, or who would do a good job, but who they have a deal with to give more work to. So they started casting- they start casting my 6’5″ 300 pound half Polynesian former illegal pit fighter main character. 

Hey, what about Tobey Maguire?” 

Oooh, I know, Jake Gyllenhall would like this part!” 

And I’m like… are you people high? WTF is wrong with you? Other writer leans over, whispers in my ear “Don’t say anything. They never give a fuck what us writers think.” Of course none of the studio people had read the book, nor did they care to. Their job is to be VISIONARY. 

As this went on, their vision got goofier and goofier, but I enjoyed my mango chutney quite a bit. It was an expensive place and the studio was paying for it.

Amusing side note- being a Hollywood restaurant, other patrons were wannabe actors, so when they heard us talking business, the actors realized these were actual studio people, so they started interrupting our lunch to introduce themselves and drop off glossy pictures and bios. 

Oh hi I couldn’t help but overheard your conversation and I think I’d be perfect for blah blah blah” as they are handing out pics. 

When the first actor did this, all the other wannabes there saw this happen, so they all ran back to their cars and came back with pictures and bios to give us too. The studio people didn’t seem to notice. I didn’t know what to do with them so I started collecting them like trading cards.

So the Major Studio people loved MHI. They’re going to make me an offer. A week later the literate producer calls me and says the deal is dead. Why? Because Will Smith, who at the time was the biggest box office winner in the world, had just talked about doing a family comedy with Kevin James called “Monster Hunters” where a pair of child psychologists discover that the monsters under kids’ beds are real. (great pitch by the way)  Which meant instantaneous death for my project. They aren’t messing with Will Smith. 

And then Will Smith never made that movie anyway. 

(Keep in mind, this was way before most people in America had ever heard of the Japanese video game with that name too, which extra kicks me in the nuts 12 years later!)

A few years later I option MHI to Entertainment One for a TV show. I get paid money to just let somebody else hold the rights. And then nada… I don’t hear anything for years. Occasionally something changes and I get an update. They actually paid for a couple of screen plays to be made of it. But nobody tells me anything because I’m just the writer. 🙂

At one point I was told Dwayne Johnson tried to pick up MHI from E1, but that fell through (I have no idea if he read it because who knows, but I was told he wanted to be a bad ass and fight monsters).  But that fell through, and the Rock then bought the rights for Seal Team 666 from my friend Weston Ochse (good dude, RIP) where bad ass Navy SEALs fight monsters. I emailed Weston when that was announced and told him “congratulations, you bastard” 😀

Hard Magic got optioned by Radar Pictures, but same story. I haven’t heard anything new for a while (nobody tells the writer anything). Same thing. Occasionally a movie star I’ve heard of expresses interest, and then nada. A producer briefly shopped Tom Stranger for an adult cartoon, and Adam Baldwin said he’d love to play Tom again if it got picked up (he killed it on the audiobook) but Rick and Morty came along and anything “multidimensional” was seen as a rip off of that, so that project died too. 

Long story short, Hollywood options a lot of books, but they only go into production on a fraction of those. Most of them just hang out in limbo, with us authors getting paid option money to just not sell the rights to somebody else. Ender’s Game got optioned for like 30 years before they finally made a movie. 

So Hollywood has a ton of original unique properties available, but very few people who can actually make decisions actually read any of them. I’ve got a bunch of things which would make great TV shows or movies, and people ask me all the time who I’d like to see play whatever character, but I’m so jaded, I don’t care. I’m gonna cash that check and shut up because nobody gives a shit what the writer thinks. 

Seriously, if you aren’t JK Rowling, Hollywood doesn’t give a shit about us wanting to “maintain our creative vision”.

People always ask me, aren’t I worried that Hollywood will screw it up and make a bad movie? Oh hell no. First off, they have to pay me more if they actually go into production. I am a devout capitalist. Second, if it is actually good, I sell more books because they are now a successful media tie in, and if it is a shitty movie, I just got an hour long commercial with everybody who has read it telling everyone “the book is better”.

So that’s my experience with Hollywood. It is a bunch of people who don’t read books and who don’t really give a shit about the story doing whatever they feel like, while desperate beautiful strangers give them glossy head shots. 

Down These Mean Streets
Down These Mean Streets

89 thoughts on “Larry in La La Land”

  1. I’m getting the feeling that 2024 may be the year of the great woke conflagration that burns fucking Hollywood to the ground. Disney is going to pretend to hear their customers saying “screw your woke shit” and then release even more woke crap. The gender and race swapping won’t stop, and I’m so jaded now that any movies that pull that shit are an automatic NO. Is that racist and sexist? Probably, but then again fuck you Hollywood.

