by Brandon Engel
Readers of this blog are likely familiar with the works of American author Dean Koontz. Chances are if you haven’t read a book by him, you've at least heard of him. By now Koontz has become a household name, joining the likes of other prolific American authors like John Grisham, James Patterson, Danielle Steele, Dr. Seuss, and R. L. Stine. Much like all those authors, the work of Koontz has been adapted into film multiple times during his career (15 in total). The most recent adaptation of his work is Odd Thomas which adapts the first book in his best-selling Odd Thomas series. What sets this film apart from other book adaptations or other films Koontz has worked on is the legal fighting that drove a once promising movie straight into the ground, or even worse, the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.
Unfortunately for Koontz, the film is now only available through DirecTV’s Direct-Ticket packages or via their online streaming services. The film will eventually be released to the general public sometime this spring on DVD, but if no one knows about it, how will it even sell? The reason you've likely never even heard of this film is the current legal battle between the films producers and it’s financiers. The producers filed a lawsuit in January, alleging the financiers repeatedly missed deadlines, pushed due dates back, and ultimately never paid them the agreed upon amount of $35 million to help market, promote, and distribute the film. Due to the fact that the producers never saw a dime to help sell and distribute the movie, it’s September 2013 release date was cancelled altogether and if it weren't for DirecTV obtaining the rights to it, it would have likely never been seen in America.
At this point it’s clear that Hollywood and Dean Koontz don’t exactly mesh well. Hopefully at some point in the future he will be able to find a filmmaker who is able to do justice to his unique and highly successful books. It’s a shame no one has ever been able to successfully do for him what Hollywood has been able to do for so many other American authors of the same status as him. I’m sure we’ll see a few more attempts made by both Koontz and Hollywood to strike gold in the entertainment world. Let’s just hope for Koontz and his fans sake, they eventually get it right.
Brandon Engel is a blogger who works in Chicago. His chief interest include: horror literature; vintage animation; environmental law; and film. Visit his blog at http://brandonengel.blogspot.com/ for more up-to-date information.