This post is really just a convoluted way of asking a pretty direct question, so please bear with me…
Summer’s definitely over now, and I’ve been looking back at some of the movies I managed to get to see. Without a doubt, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES was the film I was looking forward to seeing most and, surprisingly, I thought it almost completely delivered.
It’ll serve little purpose if I review the movie this late in the day because I expect you’ve either a). already seen it and made up your own minds, or b). you’ve heard enough about it to know whether you want to see it or not. To summarise, though, it’s a technically stunning film with some great performances, an intense storyline, superb action scenes, and some of the most realistic animation you’re likely to see in a long time. I highly recommend it.
I’ve long been a fan of the APES movies. I’ve seen the original films countless number of times, and I’ve even managed to make it all the way through the abominable Tim Burton remake more than once. I was thinking about why I love the Apes concept so much when it struck me: it’s the same central conceit as zombies, isn’t it? Replace the apes with the undead, and you’ve got a very similar set-up. The apes are just another in a long line of variations on us versus them, and these movies work so well because of the increasingly thin line which separates one side from the other.
In fact, when I left the cinema after seeing DAWN, I couldn’t help thinking about HATER. With HATER, you could argue the only real difference between one side and the other is perspective. They’re pretty much otherwise indistinguishable from one another (unless you are a Hater, of course…).
Incredibly, it’s now seven long years since the HATER movie rights were first acquired, and although the cameras almost rolled back in 2009, there’s been very little movement on the project since then. But that might be about to change. I can’t say much at the moment (there’s not actually very much to say), but some positive initial discussions have been taking place with a view to getting HATER on the big screen.
So all this rambling finally leads me to my question. Seven years is a long time… do you still want to see a HATER movie? If so, what are your hopes and fears for the project? Personally, I think there’s never been a better time (as the success of our ape friends has illustrated), but what do you think? I’d really appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to let me know.
And as soon as I have any definite news, I’ll post it here.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s five years today since HATER was re-released by Thomas Dunne Books in the US and Gollancz here in the UK. It’s no exaggeration to say that little book changed my life. Before its release I’d been doing fairly well for myself publishing the first three AUTUMN books through Infected Books and I’d been planning to expand. I launched HATER with the intention of kick-starting a new series, but I had no idea what would happen next.
Within a couple of months, with less than a thousand copies having been sold, I was approached about the film rights. That deal went on to see Guillermo del Toro, J A Bayona (director of The Impossible and the forthcoming World War Z 2) and Mark Johnson (producer of Breaking Bad, amongst other things) involved with my book, and led to the HATER series being picked up for publication in many countries around the world.
So please join me in saying Happy Birthday HATER! If you haven’t read the book, visit www.thehatertrilogy.com to find out more. And here, for old time’s sake, is a viral video released by Thomas Dunne to support the original release.
And no – I don’t have any news about the movie (I’ll update here if I do). But yes – one way or another I’m determined there WILL be a HATER film eventually!
Yes I know… I’ve gone quiet on you again. That’s largely because I’m trying to get three novels finished before the end of October (see my recent update here).
I realised that I hadn’t mentioned the campaign recently started by a few of Moody’s Survivors to give Hollywood a hint and see if we can’t get the HATER movie moving forward (there are positive signs, but a little push wouldn’t hurt…). There’s a Facebook page here which I’d love for you to like and share if you feel so inclined. So the position is this: the movie rights were recently re-optioned by Mark Johnson and Guillermo del Toroet al, and J A Bayona (who was previously attached to direct) has mentioned the project a couple of times in recent interviews in connection with his excellent movie, THE IMPOSSIBLE. With THE WALKING DEAD continuing to do great business and with the WORLD WAR Z movie taking everybody by surprise and being a huge hit this summer, a lot of you seem to think – and, of course, I completely agree – that the time is right for the HATER film.
Hopefully I’ll have some more concrete news for you in the very near future. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to run a competition to keep the project in the public eye. All you have to do is design a HATER-themed T-shirt to promote either the books, the film, or the campaign to get the movie made.
Either post your design on Facebook or email it to email@example.com by the end of October. By that time I’ll have employed a top-notch judging panel (I’m looking at you, Survivors!) who I’ll ask to pick a winner. As well as receiving a few signed books and other odds and ends, the winner will also have their design printed up and made available for sale via the Infected Bookstore.
I wanted to talk about WORLD WAR Z for a couple of reasons. A discussion of the film follows (stick around for a half hour video review from Mr Simmons and I) but, before that, I have a more personal reason to be interested.