    I really do hope 2024 is the year they burn.

    1. Word of advice

      This is something I disparaged and was confused by seeing as even the USA has lots of poverty, but I only understand now

      It is a “Time of Plenty”

      Even in China wherein the lockdowns were way way way harsher, somehow the economy and the people survived the “stress test” that saw many losing their lives, their livelihoods, their money, their health, their sanity and what few freedoms they had

      There is a LOT of money to burn on highly inefficient and subpar products and services

      Biggest proof? The Prussian Education System in both schools and colleges. Do they make any truly skilled and intelligent people? Not at all

      But they continue to exist because they make “good credentials” and at the office, you’ll only ever gain actual skills for things like accounting over there than at college

      Making a college degree a requirement for Medical School and Law School, is likely highly unnecessary, especially if it’s a degree in a barely related course that gets you in

      Been like this for decades, and all over the world, we worship academia and disparage the Trades as being for lesser “dirty” and “smelly” and “stupid” people

      Hell, it’s even like that in my country, the Philippines, a third world country and we have a LOT of your non-STEM courses in our colleges…..I once had a Filipino language teacher somehow turning the class into a complaining about “female objectification” or how men should be shamed for liking bigger cup sizes on ladies and a theology class disparaging Christianity and praising Sharia Law(we were a Jesuit College)

      And when you get to the office, they don’t care what you actually majored in, so long as you have a degree, they will look greatly upon you because a degree helps know if someone’s willing to put the time and effort to be in a desk all day and following orders regardless of a lack of skill

      Entertainment Media? Especially American Entertainment media? Has a LOT of cash around, both from past successes, ESG Investing from BlackRock and money laundering

      2024? It’s gonna take a few more years before suddenly a need for actual competence and passion return and when people temporarily start hiding their ESG stuff

      By then, I can expect the world to become more and more of a police state and who knows, outside of specific big corporations or areas like Hollywood, you may not legally be allowed to make any pieces of fiction without a license or sufficient social credit score

      2024? Perhaps 2035 at best….by then things will be too late or you’d be seeing a bigger Parallel Economy not just in the USA but all over the world, because if you can’t get a job or make a business legally, you can do it illegally… market beef burgers because cows cause pollution and almost everybody else is eating insects

      1. Sounds like the US Military. A guy with a degree in Music or Forestry is more qualified to be a helicopter pilot than a guy who has been a crewman and mechanic on the aircraft for five years.

          1. Can’t reply to your other comment

            But I have to say, it helps a lot, if you still have Training From Hell and access to actual veterans and equipment for as close to real life combat as possible

            They narrow down what you got to the most competent and dangerous

            Those guys alongside others end up sharpened in the field or they do NOT survive the next few years unless they’re far from the action

            It’s funny, but some authors kinda predicted a similar situation

            Something along the lines of “The country’s a decaying corrupt decadent hedonistic self-destructive unproductive mess…..most of those in our armed forces are too addicted, too obese, too cowardly, too lazy, too douchey etc to fight and endure….our command has almost no real grasp of tactics and are far away….we are the few left with actual competency and experience….we are also being made to snuff out places we’d want to not just live in but whose societies we’d actually wish to be part of not just due to better living conditions but because they are oddly more competent people…..sorry we’re just following orders”

            I wouldn’t put off plenty of the most competent, essentially being blackmailed to fight on, even if they knew the situation they’re being sent to is a suicide mission that’s barely been thought out

            Though, since I think people are hoping to rely more on drones for combat, they’re starting to think too many of the competent types whilst reliable for combat, are unreliable for politics

          2. Give it a few years to decades

            If that Training From Hell and expectation for actual reliable equipment goes down

            You’ll just be relying on veterans with actual combat experience, and those few who’ll have all the burden placed upon them for showing themselves to be “too able” and “too willing(Brave, determined, patient, disciplined, competent etc) alongside drones

            Though, TBF, I think other nations including the People’s Republic of China are experiencing similar problems….can’t actually motivate people to join or fight, let alone work a job with no real reward and loads of debt and other prices and taxes

        1. Didn’t realize it was that bad

          Then again, the “Military Industrial Complex” looks to be way worse than how fiction depicts it

          Hideo Kojima’s War Economy in Metal Gear, except with probably a LOT more tofu Dreg projects….gets worse in that they end up having to use that tofu for war and they over time probably lower standards of training and merit and character

          But, that maybe because, they’ve gotten too strong or feel like they require Soft Power more than Hard Power

          A reputation for having power, rather than actually having said power…..said reputation lowers over time but again, it’s too much of an “Age of Plenty” so this incompetent bureaucratic stuff can last decades till a change is needed

          1. When incompetent brass put competent NCOs into situations where they have to win or die, enough of them will pull victory out of their asses to make the whole lashup look like it’s working.

