For a little while I’ve been able to hint about a slow-burning piece of good news that, with the start of the new fiscal year, I can confirm has been approved and the deal now done: my novel ‘Half Discovered Wings’ has been optioned by Lionsgate Entertainment to be made into a feature film!

(novel link:

Of course, these things do start off small – a single British pound, to be exact.  Optioning novels for films is fairly standard fare, an option being ‘dibs’ on a book that at any time can end up being nothing, or turn into a bidding war between studios.  The likes of Dan Brown no doubt have every novel optioned immediately upon publication, probably for vary large sums.  If the publishing house agrees, another film studio can put down a bigger bid, which can later be countered by the first.  Often thousands of pounds (or dollars) are put down just to ‘reserve’ the story of the novel on the off-chance that the studio will later decide to make that film.  The potential rewards are often much bigger than the small price to pay for ‘dibs’.

Often though, an option is a statutory basic amount meant to be a holding figure to register the studio’s interest.  It can be exciting for an author to know that somebody has taken an interest, but this rarely amounts to anything.  This is why, in February 2010, I chose not to tell many people about the £1 option that had been placed by Lionsgate for ‘Half Discovered Wings’.  Even worse was keeping schtum when that option was increased to £1,000 earlier this year, with a view to begin pre-production for a mid-2012 release.  Pending approval after budget time, ‘HDW’ would be a live action film.  And now the go-ahead has been issued.

Little-league writers dream about the chance to make a fantastic big-budget adaptation of their books.  Equally as powerful is the fear that your idea will be meddled with, your vision corrupted, or simply such a poor job will be made that it all hardly seems worth the risk.  Some are happy just to get the media attention (“any exposure is good exposure” say idiots) others, like Stephen King, either shy away before signing anything or ask to have their names removed from the final product, as with the awful/awesome ‘Running Man’.

Expect, we’re told, to travel along those ‘ideal cast’ tangents, where everyone argues who best would play the roles of the characters from the book.  Sometimes there isn’t a perfect match – I would be most pleased, in fact, if all the cast are unknown actors.  Certainly casting Hugh Jackman or another flavour of the month would detract from the message and themes of the story – not that that is talk for any time soon.  First there comes first drafts of the script, for which I’ve been asked to contribute; concept art; assignation of Director and Producer, amongst other things. 

Don’t I know that my story is in good hands with Lionsgate, perfect for quirky, genre-bending ideas like ‘Half Discovered Wings’!  Recent hits include ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus’ and franchises like ‘Saw’ and ‘Transporter’, along with numerous comic book adaptations a closer in spirit to the modestly unconventional ‘HDW’.  I can provide further developments as they happen: now that the project has been green-lit, I’ll be able to reveal more as it happens at a new blog attached to the main film site, soon to be set up.  Watch this space.