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View Full Version : Dean Koontz Novels - ever made into films?



voodoo
03-03-2010, 08:32 PM
I am reading "Watchers" and I keep thinking that this book
would be a good movie. So would some of his other novels.

Does anyone know if Koontz has had
any of his books adapted for film?
If not, why?

Is it one of those things where the author
just doesn't want Hollywood to touch it?

Kathleen42
03-03-2010, 08:42 PM
A few were. Phantoms and Hideaway were two. Neither were terribly good.

DeleyanLee
03-03-2010, 08:43 PM
Watchers has been adapted into film twice, actually. Once in the late 70's and once in the 80's, IIRC.

They both sucked dirty duck butt compared to the source material.

alleycat
03-03-2010, 08:48 PM
Just for future reference, you can go to the Internet Movie Database and put in a writer's name and get a list of films the writer was involved with (click Writer for those where he or she has a writing credit; it may be because of a book made into a movie, or because the writer in question wrote the screenplay).

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0465588/#writer

voodoo
03-03-2010, 08:49 PM
Thanks, everybody!

shaldna
03-03-2010, 08:56 PM
Wasn't Demon Seed based on a Dean Koontz novel?

benbradley
03-03-2010, 10:49 PM
Wasn't Demon Seed based on a Dean Koontz novel?
Yes, and that was a really interesting case. It was based on an earlier, SF novel of that name. Sometime in the '70's Koontz decided to try to "improve" his reputation and be known as a mainstream writer rather than a genre/SF writer (so he could write the same amount but sell more copies of each book), so he bought the rights back to all his older books so they wouldn't get reprinted, and he's never had them reprinted (that's why a MMPB of "Starblood" sells for $20 and up). "Demon Seed" was originally a hardback SF novel the movie was based on. He not only bought the reprint rights back, with that one he rewrote it into a longer, "mainstream" book and it was sold as (perhaps among other formats) an MMPB. It's a longer book with the same title.

Apparently he succeeded with his evil little plan. Few if anyone thinks of Koontz as an SF author anymore.

ETA:

...
Is it one of those things where the author
just doesn't want Hollywood to touch it?
From reading the reviews in posts #2 and #3, and seeing what a take-control-of-his-own-writing-career person he's been, I'm willing to bet this is the case.

kaitie
03-04-2010, 03:36 AM
Was that under his actual name? I thought Demon Seed was one of the ones written under a pen name, though I could be wrong and don't have the book here to check. I did know it was a rewrite of one of his earlier books, though. I had thought most of those earlier books had been originally written under different names and then rereleased under his actual name once he became more popular. I always loved reading how he killed off his old pen names.

aadams73
03-04-2010, 03:53 AM
Was that under his actual name? I thought Demon Seed was one of the ones written under a pen name, though I could be wrong and don't have the book here to check. I did know it was a rewrite of one of his earlier books, though.

I'm pretty sure my old copy actually had Dean R. Koontz on the cover. It was the original version, not the rewrite.

Jamesaritchie
03-04-2010, 04:17 AM
Demon Seed was first released under Koontz's K. R. Dwyer pseudonym, and then rewritten completely and released under Koontz's real name.

CynV
03-04-2010, 07:58 AM
There were a few movies made off Koontz novels but they were all terrible. The only one that was marginally good was the TV movie version of INTENSITY...but they changed parts of that enough to make a Koontz fan cringe too. Not even Dean himself likes what has been put out.

kaitie
03-04-2010, 01:20 PM
Demon Seed was first released under Koontz's K. R. Dwyer pseudonym, and then rewritten completely and released under Koontz's real name.

That's what I thought, too. I have the old Dean R. Koontz version at home, but I knew that wasn't the original. I've actually tried to find some of the old out of print originals just because I thought it'd be fun to compare for kicks, but they're hard to find. :tongue

Kaitie (who admits to loving Dean Koontz)

aadams73
03-04-2010, 02:21 PM
Kaitie (who admits to loving Dean Koontz)

I love his older stuff: Phantoms, Visions(the bats--ARGH!)Strangers, Watchers.

Jamesaritchie
03-04-2010, 06:35 PM
That's what I thought, too. I have the old Dean R. Koontz version at home, but I knew that wasn't the original. I've actually tried to find some of the old out of print originals just because I thought it'd be fun to compare for kicks, but they're hard to find. :tongue

Kaitie (who admits to loving Dean Koontz)


I'm a major Koontz fan. The podcasts on his website are fascinating, and often hilarious.