            The closer you get to the top, the less competence matters. Especially in the last 3 years, with the Zombie Sock-Puppet pretending to run things.

    2. Highly recommend the anime Pantheon.

      Anyway, the only thing better the movies is video games. Would be like a dream if Larry Correia teamed up with Drew Karpyshyn and made a video game for MHI: Monster Hunter International

      1. Better yet, a “Boomer Shooter” game like the original DOOM

        Or something like Fallout but with it feeling like you’re actually hitting something when you’re shooting at them

        Lots and lots of gun customizations to go with it

        The AntiChrist fears a Ma Deuce and wishes it were banned from civilian ownership

    1. I would *love* to talk to them. I’ll keep trying but if you know someone in particular, have em give me a shout…

    2. My understanding is you have to go to them with a pretty much ready-to-go project, not a pitch for a project.

      1. Ready to go as in you’ve got a completed script? Or ready to go as in you’ve got a completed script *and* all the key people (director, producer, etc.) already lined up and on board?

  2. Consider that a Hollywood studio actually paid for several seasons of a Blazing Saddles television series, starring Lou Gossit Jr., that never aired just to keep the movie rights. There are stills, and a few seconds of video floating around the internet.

  3. There’s the story that Hitchcock got the idea for The Man Who Knew Too Much just by looking at the title for Chesterton’s collection.

    That is, as Hollywood goes, a very justifiable reason for divergence.

    Others — not so much.

  4. There are thousands of books out there that could be made into better movies than anything Hollyweird has puked out in the last 15 years. If they want their bizarre gender-twisting, Lois Bujold’s Vorkosigan books have real, functional sex reassignment and genetically engineered hermaphrodites! And Quaddies! And Taura, the 8-foot-tall wolf-woman super-soldier!

    Of course, the hermaphrodites were created in an effort to guarantee Perfect Equality and that didn’t work out so well, Taura was sold as a slave, the Quaddies were made to be indentured serfs…
    Count Vordarian: “What? You’re a Betan! You can’t do—“

  5. Ya Larry, but even if they did read it would probably be Marxian crap instead of Adam Smithian material.
    Is it nigh hoon yet?

  6. This was fun to read…. It sounds so predictable to how these people behave. You have the perception it’s like this in your head, then you read this and just get verification. I can imagine the Netflix Witcher show being run by these people. It’s like Henry Cavill and maybe one other writer battling an army of overpaid losers to keep the show from flying off the tracks… and it did anyway. You can only stick your thumb in the dike of incompetence for so long.

    1. Which is a big reason why I am tentatively optimistic about the Warhammer 40k project. Cavill cut slingload on Witcher because they were just fucking up everything and he was an actual fan who was disgusted by it, so he told them he was out. He now owns the rights to putting the Warhammer universe on the bid or small screen, and he is a HUGE fan of the game. Like he actually has armies he has painted, plays when he can on sets, and has stated that if Amazon or whoever wants to do some bullshit, he will nuke the deal from orbit. I know Larry is a big War Machine guy, but I would imagine he would enjoy a Warhammer show or movie if it was done right.

  7. Politics aside, here’s one thing I’ve heard regarding why Hollywood’s been terrible for decades

    Too many cooks spoil the meal(?)

    Simply put, mid or before production, there are a LOT of those “visionaries” and random desperate actors and actresses who want to get involved, because otherwise they’ll remain obscure and a many may actually be pretty desperate for cash and will go for anything to get those literally 15 seconds of fame

    The second, no offense, is that Hollywood or Live Action is your countries’ highest art form

    It’s why things like manga, anime, comics and videogames are still seen as for kids. Or worse, in need of “growing up”.

    Hollywood is “realistic” and as such they thing it’s super great compared to everything else, and reading books to begin with takes even more effort than anime, manga, comics and videogames combined. Even stuff written in your country is probably not gonna register in their brains in spite of the big bookstores around.

    Fandoms for specific Mediums of art, can be VERY different from one another, one may never even bother trying samples of that one medium due to too
    much effort

    That Verhoeven dude never read Starship Troopers because he thought weirdly sexual, weirdly anarchic and oddly progressive Robert A Heinlein was a “fascist”. He just was too lazy to read, period

    1. Follow the Money. It’s not so much the random unknown actors as it is the know actors, directors, and producers that have the power & influence to change the story. Very often they do so for an extra onscreen credit, which means a bigger cut of the pie.