For a long time I’ve thought that the immediate future of the zombie sub-genre would, to a large extent, hinge on the success or failure of the WWZ movie. It’s fair to say that after all the well-documented issues with budgets and scripts and reshoots etc., I don’t think anyone expected the success the film has had, nor for a sequel to have been greenlit so rapidly. That has to be a good thing, I think, and I’m hopeful that, as a result, Hollywood will have a renewed interest in large budget, zombie-style movies. I would say that… the HATER movie rights have just been re-optioned.
As an enjoyable, effects-laden, dumb old zombie flick, WWZ certainly delivered. As an adaptation of Max Brook’s novel, however, it failed on just about every level. But does that really matter? Looking at things from my perspective, with a film adaptation of Hater on the horizon, I can see two sides. Sure I’d like a fairly literal interpretation of my original story to be filmed, but I’d also like the publicity and sales that a more commercial movie would hopefully generate. I have to accept that such publicity and sales might come at the expense of the integrity of my story. As wrong as it might sound, at this stage in my career with mouths to feed and bills to pay and many projects in the pipeline but few under contract, if I’m honest I’d have to say I’d rather take the cash. With Guillermo del Toro still attached to Hater I’m happy to take that chance of course, and regardless of how any movie turned out, my original book would still be available. It’s not like it would disappear or be replaced. Despite his understandable frustrations with the filmmakers, I’m sure Max Brooks is more than happy with the thousands and thousands of people who’ve picked up his book because of the film…
Right, back to WWZ. Rather than write a long blog post, I’ll let Wayne and I do the talking.
If you’ve not yet read the book, I’d definitely recommend it. If you have and you’ve seen the film, what were your thoughts on the movie adaptation, and what are your hopes/fears for a Hater adaptation? I’d be really interested to hear them. Let me know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter etc.
I did say it would be quiet around here… I’ll have more for you later this week (some interesting stuff too, I hope). In the meantime, because I really don’t like not updating the site, here’s a gratuitous post designed to make you part with some of your hard-earned cash!
And that leads me onto a slightly more serious question. I’ve been giving these T-shirts away for years – would you buy one if they were available? My phone has a snazzy HATER cover – would you want one of those? (Apologies for the photo, by the way – I was scared any other pose with a phone would make it look like I was taking a flirtatious picture of myself in the mirror). If there’s any interest (in the phone cover, not flirtatious pictures of me) I’ll get something put together. T-shirts, phone covers, mousemats, mugs… everything looks better with a little bloody scrawl added.
Let me know in the comments if there’s any HATER/AUTUMN merchandise you’ve always wanted and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Until then I’ll just keep giving this stuff away!
Some proper news to follow soon. Have a good week.
Update: Four hours later…
Wow, what a response. I thought this was just a throwaway post, but you’ve really gone for it! Thanks! As of now there’s one free T-shirt left to claim – the next order gets it!
You’ve sent me some great ideas for merchandise. HATER bags, beanie hats etc. etc. I’ll go away and see what I can do now. If you have any other ideas, just let me know. Either email or use Facebook or Twitter.
One thing – several folks have requested AUTUMN merchandise. That might be a little more problematic, as I don’t own the artwork (I designed the original HATER logo shown on the phone case above). But leave it with me. More news soon.
Well I’m back at my desk after a week away, and there should be plenty of updates over the coming days to make up for last week’s silence.
First off, here’s news of another edition of HATER. The book is out in Japan this week (published by Random House Japan), and here’s the cover.
I’ve said before how interesting it’s been to see how the different publishers of the book around the world have approached the cover art over the last couple of years. Some have stuck with variations on my original bloody scrawl, whilst others have taken a completely different direction (such as the phenomenal Taiwanese edition). You can see all the covers at www.infectedbooks.co.uk.
Thanks to everyone who voted and helped make HATER the Freedom Book Club book of the month for October. I really appreciate your support. Take a look at the results graph…
If you have a spare few minutes, there’s a follow-up survey here. Whether you voted for HATER or not, I’d urge you to check out the Freedom Book Club and their previous book of the month selections. They’re a unique outfit, with a stated purpose of being: devoted to getting books promoting individual liberty on the New York Times Best Seller List. This is done through the bourgeoise multitudes buying the selection of the month all during a specified range of dates (during the same week). It is the goal of Freedom Book Club to transform the world to into a free society through the education of self and sharing with others.
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