I've had the best luck finding his old books at used bookstores, but you have to know which pseudonyms to look for, and even then it's tough.

DennisB
03-05-2010, 04:47 PM
His web site states that Frankenstein has been optioned as a movie.

Are there really writers who would turn down a movie deal (perhaps in the six figures) on principle (not because they have trouble with the project)?

shaldna
03-05-2010, 04:51 PM
Are there really writers who would turn down a movie deal (perhaps in the six figures) on principle (not because they have trouble with the project)?



you'd better believe it.

terry pratchett turned down alot of movie deals because he said that he felt people wanted to make the movies more than they cared about telling the story.

Manuel Royal
03-05-2010, 04:55 PM
A few were. Phantoms and Hideaway were two. Neither were terribly good.Phantoms, with Koontz writing the screenplay adaptation, retained the same dumbass error regarding brains: Koontz was under the impression that the human brain weighs six pounds.

I stopped reading Koontz when, in the middle of one of his books, there was a scene with a vicious Mafia boss getting maudlin over the loss of his little lapdog -- and then Koontz explained to me, the reader, why that was ironic. I tossed the book and didn't look back.

voodoo
03-05-2010, 06:25 PM
Phantoms, with Koontz writing the screenplay adaptation, retained the same dumbass error regarding brains: Koontz was under the impression that the human brain weighs six pounds.

I stopped reading Koontz when, in the middle of one of his books, there was a scene with a vicious Mafia boss getting maudlin over the loss of his little lapdog -- and then Koontz explained to me, the reader, why that was ironic. I tossed the book and didn't look back.

I did that with a book. LOL
It wasn't Koontz but an autobiography.
A play by play of heaven, his life after death experience.
It felt completely contrived.
I got through the first chapter, I think, then threw it away.

kaitie
03-05-2010, 06:29 PM
I'm a major Koontz fan. The podcasts on his website are fascinating, and often hilarious.

I've had the best luck finding his old books at used bookstores, but you have to know which pseudonyms to look for, and even then it's tough.

I called around to the ones in my area, but they didn't have any in stock. I think just really old books like that aren't that easy to come by. I've even looked online for some of them.

He's got the best sense of humor. I love reading his website interviews. :)

DennisB
03-05-2010, 07:02 PM
I don't think Stephen King has been happy with any of the films adapted from his books (except, I believe, The Stand). But I think I read that he tolerates them because they haven't changed his BOOK. They've told his story in a different way.
Maybe if you're so in love with your story you will always say "no, thanks." But if you're secure that your writing hasn't been altered, let 'er rip!

stitchingirl
03-05-2010, 07:34 PM
The only Dean Koontz movie that I saw was, "Servants of Twilight". But I like those off-the-wall/weird movies.

A church preacher starts calling this little boy's mom to tell her that she should kill her son because he's the Anti-Christ. Then the church members start harrassing the mother and her son, forcing the mom to hire a private detective/bodyguard (Bruce Greenwood).

I thought it was decent.

voodoo
03-05-2010, 09:04 PM
I don't think Stephen King has been happy with any of the films adapted from his books (except, I believe, The Stand). But I think I read that he tolerates them because they haven't changed his BOOK. They've told his story in a different way.
Maybe if you're so in love with your story you will always say "no, thanks." But if you're secure that your writing hasn't been altered, let 'er rip!

Really?
Because I thought they nailed "The Green Mile."
Shawshank was good, too.

In fact, I thought King had an on going contest running
for people to turn his books into screenplays...
the best one gets made into film.
Did I make that up?
??

DeleyanLee
03-05-2010, 09:13 PM
I don't think Stephen King has been happy with any of the films adapted from his books (except, I believe, The Stand). But I think I read that he tolerates them because they haven't changed his BOOK. They've told his story in a different way.

If he hasn't been happy with them, I think he should stop doing acting and cameos in these movies. He should especially not seem delighted and satisfied in the "Making Of" documentaries of the various projects. And he shouldn't be executive producer either. Could really send the wrong impression of what he thinks of the adaptations, y'know? ;)

Jamesaritchie
03-05-2010, 11:19 PM
Phantoms, with Koontz writing the screenplay adaptation, retained the same dumbass error regarding brains: Koontz was under the impression that the human brain weighs six pounds.