      And as such, the bigger the names involved, the more they’re going to want to have a say in how things are done- and they usually get their way.

      1. This too

        Also, those “visionaries” or big guys exist even in videogame and comicbook companies like Marvel which are now under Disney

        One thing I heard is that whilst hiring

        They do NOT want any actual fans onboard for adaptations and sequels or “reimagining”

        Why? Because they’ll complain about the accuracy and going against canon too much. They’ll brush it under the rug as being too un-PC and being “too hard to work with” like Henry Cavil for The Witcher

        I think the only reason that Japan has more accurate adaptations, is because stuff like anime are meant to at times be big advertisements for the Light Novels and Manga and those “Otaku” WILL notice changes, especially the really bad insulting ones. And they’re not too obsessed with “realism”, which is why some of their live action versions of manga/anime, look like cosplay rather than anything “serious”

        1. The only exception I can think of is the Harry Potter franchise. J.K. Rowling arranged the contract so that she would be deeply involved, and every change had to be approved by her. (Though I still don’t understand why they completely cut Peeves….)

          The Hollywood folks accepted that, because otherwise there’d be zero Harry Potter movies. Rowling had them over a barrel: she had an extremely-lucrative IP with an established fan base, practically guaranteed to make piles of cash between the box office, DVD and streaming rights, and merchandising — they’d be monumentally stupid to reject her conditions at almost any price.

          The end result is a movie series that does sufficient service to the books that only the most purist and hardcore fans were disappointed.

          (Actually, the Lord of the Rings movies did OK, too, but only because the producers knew they had to stick close to the source material or the fans would ensure their multi-hundred-million-dollar productions failed, good and hard.)

          I don’t know the Witcher source material half as well as I’d like, but from what I’ve heard I applaud Cavill for walking out. The third season really became “The Yennefer and Tissaia (and sometimes Ciri) Grrl Power Show”; Geralt is barely present. (Yes, I watched it, that’s my impression, not heresay.)

          What I don’t understand is, Henry Cavill has enough Hollywood cred and pull to have his objections heeded — and he’s a fan, so his objections would likely benefit the show and the audience more than himself — but Netflix’s producers chose to disregard his advice.

          They won’t be able to replace him, either — Henry Cavill IS Geralt of Rivia; his on-screen presence embodies the character in a way they can’t possibly hope to recreate with someone else. It’d be like if Viggo Mortensen walked off of LotR and they had to find another Aragorn for the third movie — that ain’t happening. Unless Netflix decides to transition the series to an independent side-plot-line that’s “Based upon the Witcher series” rather than a direct adaptation, it’s dead without Cavill.

          1. Andrzej Sapkowski like Poland as it currently is, is very into PC stuff…..also he just wants his money

            He didn’t think the videogames based off his books would be so popular, so he settled for 5000$ even when offered more

            He doesn’t really love or respect his own works let alone fiction that much. Or is into taking a more active role or really doing the negotiating as far as I can tell

            And no offense, but I don’t think Henry Cavil’s as influential as we’d hope. They tossed him out of The Witcher because he was too much of a fan. If they really wanted, they’d toss him out of Hollywood entirely and also cancel the F-out of him like they did with Johnny Depp, but for now they can’t do it and he’s too popular…..when they find or make the opportunity, sure

            For now, if he gets his more accurate Warhammer, expect for a really good first season or two, then he gets kicked out and all the ESG is injected alongside other weird changes by non-fans occurring

            It’s not just about the money, it’s about sending a message. Elites, including Hollywood Elites, have no real love or passion and they may actually hate the workers, hate the average citizen and hate the fans because they are more full of life than they will ever be.

  8. I’m a huge Elmore Leonard fan. The only books of his that have been put on film worth a damn have been the JUSTIFIED series, 52 PICKUP, and maybe GET SHORTY. Everything else adapted was meh, all the way to dreck. JUSTIFIED is not a literal conversion of the books, but it incorporates the essence of what Leonard put into them.

    That said, DO NOT allow Hollywood to butcher MHI, GRIMNOIRE, SOTFW, or any other of your books/series, or change your characters, or modify plot lines. Fuck ’em. They are destroyers, not creators.

    The books ARE better…

    [P.S., any news on the SOTFW part 4 audiobook?]

  9. How much money would it take to set up Yard Moose Mountain Productions and make your own movies? Hire some Politically Incorrect folks blacklisted by Hollyweird to run it.

    How could they do worse than what we’ve seen the last few years?
    “Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.”

