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Dean Koontz Offers Odd Thomas Update
Let me first say that I don’t read Dean Koontz novels, with the exception of the Odd Thomas series. I find his typical flawed protagonist/damaged loner characterization daunting and overused, but that is beside the point. While Odd Thomas falls into this category, I have still enjoyed the novel series, but I am (incredibly) hesitant to see a movie adaptation.
In case you haven’t had a chance to pick up at least the first book of the series, (or choose not to) the story follows the life of damaged loner Odd Thomas and his enigmatically beautiful girlfriend Stormy. There is only one catch, Odd can see ghosts and has a unique ability to understand them and help them. He uses his ability to help solve crimes and put the spirits to rest. He is also terrorized though by darker spirits he named bodices that appear only in times of death and disaster. He is also followed by a sort of companion spirit, and in this case it is Elvis Presley who can’t seem to move on to the other side just yet.
However, the movie is done though, and there is nothing we can do about it. The film stars Anton Yelchin as Odd which I find to be a very odd choice (enthusiastic pun intended), He is no where near what I pictured for the film, and he doesn’t look like the graphic novel character either. And with that, the rest of the casting seems off to me as well with those involved including: Willem Dafoe as Wyatt Porter, Patton Oswalt as Ozzie P. Boone, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Viola, Nico Tortorella as Simon Varner and Curtis Jackson as Shamus Cocobolo. So that right there already scares me about the project. I feel like none of the casting fits.
Koontz recently did an interview and offered up his opinion of the upcoming film and the future for his titular character.
According to Koontz he was already put off of the idea to adapt his work into film, that is until Stephen Sommers called him up to speak about the Odd Thomas series. Apparantly, he hit the mark because Koontz agreed to the adaptation.
I have pretty much given up on Hollywood and the whole idea of movies, because they never got what I did properly. And so I told my attorney, “When somebody calls and says, ‘Are the rights to that book available?’, Don’t say yes or no. Call me up and tell me who they are, and I’ll think about it.” And about a year after he did that, he called me up one day and said Stephen Sommers is interested in Odd Thomas. And I said, “Hmm, I’ll talk to him.” Because he has done cross genre work in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. And he might understand what has to be saved and what doesn’t have to be saved in an adaptation. And sure enough, he’s done a brilliant job. He wrote the best screenplay I’ve ever read — not just of my stuff, but of anything. I’ve seen the finished film. I never expected I would say happily, “I love the movie.” I usually call up everybody I’ve met all my life and apologize for my relation with the film, but in this case, he’s done a wonderful job.
Regarding the choice of Yeltin as the titular character, Koontz remarks that he was hesitant about the choice at first until he saw the firs two minutes of the film.
Steve said to me, the first day we met, before we’d started shooting the film, “There’s only one actor under 30 I think I want, and I think is beyond just very confident and in fact great: Anton Yelchin.” I didn’t know who Anton Yelchin was, and when I found out who he was, I said, “I’m not sure.” But I really had a great deal of trust in Steve. And when I saw this movie, all you need is the first two minutes, and a scene he has with a villain in a convertible. And when I saw that scene, I just relaxed and said, “Great. He has found the perfect Odd Thomas.”
While that offers some comfort for fans of the series like myself, I won’t be happy with the casting choice till I see the film for myself. I reserve the right to be pleasantly surprised at Yelchin’s performance as well as the rest of the cast. Actors can surprise me, occasionally, on their abilities to become characters that seem so far from their reach.
Addison Timlin plays Stormy in the film and according to Koontz she fits the role just as well as Yelchin.
She’s just amazing. I couldn’t be happier about the performances in this movie. They are really above the cut of this type of movie generally speaking.” He also adds that Sommers does some things stylistically that are innovative: “He uses transitions, or he does scene transitions, in a way that I’ve never seen before, that just move me. And they’re very effective at keeping the pace moving.”
I’m just happy. You never know if anything’s going to be a success or not, but I can watch this again. And the rest of them I couldn’t watch again. Some [of my movies] I couldn’t watch the first time.” He says Sommers is just shopping the completed film around, for a possible release this winter: “They’re making the distribution deal as we speak.”
As for the future of the series, Koontz has expressed interest in the past of making the series a 6 or 7 book series, but he recently confirmed that it will be 7 novels and he knows exactly how it ends.
Each step of it raises the stakes and it all starts accelerating, book by book. I once said I would never write a series that this one came to me in such an amazing fashion that once I’d finished the first book I knew I was going to. And it’s only taken me several years to figure out how many volumes, but I think it’s going to be seven.”
The next book in the series, which is the fifth, will be entitled Odd Apocalypse and is to be released this July. The author has also confirmed that the sixth book will be called Deeply Odd and the seventh Saint Odd.
It may be a while before the film comes out and until then I remain a doubtful party.