I stopped reading Koontz when, in the middle of one of his books, there was a scene with a vicious Mafia boss getting maudlin over the loss of his little lapdog -- and then Koontz explained to me, the reader, why that was ironic. I tossed the book and didn't look back.


You should keep trying. I think most of his books are wonderful, and extremely well-written. Every writer will have a book or two that you won't like, but that's no reason to give up on the writer completely.

Besides, if we're thinking about the same scene, we sure read it very differently.

Jamesaritchie
03-05-2010, 11:35 PM
His web site states that Frankenstein has been optioned as a movie.



Are there really writers who would turn down a movie deal (perhaps in the six figures) on principle (not because they have trouble with the project)?


It's generally more like seven figure for someone like Koontz, but, sure, you still turn down a bad deal. You should go over and listen to the Koontz podcasts about Hollywood. You'd turn down some of those deals, too.

The Kidd
03-07-2010, 08:00 AM
Secret Window stars Johnny Depp.

Marian Perera
03-07-2010, 08:09 AM
... and then Koontz explained to me, the reader, why that was ironic. I tossed the book and didn't look back.

I also find many of his recent books overwritten (along with other issues) and stopped reading them after The Taking.

Manuel Royal
03-07-2010, 04:32 PM
You should keep trying. I think most of his books are wonderful, and extremely well-written. Every writer will have a book or two that you won't like, but that's no reason to give up on the writer completely.

Besides, if we're thinking about the same scene, we sure read it very differently.
Phantoms alone is enough for me not to give him another chance. What a halfwit piece of crap.

kaitie
03-07-2010, 05:16 PM
Okie dokie. I wasn't going to do this because I didn't want to start a debate. Anyway, here's my take on him, and I say this with the admitted bias that he's my favorite actor and I've read all of his books.

Some of them are astounding. Some of them suck eggs. He has two different styles as well, and I've tended to notice that those who prefer one of the styles dislike the other and vice versa. Some of his more recent books have been much weaker than average, and I think that's because he was putting out the same number at the same time that he was writing another series. Rushing through it, shorter books, stories that didn't feel thought out and felt like a rehash of the old ones? All makes sense to me considering he wasn't able to have the same amount of time to put the effort into it as usual. That's my take anyway.

I didn't like Phantoms. It wouldn't be on my recommend list at all. Then again, like I said, others I know really loved that one. There are a few that are absolutely stellar that I would recommend.

Lightning is a classic one, a wonderful story with a great little love story thrown in. Dark Rivers of the Heart has a great, complicated plot, lots of humor, and really enjoyable characters. If you prefer his other style (as I do), I'd also recommend Fear Nothing and Odd Thomas (the best of the four, and quite possibly the best he's done period). Life Expectancy and Ticktock are good if you enjoy really quirky humor and screwball comedies.

On the other end of the spectrum you have books like The Taking, which I was shocked ever even made it into print. That being said, I read something not long ago where someone discussed that being his favorite Dean Koontz book, so to each his own.

Are you a King fan? I've also tended to notice that King fans tend to not like Dean Koontz's books as much. I like both, but I really dislike most of King's older books and prefer his more recent style, whereas I know others who are again the exact opposite to me on this one.

It might be that you really would dislike all Koontz books, though I also agree that it isn't really worth it to give up on an author because you dislike one of his books. I usually give someone at least three or four before I give up on them. The trick with Koontz is finding the right one. And if you don't like his style that's cool, too, but just know that Phantoms definitely does not top the list of his best books. I could give you a list of others to avoid if you wanted, but again it's all about taste, and it might be that the ones I really disliked you might enjoy.

pdknz
03-10-2010, 06:22 AM
I threw away one of his books too, halfway through reading it. And never bought another one. It's a bit ironic that he uses my (middle) name.

Phil D. Koontz
No relation, so far as I know.

AnneMarble
03-10-2010, 06:47 AM
The only Dean Koontz movie that I saw was, "Servants of Twilight". But I like those off-the-wall/weird movies.

A church preacher starts calling this little boy's mom to tell her that she should kill her son because he's the Anti-Christ. Then the church members start harrassing the mother and her son, forcing the mom to hire a private detective/bodyguard (Bruce Greenwood).

I thought it was decent.
That movie was my introduction to Grace Zabriskie. :D I'd forgotten Bruce Greenwood was in there, too. Maybe I should watch it again...