    1. It looks like idiocy to you, but if you look deeper, you realize there’s some logic to their actions

      They exist in a time of plenty, they can afford to waste a LOT of cash on stupid things they don’t even enjoy

      Lots of it is a way to avoid taxes or launder money and at times, many projects aren’t even meant to become successes, at times just something to get some wannabe actors/actresses/directors/script writers etc some extra clout even in obvious failures, also more recently, score ESG points and all this will temporarily go away when they really really really really need to make money

      1. They’re also using their “Time of Plenty” cash in a deliberate effort to destroy our cultural icons.

        Any male character that shows traditionally-masculine traits must be emasculated and/or feminized, female characters must be propped up as the “real” heroes no matter how weak or poorly written, either could be gender-swapped as the producers please, and you can expect some same-sex relationships to pop up among traditionally-straight characters. White characters’ stories must be re-written from a Person of Color’s point of view — up to and including re-casting canonically white heroes and heroines to be played by PoC actors and actresses and canonically PoC villains to be played by white people.

        It’s a culture war with the SJW Left. Not even fictional characters are off-limits.

        1. They wage that culture war even in fiction, because they want to make it felt like they are the majority opinion and gaslight people into absorbing it even as they turn many away

          It’s meant to be demoralizing

          They also want to distort things like “What is good” and also “what is beautiful” in a way without any nuance, to turn you both into fanatical supporters and truly mindless consumers with no standards…..and if you refuse to like their stuff….you’re not welcome anymore

          Will feel more and more alone in the coming years, escapism and friends based off clubs on it will disappear and political arguments will become more frequent even in daily life….that’s part of the goal….it’ll lead to a Parallel Economy to compensate because people don’t want to eat bug burgers

        2. Don’t forget how they seem to specifically want to turn all redheads into black people. Because it’s not like redheads have ever been pursecuted or anything.

    2. A film that is special effects heavy like MHI is going to be expensive. Very expensive. Besides having to CGI all the monsters, you are going to have to CGI all the gun shots. Why? Safety – Google “Rust” and “Baldwin” if you don’t know that story.

      I’d say that with a no-name cast and a talented action director, it’s gonna be north of $100 million budget.

  10. And Entertainment One’s new owners just dropped 375 million on the Monopoly license. Yes, the board game. Yes, 2012’s “Battleship” did lose money. Clue was 38 years ago, based on something with an actual plot and character, and only profitable because of its modest 15 million dollar budget.

    Hollywood is not a learning animal.

    1. Misread the article: It was 375 million for Entertainment One itself, not 375 mil for Monopoly. I’m still sure Lionsgate overpaid though.

    2. After having watched Godzilla Minus One, I feel like you need to go to Japan to get a decent movie made these days. Larry might not get the big checks, but it’d be done right.

      Compare it with Netflix, who gave a guy 65 million personally for a series, and who used the money to buy exotic cars and Dogecoin.

      1. Here’s how I see it

        As much as we’re starting to maybe get back on track with Christianity(minus Vatican Davos stuff), it admittedly may have screwed over western culture partially

        “Realism” somehow became the highest art form due to Christianity, alongside making arguments both theological and philosophical for “the Truth” more zealous

        In comparison, Japan and Korea are non-Western and “pagan” cultures

        They may not be too focused on “right and wrong” and that kinda explains why Japan’s got so many antagonists with “villainous virtues” and whom even when objectively crazy and evil, you can almost sympathize with them and root em on or somehow agree with them and get the protagonist reluctantly agreeing with them

        Like Raiden and Senator Armstrong from Metal Gear V Revengeance. Raiden ended up agreeing that “we tend to fight other people’s wars, dying for causes we don’t truly believe in, dying for money, corporations, governments etc. Fight for what YOU truly believe in”)

        So they’re way less likely to screw things over for their “Vision of Righteousness” and more focus on “what is beautiful/cool/practical etc”

      2. Japan is killing it. Anime like “Attack on Titan” are able to captivate viewers because the plots are nearly impossible for a westerner like me to predict. Whether it is creative writing, culture differences, or something else I don’t care because I can actually get caught off guard by plot twists.

        As for Hollywood movies, I usually have an idea how a movie will end within the first 30 minutes. I walked out on “Wish” to the dismay of my family because I was literally bored of the lazy plot and flat delivery. Nobody could name a song from the film or even hum a tune afterwords because it was all so bland and forgettable.

