In a bold move, Hollywood is going to make movies based on the potential popularity of unreleased books. The film production companies are no longer content with just adapting movies on popular books, they’re going to go the extra step.
Universal Pictures recently has acquired the rights to the upcoming novel The Demonologist, Deadline reports. The story is was written by Canadian author Andrew Pyper; who’s known for his serial-killer thriller The Killing Circle, wilderness drama The Wildfire Season, and haunted-house horror The Guardians. Pyper won the Arthur Ellis award for one of his first novels, the crime story Lost Girls in 1999.
Robert Zemeckis; director and co-writer of Back to the Future, so I’m already impressed because hey, it’s time travel; and his ImageMovers studio are currently in the planning stages of how they will translate the text for film. Remember, the book is unreleased but quite finished. It’s probably for the best, because if the story is as good as they believe it to be, then it won’t give time for religious sects get involved.
Let’s examine the early description for The Demonologist:
“Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on Christian religion and myth. Not that he’s a believer. He sees what he teaches as nothing more than entrenched fiction – the “things that go bump in the mind”. It’s why when he’s offered a trip to Venice to be a consultant on a case study based on his expertise as a “demonologist” he accepts, seeing it as a free vacation for his teenage daughter and himself. But what he witnesses in an attic room at an address amidst the decadent splendour of the old city will change what he believes forever. Terrified, David races back to his hotel. But now he has the unshakable feeling that he is no longer alone. And that the voice that passes from his daughter’s lips before she jumps from the hotel’s roof belongs to a being he has long studied, but until now never thought could ever be real…”
Think of the hype over The DaVinci Code, Passion of the Christ, and the Harry Potter series. Now picture a popular novel that makes everyone all a twitter about Christian religion and myth being added to the mix. We’re talking instant money here. If the freakin’ Pope steps in, then it becomes epic money!
If this book and film is to succeed, it’ll need to focus on the translation of learned fear. So in the story, a skeptical man is exposed to the supernatural world. As he’s the foremost educated authority on the matter; just an unbeliever; he’s able to quickly realize how screwed he is. So how will the reader react? If they’re skeptics, will they be able to identify with Ullman’s pragmatic ways enough to also learn his fear? Pyper and Zemeckis will have their work cut out for them to pull this off. If they do, just think how much a pushover those that ‘want to believe’ will be.