I remember reading Koontz wrote about the Servants of Twilight movie. He was more positive toward that adaptation than any of the bigger budget adaptations (which isn't saying much :tongue) and praised Grace Zabriskie's performance. IIRC there was a chance of having te movie released to movie theaters rather than direct to video. But because it was very low budget, it was decided that fans would be disappointed by the "low rent" aspects of the movie.

Oh, and the first Watchers example was the perfect example of how not to adapt a movie. The hero was turned into a teen-aged boy because of course the producers knew only teen-aged boys like horror movies. The heroine retains her age but is turned into his mother. Obviously they couldn't do a romance between the two of them (this wans't V. C. Andrews), so they gave him a teen-aged girlfriend. Did I mention that they tossed out one of the coolest Koontz villains ever, and then turned one of the heroic characters into a villain instead? This movie had two positive qualities. 1) The dog was col. 2) It had Michael Ironside (but it would have been ever better if he got to play the character as a good guy).

NewKidOldKid
03-10-2010, 11:17 AM
Phantoms alone is enough for me not to give him another chance. What a halfwit piece of crap.

I liked Phantoms.

spike
03-10-2010, 04:10 PM
If you listen to his podcasts, he goes into what and how Hollywood makes a movie. You can get them through itunes.

As for Koontz, I loved Phamtoms, Lightning, and Twilight Eyes. I didn't like the books about the guy who couldn't go in daylight (I hated them so much, I purged the titles from my memory.)

I absolutely hated the ending of False Memory, a book I should have loved. The plot included "brain washing" (one of my favorite subjects) and referenced one of my favorite books (Manchurian Candidate). But it felt like he said, "Damn, I'm at 300 pages, I'd better end this sucker" and came up with a terrible cliched ending.

I think he writes too much. Some of his books should have been trunked and just let the good stuff be published.

Quossum
03-10-2010, 10:27 PM
... But it felt like he said, "Damn, I'm at 300 pages, I'd better end this sucker" and came up with a terrible cliched ending.

I think he writes too much. Some of his books should have been trunked and just let the good stuff be published.

That's exactly how The Darkest Evening of the Year went. All this pages and pages of building, building, building--and then, BANG! An ending so rushed and ham-fisted as to feel almost like a betrayal. Leading me to the same conclusion as spike.

Still, I enjoy some of his stuff as pure escapism.

I only saw one movie (that I know of) based on one of his books: one of the versions of Watchers. It was wretched. I don't think his writing transfers well to film.

--Q

blacbird
03-10-2010, 11:50 PM
Are there really writers who would turn down a movie deal (perhaps in the six figures) on principle (not because they have trouble with the project)?


I believe John D. MacDonald (who died in 1986) refused to allow any visual dramatization of his Travis McGee novels and character. That series cries out for TV, and twenty-five years ago Nick Nolte would have been the perfect casting, but to my knowledge nothing has ever been done. I can't imagine that would be the case, unless permission has never been granted.

caw

~*Kate*~
03-11-2010, 01:03 AM
I love his older stuff: Phantoms, Visions(the bats--ARGH!)Strangers, Watchers.

Same here, although I can't remember Phantoms. I haven't re-read any since late high school but some of the characters and scenes still stick with me. Occasionally I find myself dressing all in one color and worry I'm turning into the crazy lady from Servants of Twilight.

Jamesaritchie
03-11-2010, 01:55 AM
Phantoms alone is enough for me not to give him another chance. What a halfwit piece of crap.



Enough, I think, to say you didn't like it. I thought it was a very good book, and very well-written. Difference of taste there but a book is never, ever a piece of crap because you don't like it, or a great book because I do like it.

But I damned sure value the opinion of the majority who love a book, and if you don't, good luck on ever writing anyting that really isn't halfwitted crap.

Jamesaritchie
03-11-2010, 01:57 AM
I believe John D. MacDonald (who died in 1986) refused to allow any visual dramatization of his Travis McGee novels and character. That series cries out for TV, and twenty-five years ago Nick Nolte would have been the perfect casting, but to my knowledge nothing has ever been done. I can't imagine that would be the case, unless permission has never been granted.

caw

I can't remember how long ago, but there's been at least one TV series, and several movies, based on Travis McGee.

My favorite starred Sam Elliot, who I thought made a perfect Travis McGee.