        1. the Japanese can also write things with way more nuance

          Supposedly, when it comes to plots for conflict, they don’t care as much regarding “good and evil”

          Instead they admire the “virtues” of characters, even horrendous villains, because sure DIO Brando (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure) is a MONSTER to say the least, but he is surprisingly human and is surprisingly brave a dude alongside being really patient and oddly humble enough to know he’s not strong enough to beat everything and so on

          Whilst lots of guys are going on and on about Eren doing The Rumbling, as horrific and evil it was to go through with it, there was enough nuance in the writing to see why he did it and how even the antagonists(Tyburd and Warriors) had their reasons….they’re all going to hell for all the mass murder they are responsible for, but you can see how they ended up traumatized suicidal war criminals like Reiner Braun

          Oddly, even religious conservative writers that I’ve read, end up doing this “nuance” for even the worst of their antagonists….because they know those characters are human too or “misguided” rather than just evil….that was one tragic book oddly enough

  11. It’s a shame. I can’t think of anything I’d more like to see made into a movie than MHI. It seems like a natural, like FNAF. I’ll keep my fingers and toes crossed that someone serious gets hold of the rights.

    1. Personally, if I had my way it wouldn’t be a movie- it’d be a series. Season One= Monster Hunter International.
      Season Two= Monster Hunter: Vendetta
      and so on.
      45-60 minute episodes, as many as it takes to tell the tale.
      Hopefully so successful that we can do the same thing with Grimnoir…

      1. Would you rather the series be animated or live-action? MHI can go either way, I think, but given its dieselpunk setting, Grimnoir strikes me as more animated.

        1. Me personally? Live action for both. No matter how good the studio, animated properties are viewed differently (and by fewer people) than live action. Having said that, as long as Larry gets paid I’d be happy either way 🙂

          1. That’s only/mainly in the West, or specifically the USA

            Where anything 2D or CGI is looked upon as “for kids” regardless of the writing or art style

            Live Action “realism” or Hollywood, is your countries’ highest art form

            So much it seeps into 2D and CGI, making characters, specifically females, more ugly so as to be more “realistic”

            Main problem with adaptation would be length. It could take a LONG time of chapters and episodes to get past the first book

          2. MHI needs to be a series. There’s just to much that would be lost trying to cut it down to movie length, and it’s be highly likely to suck.

            Hard Magic could go either TV or movie. You’d have to cut out a lot of subplots and stuff, but you could still have the solid core of the movie to make it work.

            I’d love to see Saga of the Forgotten warrior as an animated series.

            Gun Runner would be an awesome anmiated movie. Might even make it financially viable enough for Larry and John to write a sequel (hey, I can dream).

          3. Western animation aimed at adults, unless it takes very obvious and enthsiastic inspiration from anime, is usually so ugly I can’t even watch it. It’s a western property, so it’d have to be live action. Which I think would serve MHI well (assuming it’s done well), since MHI isn’t about superhuman people with superpowers but ‘real’ people who step up and get things done using more or less realistic tech.

  12. I don’t think Angel Studios would do it. Doesn’t Steve Bannon produce? The ideal situation wound be like him and Erik Prince somehow involved in MHI.
    Not even one actor mentioned in article is one that I like. I’m thinkin maybe Momoa. Maybe Karl Urban from The Boys. Maybe Dave Batista. Joe Manganiello.
    For Director, who do you like? Neill Blomkamp, to me, can really format scenes and stories. Also, would say some people from Netflix, but I cannot name them. Also, would consider the people who do Anime.
    Regardless, I really liked FEVER. Got me into that MesoAmerican lore. Made me think about how using those ancient gods and demigods is like a Blackwater version of GhostBusters and Percy Jackson.
    Maybe checkout Arcane and Blue Eyes Samurai and ponder an Anime route.
    I’m just a fan, so I know nothing, but was thinking how much better the FEVER reading experience was than any recent movie.

  13. Honestly, reading about the behind-the-scenes sausage making in Hollywood is quite fascinating. It’s also a thing that works in ways contrary to what most people think is logical. It’s all about the money, but not in ways that correspond to anything normal people understand.
    Where else in the world can a $800 million dollar flop be a better career choice over a modestly successful yet original $8 million picture- as long as one made the ‘right’ choices in casting, message, ect? Or where something that is a massive hit (LOTR) is reported as losing money?
    The best thing for an author is to just follow Michael Caine’s advice to skip the film, cash the check & ‘enjoy the castle’.

    And honestly, the best way to bring MHI (or Ashok) to screen would be as an anime, using the people who did ‘Black Lagoon’ or ‘Helsing Ultimate’.

  14. This is literally the opposite of what happens in Japan. Over there if a book or manga becomes popular enough then a Anime adaptation is inevitable. Most of most popular animated series today are based on manga or novels. Examples include One Piece, Picnic in Another World and Mieruko-Chan (which is a particular awesome horror/ghost story.

    So, to get your stories on the screen, get them translated to Japanese and see how well they do. If they’re popular enough they’ll get picked up by a studio. Oh, and the best part is that Japanese studios respect the original work and author.

