Greg Cox is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels and short stories. He wrote the official movie novelizations of Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Death Defying Acts, and all three Underworld films, as well the novelizations of four popular DC Comics miniseries, Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown and Final Crisis. In addition, he has written books and short stories based on such popular series as Alias, Batman, Buffy, C.S.I., Farscape, Fantastic Four, The 4400, The Green Hornet, Iron Man, Leverage, The Phantom, Roswell, Star Trek, Terminator, Underworld, Xena, X-Men and Zorro. A sample chapter of his latest, the novelization of The Dark Knight Rises, can be read at IGN. Visit Greg Cox at http://www.gregcox-author.com/ for more about his projects.
ADAPTATION: THE NOVELIZATION FROM SCREENPLAY TO FINISHED BOOK
An Interview with Bestselling Author Greg Cox by Gilbert Colon
“Well, I’ve gotta write the book first, John. Then, you know, they get somebody to write the screenplay.” – Susan Orlean in Spike Jonze’s Adaptation.
“Well, they get somebody to write the screenplay. Then, you know, I’ve gotta write the book.” – The Novelizer.
When enthusiastic fans write stories involving iconic characters like Captain Kirk, Spock, Iron Man, or Sydney Bristow, the result is called “fanfic.” When a professional like New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox does it, it is what could be called “franchise fiction” and is published by houses such as Simon & Schuster, Berkley Books, and Titan Publishing Group. One particular form of franchise fiction, the novelization, involves the complicated process of adapting a screenplay into a novel without the benefit of a finished film for reference. It can be a bit like working in the dark, and involves more imagination than it is often given credit for. With The Dark Knight Rises, Cox’s latest novelization, the author takes us behind the scenes to give us a soup to nuts look at the nuts and bolts of this until-now secretive process.
Gilbert Colon: Have movie tie-in novelizations changed since the days they debuted? Since you began novelizing films 10years ago?
Greg Cox: I’ve been doing this for about a decade now, starting with the novelization of Daredevil,and the main difference is that the level of secrecy surrounding the scripts has increased significantly, for which I blame the internet. Nowadays there’s practically a cottage industry devoted to publishing spoilers on-line, so I understand why the studios have to work even harder to keep things under wraps.