Friday, January 17, 2014

Guest Post by Brandon Engel: "Koontz Fans Rejoice! Odd Thomas Finally Slated For Release"

Title:  Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)
Author:  Dean Koontz
Published: December 9, 2003
Publisher: Random House

Purchase:  Amazon  |  B&N

"The dead don't talk. I don't know why." But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. 

Maybe he has a gift, maybe it's a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. 

Sometimes they want justice, and Odd's otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different. 

 A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd's deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15. 

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.


I'm very excited to welcome Brandon Engel to the blog today.  He has a wonderful post for everyone concerning the Odd Thomas movie.  Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz is my favorite Koontz book of all time. I fell in love with Odd, the sweet, awkward short-order cook turned reluctant hero who is often sought out by the dead and who tries so hard to help these lost souls.  Even though I’m at times conflicted about book-to-film adaptations, I was still really excited to see this book come to life on the big screen... but the movie never made it to theaters, and I was puzzled as to why. Fortunately for myself and fellow Odd Thomas fans, Brandon, talented Chicago-based blogger and Koontz fan, has stopped by with a wonderful write-up explaining just what happened to the much anticipated film. Here’s what he has to say:

"Koontz Fans Rejoice! Odd Thomas Finally Slated For Release"
by Brandon Engel

The readers of this blog have become familiar with Dean Koontz’s work over time, whether they have read his books or not. One of his books discussed on here was the latest installment of the Odd Thomas series, Deeply Odd. For fans of the series, the news of the Odd Thomas movie, and all its issues, will not be news. However, the plagued movie hasn’t really been promoted through mainstream media outlets all that well, and that is why, dear reader, Michele was nice enough to let me write for her blog.

    To make a long story short: Odd Thomas will never make it to theaters here in the United States. In fact, the only form of distribution the film will get is through a deal with Direct TV giving them exclusive video on demand and online streaming rights, and a DVD release coming later in the year. The reasoning behind this can be found in the court records of suit filed by the films producers against it’s financiers. The producers alleged that the financiers failed to follow through on a promised amount of $35 million for the films marketing, promotion, and distribution. When the financiers repeatedly missed deadlines and pushed back the date of payment, producers filed suit, and the film was locked in a legal battle with no foreseeable release date.

The Odd Thomas series is one of the cornerstones in Dean Koontz’s repertoire of bestselling novels. They have been longtime favorites of many book enthusiast due to their thrilling plot and deeply complex characters. When news of the film adaptation of Odd Thomas came, it made sense. What Koontz was likely trying to do was to capitalize on the massive popularity of book series turned films since the turn of the millenium. The series had all the trademarks of other successful series; a complex and quirky lead character with heartthrob qualities, a pair of youngsters in a relationship that was “fate”, a fantastical twist of sci-fi/paranormal enemies, and a massive fanbase already in place from the books.

Unfortunately this is just another in a list of film adaptations of his work that failed to meet expectations. Out of the 15 adaptations of his work (whether film or made-for-TV miniseries), none of them have become a big draw for audiences. For Koontz fans, this has become a familiar formula. However, this time it could have actually been a success, if it wasn’t for the legal drama surrounding it. The film had a unconventionally cute up and comer in the lead role (Charlie Bartlett’s Anton Yelchin), a big time director (Stephen Sommers of The Mummy and Van Helsing fame), big name supporting actors (Willem Dafoe & Patton Oswald), and a pre existing fanbase most producers can only dream of. This film didn’t have to be a failure, it was on track not to be. 

What happened to Odd Thomas is an anomaly in Hollywood. These types of deals are usually worked out years in advance with all the proper signatures in place. The budget for this film was $27 million, not a massive number in Hollywood, but nothing to ignore either. Based on the reviews of the film, the editing and plotline also suffered from budgetary and time restrictions too. What it all adds up to is a massive disappointment for both Odd Thomas and Koontz fans. What was supposed to be his biggest success in the film industry has ended up being a trainwreck.

About the author:
 Brandon Engel is a Chicago-based blogger who writes about everything from pulp horror to environmental legislation. Follow him on Twitter at @BrandonEngel2.

This is heartbreaking news, to say the least. Thank you so much, Brandon, for stopping by and for letting everyone know what happened to this eagerly anticipated book-to-movie adaptation.

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