    1. Yeah, but most of the time, the ones that are light novels barely ever get another season

      And by the time another season comes by, perhaps 6-10 volumes of the Light Novel were made

      Try to adapt Monster Hunter International and it may take two years for the 1st volume to be finished in terms of manga chapters

      Admittedly, would end up way worse if you try with the American or European comicbook industry, way way way longer and somehow they’re not as good portraying physical motion as Japanese artists who are more simple in not using coloring much

      As much as I’d hate for the surveillance state and Great Reset to actually occur, I wish AI advanced so as to make an AI Generated Manga version of Son of The Black Sword, in the style of Berserk’s(god rest his souls)Kentaro Miura

      Also, gotta take into account cultural differences. Americans worship “realism”, which is why guys like Kurt Schlichter and Matt Walsh disparage videogames and anime and cartoons and yet still seem to be a big fans of the hedonistic immoral and at times downright evil and admittedly boring and disgusting Hollywood

      So not much of a wonder as to why animation doesn’t get much of a rep in the USA

  15. Although I understand the principle of taking cash when you can get it, I would cringe mightily if Hollywood did the same thing to anything MHI like they did to “Clear and Present Danger“ by Clancy. Unrecognizable to the point of skipping huge social issues; rewritten to cliché.

    ADF’s “Cyber Way” Would also seem to be an obvious choice, and opportunity to elevate Navajo culture, but… No.

    1. ‘Clear and Present Danger’ was still light-years ahead of the woke version of ‘Without Remorse’. The character of John Clark has been defined since his appearance in ‘Cardinal of the Kremlin’ as someone who can blend in in most European and American countries. Try that with Michael B Jordan. As for giving Admiral Greer a sex change and making them a non-existent creature, to wit a female Seal Team leader, only the late Richard Marcinko could express my opinion of that pile of steaming bovine excrement.

    2. Clear and Present Danger was nothing compared to what they did to Hunt for Red October. Don’t even get me started on Without Remorse.

      The problem with that was that Clancy’s health was going south and his kids were running things. Now none of it is worth a damn. I read Hunt for Red October when it was a manuscript in a loose leaf binder. I was in a Navy Anti-submarine Warfare Helicopter Squadron at the time.

  16. If they ruin the movie but not too badly, it might be a good advertisement for the book it’s made from (“With a movie like this, the book it’s made from has to be even better!”). I got a copy of Eragon by Christopher Paolini after seeing the movie.

  17. These comments seem to imply that Hollywood will make a movie that has something to do with the supposed basis. And that is often not particularly true.

    We can see that when they “make a movie” of a classic. So the Will Smith “I, Robot” has robots, and a character named Susan Calvin. And nothing ese resembling the stories in the book.

    Or, to pick a modern example, the relationship between the “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” and the Tim Powers, “On Stranger Tides” is that both had pirates, and the Fountain of Youth. And, again, no other resemblance.

    But the authors of the works that the movies were “based on” got paid. And even if an edition of the book can show up which looks like a movie tie-in — the books are in print, and the author gets money from selling books, as well as what Hollywood pays. Seems like a win for the author.

    And since Larry Correia (or Powers, or even Asimov) isn’t Rowling, then the author getting paid is the important win, and having a movie resemble a book is a random side effect of Hollywood “making a movie of a book”.

    1. Whose remarks are saying that? I’m not seeing many of that type.

      But in the case of “I ROBOT”, that was originally a spec script that the studio slapped the title onto because they had the book optioned and felt it was a better title. The spec script itself had no relation at all to the book, they just forcibly injected a few token references.

  18. Ever read the book “John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood”? It’s an exploration of how the long, long, LONG gestating John Carter film ended up going so awry. It’s gotten to the point I think it’s better if a beloved genre work -doesn’t- get adapted…or just gets a full cast audiobook or something.

  19. I remember hearing Scott Card being asked about his movie, and he said something to the effect of, “You know, when the movie stinks, they still pay me. Even better, my publisher is pushing out brand new copies with huge marketing budget as tie in, and people who never of Ender’s Game before are much more likely to buy the book.”

  20. I only started reading the Dresden Files because of the SciFi series of the same name. Loved the series at the time and it was nowhere near as good as the books. I guarantee Jim Butcher was happy with the boost in sales, even if he wasn’t happy with how they treated him or how the books were adapted.

  21. Ideas to let Larry accrue enough cash to re-acquire the rights to his own work and perhaps fund his own movie or TV adaptation of MHI (TV would probably be better due to length and budget):

    1) More leather-bound volumes (perhaps in connection with Grimnoir below).
    2) More challenge coins.
    3) More core MHI releases.
    4) The new Grimnoir trilogy.
    5) Crowdfunding
    6) Many high-limit credit cards
    7) Crowdfund lottery tickets.

