not just a pretty face

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.


Mon 29

The Sticky Screen

Syrup Syrup has been optioned! Yes, the heartbreaking, inspirational story of one novel’s quest to become a feature film continues. When the rights became available again earlier this year, I was lucky enough to have a couple of choices, and in the end I plumped for Fortress Entertainment. This is a brand new financing & production company headed by a couple of guys who completely got the story and made me think they could do great things with it.

Last time I went on this particular ride, the production company got themselves a script I didn’t much like. For me it was too focused on the logistics of Scat and 6’s challenges and not enough on their relationship. But there was nothing I could do about this, because when a studio buys the film rights to a novel, the last thing they want is an author hanging around wringing his hands about how his precious words are being changed. I just had to wait until the option expired, and start again.

So this time, with Fortress, I said I wanted to write the script. This was greeted with a cautious, polite silence. I’ve never written a screenplay, and authors have a reputation for being generally terrible at adapting their own books, so Fortress, I suspect, was not thrilled at the idea of throwing time and money at me while I slowly discovered I can’t write for the screen.

Which is fair enough. So we came up with a solution: I’ll write the first 20 or 30 pages, then they’ll either hire me to write the whole thing, or go looking for someone else.

I started this a couple of weeks ago, in between Company edits, and am almost finished. In a few days’ time, I’ll post my work here, so you can judge for yourself: am I the man to deliver this thing, or should I stick to my day job?


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Mark (#881)

Location: hollywood usa
Posted: 4779 days ago

Syrup has been optioned! Yes, the heartbreaking, inspirational story of one novel’s quest to become a feature film continues.


i see how you do it.

i mean let me gush -- what an awesome sentence!

"Yes, the heartbreaking, inspirational story of one novel’s quest to become a feature film continues." got it going on. i have been gaming in the nationstates arena for a few moths and just decided i'd join.

and i like the attitude your c-space spresence shows -- very giving -- you could easily be like many other writers and not give a fuck about anyone but yourself...peoe make millions that way.

i just wanted to say something -- haven't read it yet 9JG) but look forward to it -- read a couple of paragraohs where the Johns (HAR) are talking about Nike and the whole thing of not selling driving the market crazy...

my experience as a guitarist and signer songwriter....when ani difranco went indie i ws sure she ws like the savior fo the universe...and shewass for alittle while, but they seem to have wore her down -- and now, well there aren't fifty ani difrancos making great indie rock on teh radio -- and it sucks cause the radio blows. i know you feel me...

it is sort of gratifying to get a little props for stickin to my story and not becomeing a sell out greed head, just like you obviously aren't. the prolblems are the same, leading writers to think.

Some writer said -- "advertising turns your blood to liquid greed and your brains to gelatious paranoia." we are for better or worse gen-xers (i have been mak9ing solid quality single-piece poops since 1969) -- it's good to get a liottle acknowldgement for not being a sell out as a memeber of what has been tagged unfairly the apathetic generation.

back to the game. peace out

al (#1075)

Posted: 4715 days ago

I was thinking about this after finishing the book for the third time about a week ago. "damn this would make a great movie," I thought to myself. "I should email him and tell him how great it would be!" well here I am stumbling across this site by chance. apparently one of my buddies who borrowed my copy of syrup passed it around to all of our friends. one of them emailed me about what a great book it is and to check out the site.
my first instinct was to go to the coke company. if they're the central company in the story, the funding must be phenominal from them. act like pepsi is really trying to get into it instead of coke.
second I thought, "I love these characters." I mean I dont want the book to end when it does. I gotta beg you to make the screenplay end after the book did. it seemed like we were waiting the whole time for the tension to be broken between the main characters locked in a hollywood love triangle. waiting for things to go right for our hero. waiting for that third million-dollar idea to pay off! and then they win! he gets the girl! they get the riches and everything is wonderful!!!... for a page and a half. maybe it's up to the reader to imagine what kind of lives they lead after that.
just wanna let you know I've been a huge fan for years. keep truckin' baby.

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