Sarah Weinman linked to this interesting storyin The Boston Globe:
Waiting for Scorsese
Or Spielberg. Or Soderbergh. Or anyone to make the movie based on their book.
Will Smith starred in the 2004 movie "I, Robot," which was written 54 years before the film's release. (20th Century Fox)
By David Mehegan
Jonathan Kirsch, a Los Angeles author, agent, and publishing lawyer, is blunt about the odds against any one novel making it: "Infinitesimal," he said. "If it were one out of a thousand, I'd be shocked." Of the 500 to 600 movies, counting art-house films, that are made yearly, only a fraction of those are based on novels, Kirsch said. And there are more than 50,000 works of fiction published each year, according to W.W. Bowker, publisher of "Books in Print."
Said Boston literary agent John Taylor Williams: "An author shouldn't be surprised if, after a movie option is sold, the movie is never made."
Ed here: I was reminded of this today because I got a call about a pen-name book I wrote in 1983. The guy has a great idea for adapting it. Etc and etc. Long long ago I used to get excited about Hwood calls. The higlight was when the woman who produced The Shawshank Redemption won the Oscar and annouced at her press conference that her next project was Moonchasers by Ed Gorman. How could this miss? Well as my friend director Nathaniel Gutman has said many times (we worked on the screenplay together) we could have written a movie about all the things that got in the way of getting the damned thing made. I believe that Moonchasers has now been optioned nine times since 1993. I've made more money on the options than I have on any book I've written. Two months ago I got a frantic call--please tell me it isn't optioned--from a guy who sounded as if we'd start shooting the ext day. I never heard from him again.
Right now I have three books under option but I know better than to get excited. I'm waititing to see how The Poker Club, the film based on my novel, has turned out. I've seen clips and they look good.
But as far as getting my hopes up about any other movie project...