    Or just wait until the rights are about to lapse and they call you with some desperate idea to slap something on late-night video, then just offer to buy them out without all of the time and trouble of a horrible production.

    Then if you’ve accumulated enough cash, check with Amazon Prime and Netflix to see if they’ve got an urge to produce the second most amazing story ever told (and that’s not a slight, it is a Biblical reference so no offense!)

  22. It is not surprising that Hollywood does not read the books they adapt to film. I am glad that they never went through with it. It would have been bad.

    Owen Pitt is more like Braun Strowman than Tobey Maguire.

  23. How did “newcomer” Andy Weir get his blog/novel story, “The Martian”, adapted faithfully into a decent SF movie?

    Did he have blackmail material on the producers?

    Cast voodoo compulsions?


    SOMETIMES, some things go correctly. It would be useful to know who and how and why and try to do those things more reliably.

    1. In the year of the book’s release from a mainstream publisher (not the self-pub release when it first came out), one quarter of all of the SF books sold in the US were copies of that book, per Bookscan (which is generally reliable).

      You don’t have to be Rowling for them to cede sufficient control. All you need to be is a quarter of the total US SF market.

  24. Thank you to Larry for sharing his experiences.

    FWIW, a long while ago, the late, great Terry Pratchett described his experiences with Hollywood executives. IIRC, “There are things living at the bottom of ponds which be ashamed to associate with the average Hollywood Executive.”

  25. Not sure if Larry is a movie guy, but I did like certain aspects of Alienoid. Might be another director worth considering. Choi Dong-hun from Korea.

  26. As a working novelist and red state American I’m like an outsider barbarian there.

    “Caesar, this is not proper!”

    “Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”

  27. I once saw Isaac Asimov quoted as saying that he had made more money optioning “I, Robot” to Hollywood than from paperback royalties.

    Everything in Hollywood takes a lot of time until it doesn’t. My brother works crew for film and TV. He’s done everything from commercials to pilots for TV shows to small indy movies to mainstream movies to a few blockbusters that you would be familiar with. There are films he worked on that had been gestating with the writer/director for years and were suddenly, unexpectedly greenlit.

    From what I can see, the best way to get something moving is to have a director or big name star want to get the novel or short story adapted. That gets things moving.

  28. > “So Hollywood has a ton of original unique properties available”

    And then all they do is remakes. *facepalm*

    1. Hollywood will always revert to the ‘safe’ option. It’s a place where a huge, big-budget flop is better than a modest success as long as you make the ‘right’ choices- big name actors, recognizable properties, lots of exciting visuals that play well overseas, the correct politics, and other general adherence to what has already shown itself to be successful.
      The typical progression is for some small movie made on a modest budget will become a massive success, and everyone will rush to copy it. They’ll then overplay it into the ground. When they don’t have the New, Hot Property in hand, they default to the reboots & remakes.

      1. Honestly, I think the Critical Drinker’s various “Why Modern Movie’s Suck” probably does some of the best jobs in covering some of the big issues with modern hollywood. He covers how they want to spend big bucks on spectacles, but then they have to be safe because so much money is spent. He talks about trying to cater to “modern audiences” and a ton of other stuff. All his videos are worthwhile, but that ongoing series is probably the best.

          1. That’s important, because to someone who isn’t intimately familiar with Hollywood’s brokenness, constant criticism can come off as just being an angry crank who’s not worth listening to. Whereas “Here’s what they did right, now I’ll explain what they did wrong” establishes one’s expertise in the subject in question, and makes the audience much more likely to listen to the criticism as being factually-based.

      1. Look, as I have said before, Hollywood much like other Big Media, is VERY VERY VERY F-Ed up to say the least

        Politics and predators and narcissistic psychopaths aside

        Every movie, even the worst, has too many cooks with lots of dumb and/or random “changes”….mostly to get an extra buck for the “adviser” and perhaps keep IP rights for a few decades longer

        Think of it like this, the bigger an industry becomes, the more it becomes like a government… want to be successful there?

        Be a big swinging duck! Suck other guys’ ducks and maybe make other guys suck your duck too just to show off, give each other hand employments etc

        Success has less and less to do with actual skills and other merit. It has to do more with connections and playing The Game, doing lots of office politics and so on

        No offense to Larry and many other actually likeable and actually skilled guys but if you aren’t playing The Game, you’re still a player and you’ll find yourself out sooner or later

        What’s the prize? Dominance over the workplace, sure over time it will rot and break, but they’ll be in control

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