Re: JMS: The time has come...

 Posted on 12/13/2006 by to

Jan wrote:
> In the past you've been pretty lukewarm about doing features because of the
> difference in influence the writer has in features as compared to TV. With the
> raised profile you've gained in selling 'The Changeling' to Ron Howard, are you
> able to keep any more control or are you just trying to choose your projects
> carefully?

The difference is fundamentally this: in the past, when meeting about
features, I (like 99% of all writers) went in at the lower levels,
studio development guys about nine rungs down, and it was always a crap
shoot if this was a real offer, how long they'd string you along, and
they didn't have the power to say yes in the room.

The Changeling script, and Ron's purchase thereof, changed everything.
I hopscotched right into the a-list, and now when I go in, it's a) on
really cool projects, b) I'm meeting with the heads of studios or heads
of production not development guys, these are people who can say yes in
the room, c) I'm also meeting directly with directors which is the best
way to get a film made, and d) these are straight-up offers by guys who
really *know* what a story is, who have good reps. It's not like
"here, here's 'Bloodsuckers from Outer Space,' go write it." They're
prestige projects.

It's honestly been rather breathtaking. And it shows what just one
script, if it's the right script, can do. And a lot of the guys I'm
meeting didn't even know about the TV background, didn't know or care
how old I was all about the words, which should be encouraging
to anybody out there.

For a science fiction TV guy there's nothing weirder in the world than
(as was the case a few weeks ago) to go to a meeting at a production
company at the WB lot, find out it's George Clooney's office, and go in
and there he is, on the couch, and he waves me over to sit next to him.
"Come on, here, sit, tell me about what's new in your life."

There are times I feel like I'm wearing somebody else's life.

> I've seen reports that the latest Wizard magazine mentioned that you're leaving
> Amazing Spider-Man this coming year. Is that true?

I've been giving it a lot of thought, and what I've enjoyed writing the
most for Marvel have been the special projects, like Bullet Points, the
new one I'm writing, and I'm most especially happy with how Thor is
going. So I finally felt that the best thing I could do would be to
devote myself almost entirely to those projects...come up with really
cool 6, 12 or 18 issue special projects, in or out of ongoing titles,
or reviving titles, and keep Thor my own monthly mainstream Marvel
book, so I can give all of those the proper amount of attention.

The cool thing about this is that I get to play anywhere I want in the
Marvel universe, I can tell whatever stories I want without worrying
about continuity for the most part, and best of all the process calls
for the books to be fully written and drawn THEN solicited, so there
are no delays. So right now, on the new project, I'm 4 scripts in out
of 12, pencils are now coming in on issue 3, and we should have the
whole thing done before the first issue hits the stands. That, for me,
is the more satisfying way of doing things.

> And how many more issues of
> Fantastic Four will there be?

This next one is my last.

> Colleen Doran has said that Book of Lost Souls
> will be back next year. Any idea of a time frame?

Dunno, it's a function of when the first batch of pencils get turned