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WOOT! My buddy FINALLY struck a major motion picture deal for "Bone"!

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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:50 PM
Original message
WOOT! My buddy FINALLY struck a major motion picture deal for "Bone"!
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 09:25 PM by Lorien
My buddy Jeff and I have been friends since 1984, when I worked for him at a little animation studio in Columbus, Ohio. He was just dreaming of drawing his own comic back then, based on characters that he had come up with as a child. Well, years later he DID finally do his graphic novel series, called "Bone", and it was a big success. To date it's sold over 3 million copies (in book form). He always used to talk about turning it into a feature film trilogy, but after several failed attempts he gave up on it. Just last year a few friends here in town were working on various animated film projects and wanted something more substantial to do. I went back to cheerleading the idea for a "Bone" feature film in hopes of seeing my friend realize his dream while all my fellow artists kept the mortgages paid. It would be a "win-win" for everyone! Jeff kept going back and forth on it, but last night his agent called with an offer he couldn't refuse:

Warners connected to the film 'Bone'
By Borys Kit

March 8, 2008
hr/photos/stylus/19340.jpg

"Bone"
Warner Bros. has picked up rights to "Bone," the acclaimed independent comic book series from artist Jeff Smith. Dan Lin will produce.

The fantasy series followed three cousins from the Bone family who are small, white and bald humanlike creatures with big noses. The trio are run out of their hometown and find themselves in a mysterious valley where they are separated and hunted by other creatures. They are taken in by a girl named Thorn and her grandmother, and find out that the valley is threatened by an evil force called the Lord of the Locusts.

The series ran irregularly from 1991-2004. Scholastic has been publishing the collected stories in graphic novel format since 2005, selling more than 1 million copies so far.

Smith, who will executive produce, was influenced by classic cartoonists Walt Kelly, Charles Schultz and Will Eisner on the series, which won several comic awards. Smith went on to become a noted artist whose work will be exhibited in the spring at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio.

A decision on what kind of format "Bone" should take -- live-action or animated or both -- will be based on filmmaker meetings.

An animated version was in development at Nickelodeon Films but fell through, partly because Smith was displeased that the studio was aiming it for kids and wanted the film to include pop songs.

Jon Silk at Lin Pictures brought the project in and is a co-producer. Jessica Goodman is the studio executive. Smith is repped by Rabineau Wachter Sanford & Harris Literary Agency.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/new...

Now I just hope that it can be made in 2D animation domestically. There are SO MANY artists who are hurting out there right now that a project like this (especially if it is done as a trilogy, as first imagined) would really help a lot of people. Please send some good vibes to a great liberal graphic novel creator that this all goes as well as it can and that THREE films can be made here in the US of A!


:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:



Oh happy day!
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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. THIS IS GREAT, good vibes and best wishes
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Fire Walk With Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Tell your friend that a fan wishes him the best outcome in the adaptation!
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 08:54 PM by Peake
This is one comic-to-screen work that I will look forward to, if he can keep creative control and quality!

:thumbsup:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I just pray that I can help keep him interested in it
he's doing another comic called 'RASL" (not for the kiddies) right now and he doesn't want to focus much on the film. He said that he'd almost rather have them make it and just show it to him when they're done so that he can enjoy it. I can sort of understand his reasoning there; he had some other dealings with studios which were unpleasant, and I myself have never watched any of the films I've worked on after they were released because I just don't enjoy doing so. But they need to remain faithful to the comics to please his fans, so he'll need to be involved one way or another. If not I'll ask to help in any way that I can. I really want this to work-he's been talking about it for 24 years-I guess it's now or never!
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
3. Well all righty, then. He must be walking on air right now.
What a great moment for an artist to have.

Redstone
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Actually, I think he's a tad freaked
he called this afternoon asking "Do you think I did the right thing"? He seemed a bit shell shocked. The offer came in yesterday evening and was better-much better-then anything he had been offered before. The only hitch was that he had to decide immediately. So he took the plunge. It's a lot to digest all at one time, but when it's over and the film is in theater I think that he'll be glad that he said "yes".
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
16. Sometimes you just have to roll the dice. He'll be happy that he did.
Redstone
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lost-in-nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
4. WHOOO HOOO
good luck to him!!!!!


keep us posted!!!!



lost
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Rhythm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. I remember meeting Jeff at Heroes Con years ago...
One of my friends back home was a big fan... and i remember Jeff being swamped with people in line for autographs, but being really patient and gracious with everyone.

Congrats to him on his success... sometimes, the good guys DO win. :-)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. He's honestly one of the truly good souls out there
I've never been to a convention with him, but I hear that he's treated like a rock star. He really does appreciate each and every one of his fans and is very touched when anyone enjoys his work. He's one of my few friends that I trust completely, perhaps in part because he's so trusting himself. He always sees the good in others. I just hope that Warner's won't abuse that part of his nature (as film studios have tried to in the past). Luckily his wife takes care of most business matters and she really looks out for them both. She's brilliant, beautiful and funny as hell- a real force to be reckoned with, which is why they haven't been hosed by anyone thus far, thank goodness! I'm excited for them both but nervous too. I really, really hope this works out!
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Rhythm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Tell him to try to keep final approval on the script, if he possibly can
I have an old friend in the comic biz (not naming names), and when he finally got the movie deal, he didn't have final say on the stript, and the director and screenwriter warped the story into something barely recognizable.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Oh, they already gave him that, thank goodness
he went through that with Sony. They even wanted to scrap the lead character at one point! He knows that being an executive producer doesn't mean squat, so there's other language in the contract which gives him final approval on script, character design, etc.
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Mojambo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. Well deserved. That is an AWESOME book. n/t
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. Last time I heard the name Bone mentioned
it was in reference to a possible video game based on the series. Did that ever happen?
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yep. It was made by Telltale games
I think that's the name. I'm not a video game person, so I didn't keep track of that endeavor. I just know that he enjoyed working with the guys at the gaming company.
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DarkTirade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Yeah, 's what I thought.
The more intelligent games don't tend to be big in the market... so the only companies that make them are the smaller ones that are willing to put less money in and risk getting less back out.
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
15. I think I have a few Bone Comics
Wow that is cool.
:toast:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. For those who have never heard of it, here's a Wall Street Journal interview
with Jeff that was done recently: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4523198...

