Friday, July 30, 2010

The Man Who Never Missed - The Continuing Story

So, once again, we have sold an option for The Man Who Never Missed. I've lost count as to how many times this has happened since the book was published (two days shy of twenty-five years, as I write this). Eight? Ten times?

Nobody has been able to get it to the silver screen or onto the tube yet, but maybe this round ...

I'm not complaining. The fee for options isn't huge, but it's like found money. A producer is renting the rights for a few months, and if s/he manages to get it made and out, I'll make a nice piece of change. If not, it reverts to me., and maybe somebody else will come along and want to try again ...

The new producer seems to be sharp, a nice guy, and with some dealings in LaLaLand, including some time as above-the-line onscreen talent. Who knows? This could be the one. It's a nice fantasy with which to entertain one's self, much like what you'd do if you won the lottery.

I'm not, you will notice, going shopping for a yacht or heavy bling based on this.

20 comments:

Sean said...

Congrats sir as it were - perhaps this will be the time.

Wow - twenty five years? Really? I mean, I remember reading it the first time like it wasn't that long ago... the second & third etc... 25? Huh.

Which I do mean as a compliment - you've managed to write a lovely little series that even a quarter of a century later I, for one, can pick up any book of & still enjoy the tale & the nuances, and even get more food for thought in terms of bujitsu.

Thank you sir.

Dan Moran said...

I've had 4 options on the Long Run -- one of them for more than the publisher originally paid for the book. ($5K.) Found money indeed.

Brad said...

I'm with Sean, your series has stood the test of time. At least once a year I reread it from beginning to end. Sometimes in order written, sometimes chronologically.

Question, who would YOU like to see play Emile? I remember who you thought he looked like, but who would you see playing him now?

Stan said...

I'm not sure about Emile, but I think that Jeffrey Dean Morgan could carry of Sleel's "the world's alright because I'm in it" attitude.

heina said...

Good luck. You KNOW where I stand on this one.

Tim Birch said...

I am responsible for that 'sharp lad' starting the party. I introduced him to "The Man Who Never Missed" back in 85'. I bought my first copy at the PX at Ft. Benning while at Jump School. The story inspired me. I re-read "The Prince" and "The Book of the Five Rings" with new eyes. Taking the story to heart I realized what a pawn in the Game of Life I had been. Digging deeper, I saw the patterns swirling around. Your work lead me into 'cages for the monkey brain' The Art of War and the War of Art. My thinking and marksmanship improved. When I looked at combat as a dance, not a struggle. I learned to laugh at the fools in charge and not fall into the traps they laid.

Thank you! I got my life back. Mr. Perry your work rocks! I make people buy your stuff! Only request is please write more.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve,
I would like to get some of the books you provided on the main page.
I don't have credit card or pay-pall account, I'm thinking if it's OK to send the money directly to you via any mailing/postal address?

Thanks in advance,
M.M
(Indonesia)

Mendur said...

In many ways, that book is still my favorite of the ones you've written. Your later books are often better in terms of language and plotting and all those writerly things, and they are wonderful books, but there's something about that first tale which still hits the right notes for me.

Congratulations on the new option.

Steve Perry said...

M.M. --

Post your email address -- use words and such to disguise it, like "dot.com" instead of (.com) and such and I'll email you the file -- whichever one you want. (And I'll take your email address down once I get it.)

I'll including a mailing address when I send it.

Steve Perry said...

Tim --

Well, if you sent Mark my way back in the day, thanks. I like his attitude on the project -- hire good, but relatively-unknown actors, and put the money up on the screen.

Nobody is wishing him more success than I.

And it never hurts to hear stories like yours, thank you. Always nice to know that some of the little stones I've tossed into the pond make some useful ripples ...

Steve Perry said...

TMWNM is one of those books that actually came close on the page to what it looked like inside my head. And the flow of the writing, such that I was capable of, went along like gangbusters. Never got stuck, never had to skip ahead and write scenes. Book was short and active.

These days, I tend to spend too much time dancing off in all directions and the books feel slower. More stuff to say, and me wanting to say it.

After the first three titles, they all got longer.
Flex was half again as long as TMWNM and then some.

I'm aiming for a bit less wordage in Siblings, but it's still meandering along. Part of setting up a school and assembling characters is that you have to puzzle it together slower, I think. But that trap of talking too much is always there ...

At some point, I might do a story with Dirisha and Geneva in their retirement -- maybe their son who, of course, would also be Sleel's kid, which I did set up at the end of The Albino Knife, I think ...

Dan Moran said...

Musashi Flex is still probably my favorite of your Matador novels. I think it's the best written, anyway.

wraith808 said...

Congrats on the 'found money'.

Almost 25 years... wow! I still remember when I first found your novels, nearly 20 years ago. I didn't realize they were already old at that point.

On that note, though... any chance of getting an electronic copy published? This is one of those series that I read over and over again, and bringing out the dead tree versions is getting a bit cumbersome :)

Steve Perry said...

I have been lobbying Ace -- without any success -- to do an omnibus of the first three Matador novels published, as well as ebooks of them. Maybe the new movie option will stir 'em up, though I'm not holding my breath on that.

Ed said...

Also congrats - do they bring you on for consulting and or screenplay if it gets further? And what Dan said and you always have pearls/pebbles in your books - thanks.

steve-vh said...

My son is right now reading this one for a High School AP English class thanks to Mushtaq's influence!!

Steve Perry said...

AP English. How scary is that -- reading my potboiler?

As to screenplay stuff, unless you reserve that right going in, to get first draft, then any consultation on such is up to the producer and more or less honorary.

I could have made it a condition of the option that I get a shot at the script, but I didn't. It's my book, but their movie, and while I fancy I'd know a good script if I read it and I can write one, adapting your own books for the screen is tricky. You have to kill a lot of your darlings in such a transition, and stuff that you are in love with in a novel might not play in a script. Some stuff has to go away, due to the length.

It takes ten hours to read The Musashi Flex aloud, according to the publisher of the unabridged spoken-word version. A movie version of would run hour-and-a-half to two hours, max.

This makes producers nervous about letting the novelist see a script, the worry that the parent will get all excited about how the stepfather has dressed the the child, or changed it.

Say what? You want to make Dirisha a white girl? You are going to cast Seth Rogan as Khadaji?

A good producer wants to make the best movie s/he can, and the reason they want the novel is that they see something in it they want to bring to the silver screen, but their vision isn't necessarily the same as the original writer's. Books aren't movies.

Nataraj Hauser said...

Congratulations on this (latest) option. May it be The One. I know I have fervently wished for a movie - with dump trucks filled with money for you - for a long time. 25 years...wow...that makes me damn near 50! Can't be. I'm certain I'm only 35.

Best of luck and riches to you, good sir.

J.D. Ray said...

I think I first read TMWNM in about '88, so it evidently wasn't to long after it was published. Time sure flies.

I hope whomever it is that is producing the movie is a fan of the novels, and is true to the thrust of the storyline and the characters. There have been some horrible adaptations of books over the years, and I'd hate to see a TMWNM movie ("One man, determined, takes on an army alone and starts a revolution -- Coming to your screen this summer, it's Sylvester Stallone in Soldier's Revenge..."

Eeew!

J.D. Ray said...

[sorry, the beer made an incomplete sentence]

...hate to see a TMWNM movie ("Soldier's Revenge!") that went that way.

I remember hearing somewhere that "The Lawnmower Man" (advertised as a Stephen King story) had nothing more to do with the original story (which was evidently about a three-page passage out of the middle of one of his novels) than the title character. King eventually forced the producers to take his name off of it.