Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Have you ever wondered why some books are adapted into movies, and others aren’t? Or wished you could sit down and talk to the people whose stories have been adapted–and pick the brains of the people who adapted them?

In this book, author John Robert Marlow has done it for you–interviewing book authors, playwrights, comic book creators and publishers, as well as the Hollywood screenwriters, producers, and directors responsible for adapting fictional and true-life stories into Emmy-winning TV shows, Oscar-winning films, billion-dollar megahits and smaller independents. Then he talked to the entertainment attorneys who made the deals.

He came away with a unique understanding of adaptations, which he shares in this book: which stories make good source material (and why); what Hollywood wants (and doesn’t); what you can (and can’t) get in a movie deal; how to write and pitch your story to maximize the chances of a Hollywood adaptation; and how much (and when) you can expect to be paid.

MAKE YOUR STORY A MOVIE contains the distilled experience of storytellers whose works have earned over $50 billion worldwide.



Anyone following movie trends can see that adaptations are hot right now, with hit films being culled from best-selling book series (such as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games), comics (Marvel’s The Avengers), or even theme-park rides (The Pirates of the Caribbean films). Novelist and screenwriter Marlow has penned a helpful guide to turning an idea or a book property into a screenplay and getting that script sold.

The writing basics are here: Marlow breaks down the elements of a commercial script and offers tips for writing the all-important logline. But Marlow also details how consultants can aid those who need help honing their screenplay, and offers suggestions for hiring a screenwriter for those who would rather have someone else pen the idea. He educates readers on the roles of managers, agents, and studios, as well as explaining the difference between an option and a sale.

Featuring quotes from Hollywood success stories such as screenwriter Paul Haggis and producer Gale Anne Hurd, this is a comprehensive and practical guide for aspiring writers and producers.

BOOKLIST Review Date: December 1, 2012 (Kristine Huntley, reviewer)


John Robert Marlow is a novelist, screenwriter, and adaptation specialist with a big-budget action thriller (based on a graphic novel he also wrote) slated for production in 2013. He will also executive produce that film. John has edited and consulted on books, screenplays, and adaptations since 2001.

To learn more about John, please visit his website.

Latest posts by ITW (see all)