(Bad studio lighting-he usually doesn't look that worn out).
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
18. Man, I loved those books!
Congrats to him, can't wait to see the film version! :bounce:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Do you remember the one called "the Dragonslayer"?
it was actually an allegory for the Clinton witch hunt at the time (repugs attacking Clinton for his affair instead of focusing on any real issues). Works even better for today's issues. Jeff is a staunch Dem and would fit in quite well around here.

:hi:
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IntravenousDemilo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
19. That's fantastic news!
I guess it would have to be animated, because I can't imagine who you could get who'd look like the Bone family in real life.

When I first saw the name Fone Bone, I wondered where I'd heard it before, and then I remembered MAD Magazine! Neat!

Good vibes are definitely going out to Jeff. (I do voice-work, btw...)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Well, I suppose that they could go the "casper" route
and blend CG with live action, but I think it would look kinda weird. I'd still rather see it done traditionally as a 2D film for a few reasons; it would maintain the look of the graphic novels and it could put hundreds of unemployed 2D animators back to work! Plus, it could prove to studios that medium alone does not make or break a picture. It's the story that counts!

Oh, and yeah-I keep telling Jeff that I've always thought that "unknowns" were better at voice over work than celebrities. The fact is that the viewer tends to superimpose the celeb over the character while watching the film if it's someone very identifiable. If it's someone you don't know, than all you see is the character (like Jafar, or Timon-a character that made unknown-at-the-time Nathan Lane). But Jeff already wants Lewis Black to voice Phoney Bone, lol!
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MassLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
21. my daughter LOVED these books
She's psyched to hear that they'll now be a movie!
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RainDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
23. Congrats to him!
Edited on Sun Mar-09-08 11:58 AM by RainDog
when I managed an undergrad library -- it was the "artistic" dorm with an on site dark room, kiln, bookmaking classes, etc. -- I always had a suggestion list and the students loved Bone!!! I was the first person to bring that book into a U. with a population of over 30k undergrads (the same year it was released in the one huuuuge volume.) My library was also the first one at that U. with a graphic novel collection (in an academic setting...) - I was able to bring in work like Epileptic, by David B. and Black Hole by Burns. I really think graphic novels are THE art form to define this era. Sacco and Ware... I'm waiting for Jason Lutes' next installment of Berlin, City of Stones.

Frans Masereel is one of my favorite expressionists working in wordless books way back when. I love woodcuts. Going way off on a tangent, but the whole topic is sort of organic for me. Really, there is a sort of tree that goes from Expressionists trying to make sense of the world of modern war, leading up to the rise of the Nazis to Eisner's Contract to his last "The Plot."

All this to say that I am so happy that he is getting recognition for his work!!

I hope he is more than happy with the outcome. Persepolis was made into a good movie. Maybe he can ask Satrapi what she did? Maybe he can point to that adaptation as a sort of "challenge" to the people doing the script? I'm glad he's standing up to the insertion of a "pop movie" song - Hollywood, with its eye on an ever moving bottom line, shoots itself in the foot all the time by trying to make everything generic cheese. (I'm speaking from a bit of exp... not so much to matter, but the stories about "dying from encouragement" are true.)

Tell him to make a list of certain "non-negotiables" and give those to the ppl working on the adaptation. It will save him some tears and give some structure to the writers making the adaptation. In addition to what he likes, tell them specifically what he doesn't like, and why. If he waits until they've formed their own idea of the piece it will be too late... too much will have been invested in their view.

I'm so happy to hear good news for good people! congrats again!
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. Oh, he's got the non-negotiables already worked out
he's been through this process twice before; the first Studio wanted to include pop songs by Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake. The second just kept yanking his chain by omitting the non-negotiables from the final contract after they had already agreed to them. Fortunately he has a seasoned and savvy rep who won't let that type of BS get in the way this time around. He's also good buddies with Neil Gaiman ("Stardust"), and had been good pals with Frank Miller ("Sin City" "300") before Frank lost his mind over "Islamo-fascists". I also worked in the film industry for years and maintain quite a few friendships with various directors and Producers, so I'll help in whatever way I can (though I suspect his other buddies would be of more use).

The great thing about adapting a graphic novel is that it's already been storyboarded to a large degree. I know that Jeff plans to reshuffle a few things to fit the books to a three film time format, but he already has that worked out in his head, so it won't be too much of an undertaking. I really hope that "the third time's the charm" and that it actually makes it to screen this time around! :bounce:
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
24. That is fantastic!
:toast:
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bbernardini Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
25. I remember reading those in college...
I had a roommate who was really into...<ahem>...serialized graphic novels. (Screw it, he was into comic books, okay?) One of his regular purchases was "Bone."
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MrsMatt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 10:09 AM
Response to Original message
27. My 10 year old daughter LOVES
the "Bone" books. She will be psyched to find out that it will be a movie.

Congrats to your friend!
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-10-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. That's great! I got them for my cousin when she was eight
and her dad loved them just as much as she did. Hopefully the films will entertain adults just as much as it will kids, as the books have. The American Library Association has had Jeff as a guest speaker several times because his books have helped so many kids get into reading.
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