Hollywood Clarifications (a FAQ of sorts)

Hi, I’m Fred, and I run Jim-Butcher.Com for Jim. This means that I’m at least one degree removed from the facts of things, but it also means that I’m the one looking at and moderating/approving the comments that get put on the news items here (I don’t discard anything, I just have to have it on moderation because of the metric ton of blogspam that poker, ‘enlargement’, and ink cartridge hacks want to post to each and every entry we’ve got goin’ on here).
All the same, I thought I’d take a moment (since I’m awake) to run through the comments on prior news items (here and here and here). Whether my comments clear up or create misconceptions is entirely out of my control. ๐Ÿ˜‰
What about casting an actor who’s 6’6″ tall, like Harry is in the novels?
Please, please embrace Hollywood reality: who plays characters from the books will take cues from the books, sure, but it’s going to be much more about talent, photogenic qualities, and attitude than something like height or (fill in a key physical trait here).
Will James Marsters play Harry Dresden on the show?
No idea, and more to the point, no real ability to influence it (especially for me but also for Jim). Jim sold the rights to make a TV show to Morgan Gendel; Morgan in turn has to get the show happening to the satisfaction of the studio and network that’s interested in it. It’s really out of Jim’s hands, when it comes down to it, though your continued support for the show — and avid watching of it if it comes to fruition — will warm the cockles of all hearts involved.
(As a side-note, no, James Marsters didn’t play Cyclops in the X-Men movie. That’s James Marsden. Talk about misconceptions!)
Is this going to be a TV series or just a TV movie?
For starters, a TV movie. If enough people watch it, the stars are aligned right, lady luck smiles upon things, and so on, then there’s a ghost of a chance it might turn into an ongoing TV series — but that’s way down the road, sufficiently so that this is all wild speculation at best.
Can you get me a part on the TV show?
Nope. Again, it’s that several degrees of removal thing. Jim has no direct influence over what happens with the show.
Why were they talking about renaming the character?
The answers are all theory, when it comes down to it. Maybe they want distance from Harry Potter (lawsuits suck); maybe they just wanted a clear ability to ‘break’ from the books in order to avoid being constrained by them; maybe they just like changing names. No matter the reason, though, it’s not honestly worth getting worked up over. ๐Ÿ™‚
Are they going to rename the character to ‘Erick’ or keep ‘Harry’? How closely will the show resemble the books?
That’s completely up in the air. Our latest information suggests there might be a better chance of the show more closely resembling the books than there was before, but we’re still probably looking at an “inspired by” take on things.
I mean, think about this, people. It’s like Spider-Man the movie versus the comic book, only without the decades of Spider-Man popularity, right? No web-shooters — it’s another mutant ability. The Green Goblin is half powered-armor, half science-accident instead. So on and so forth.
What’s important to remember here is that a TV show is not a book and vice-versa. They’ll both scratch particular itches, but they won’t be the same itches! In the end, though, a successful TV show means cash successfully making its way into Jim’s successful wallet. Worth supporting in its own right.
It seems to be taking an awfully long time for this project to happen. Is there any way we can speed things up?
Time for a dose of Hollywood reality again. This is moving fast. Really fast, actually. Hollywood deals — even for TV shows, setting aside things like movies (to go back to Spider-Man, note, we’re looking at the third movie coming out in 2007), are measured in increments of TV seasons or years. We’ve seen movement on this possibility inside of the first two years after the novels got optioned. Movement of any kind in that timeframe is huge. Any TV possibility has to pass through a veritable gauntlet of review by men in suits with often scant or zero familiarity with the subject at hand. We’re doing well so far, and we’ll be doing really well if something shows up on television in 2005 (my personal current bet, which is based on nothing whatsoever, would be more like 2006). It’s worth trumpeting, but it’s also worth patience (even if we’re also just as antsy as you are).
That’s it for this installation. I’ll try to post other clarifications as more common questions emerge!

4 thoughts on “Hollywood Clarifications (a FAQ of sorts)”

  1. I just wanted to say that the Dresden Files are excellent reads. I picked them up after getting tired on the SOS from some other similar series (aka LK Hamilton). But Jim’s writing doesn’t read like the normal pulp out there in the genre. I find myself looking forward to every new book in the series more and more with each new addition. Keep ’em coming. I am looking forward to reading the Codex Alera series. Haven’t had the funds to purchase it yet (embarassed), but the kids need to be fed. Also hope to hear more about the possible TV deal. Good luck, Jim, and thanks for the fun you have given me over the past several years.

  2. TV!!!! Me likes TV! I soooooo can’t wait for the TV movie, however…I am slightly scared. It could be a total mess, or it could be a completely amazing. One thing’s for sure, books are always better than movies. And thank you so much for taking time to give us these updates. I’d been wondering about it for a while.

  3. Thanks for the helpful info! I hope that the Fates continue to speed this show to a successful debut. Keep us posted, and we the loyal fans shall spread the word to hither and yon. ๐Ÿ™‚

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