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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Tue 12
Jul
2005

It ain’t a book until it’s a movie

Company Yesterday I got a mention in Publishers Weekly, because of the possibility of a Company film deal. Here’s the snippet—although, because this is a trade mag, they give away far too much of the plot. So I’m blanking bits.

Satire may have a pretty dismal record at the box office, but at least one studio won’t be dissuaded. Paramount has made an offer for Company (Doubleday, Jan. 2006) the latest corporate satire from former ad man Max Barry (ne Maxx Barry). In the novel, a new employee at a faceless conglomerate can’t figure out what the company actually produces. Since he has very little to do all day, he makes it his mission to find out. He discovers that he and his co-workers are ___ ___ ____ in an __________ _____ run by _______ company ______ human behavior __ _ corporate environment—___ ______ ____ set in __ ______ park. Perhaps Paramount is mindful of another send-up of cubicle culture, 1999’s Office Space. That cult favorite by Beavis and Butt-head creator Mike Judge flopped in its initial theatrical release, but went on to become a huge earner in its DVD afterlife. It still ranks as one of Fox’s bestselling DVD titles of all time. Luke Janklow of Janklow & Nesbit and CAA’s Brian Siberell represent Barry.

Jason Anthony, Publishers Weekly, July 11, 2005

Comments

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Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Dammit, how much I would love to see behind the blanks right now...

Trust me, at the opening day, I'll sit in the front row; no matter if it's Jennifer G. or Company.

Well, I might sit somewhere in the middle, actually. Who likes the front row? Why did this idiom even get so popular?

Thomas (#1221)

Location: Germany
Quote: "One more, and I'm going to consider you my penpal."
Posted: 3199 days ago

The front row is good for non-dolby-surround, non-THX, non-big-screen-renditions, e.g. opera, non-movie-theater, ballet, and other wysaiwaa (where you see actors is where actors are).

And I agree, those blanks there are prime examples of illegitimate torture. If Max keeps that up, I'll never buy any film rights from him.

Adam A. (#256)

Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Quote: "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." -George Carlin"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Congrats Max, should be a nice check. Are they making an offer just based on the synopsis? Or did they get an ARC? Can't wait to read it. You should have a contest or something to win an advanced copy.

Duncan (#1311)

Location: Arizona Nova
Quote: "Death to Todd Bunker"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Is there still going to be a JG movie, or is it just going to be Company? No doubt I will check out your new book, but I liked Jennifer Government a lot and I hoped there would be a movie of it.

Machine Man subscriber Julie Totsch (#1341)

Location: Racine, WI
Quote: ""The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." - Robert Frost"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Yeah, a contest to win an advanced -- autographed copy would be really, really cool!

JJ MacMillan (#819)

Location: Austin, TX
Quote: "I just wanted you to see what bad planning looked like."
Posted: 3199 days ago

Hey, isn't there already a movie where ____ in a ___ do ___?

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Bwahahaha

Anonunit (#1405)

Location: Apparently too long to put down here.
Quote: "Carbon stars with ancient satellites colonized by sentient fungi. Gas giants inhabited by vast meteorological intelligences. Worlds stretched thin across the membranes where dimensions intersect."
Posted: 3199 days ago

Are they making movies out of all of your books?

Kristen (#1157)

Location: Jersey
Quote: "Insert quotation here."
Posted: 3199 days ago

Woohoo! It's like MadLibs!

Jjuulliiaann (#1111)

Location: New York
Quote: "Religion is the Opium of the People --Karl Marx"
Posted: 3199 days ago

Hehe. I have a subscription to Publisher's Weekly, Now I just have to decide whether or not to read the article.

shabooty (#637)

Location: D.C./V.A/M.D.
Quote: "I will shake your foundation. I will shake the f**cking rafters. Nobody'll be the same -Danny Bonaduce ....& go visit my blog @: http://www.shabooty.com"
Posted: 3199 days ago

let's hope it's a non-scientology production
those tend to jump the shark (and the couch)

Rod McBride (#688)

Location: Gardner, KS
Quote: "www.MidwestRockLobster.blogspot.com"
Posted: 3199 days ago

That snippet from PW says a lot about how the industry looks at books. And the way Hollywood looks at movies. 'Office Space' is one of my favorite movies, one of the very few I own on DVD (my library of DVDs can't quite be counted on one hand, but close). But the last thing I want is 'another Office Space.' I want something new. Just like I don't want another 'Fight Club' or 'Pulp Fiction' etc. I don't even like most remakes. It's so rare that a remake is done because someone has a new angle on the story.

And which satires have performed dismally at the box office? I'm struggling to think of any actual satires that have been released, successfully or otherwise in recent years. It's been a while since Steve Martin was in that game with movies like 'Roxanne,' 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid' and 'All of Me.' Those movies made his career.

JacksSmirkingRevenge (#1324)

Location: That place where Billy Elliot was comitted, England
Quote: "What can the harvest hope for if not for the care of the reaper man?"
Posted: 3198 days ago

Id cal Fight Club a succesfull social satire.

Matthew (#16)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Quote: "Unicorn on mountain top. Wind blowing through mane."
Posted: 3198 days ago

I keep re-checking the comments looking for Adam's metablog and I just remembered he was in Mexico right now.

Oh well.

Jonah (#1462)

Location: Morristown, Indiana
Quote: "That little story your writing... with the developing plot... and the antagonist..."
Posted: 3196 days ago

Yes, I have been looking for his metablog as well. If he compiled them, he could very well have himself a best-selling novel on his hands.

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