Alan Glynn is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. His debut novel, The Dark Fields, was released in as the hit movie Limitless, which. Limitless (Limitless, book 1) by Alan Glynn – book cover, description, publication history. Bordering on techno-thriller territory, this slick, suspenseful debut imagines a new breed of “smart drug” that produces some deadly side effects.
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Make Your Story a Movie: Adapting Your Book or Story for Hollywood. Click here for Leslie Dixon interview. Watch the Limitless trailer here. Alan is also the author of the novels Winterland and Bloodland early pimitless Married with two children, he makes his home in Dublin, Ireland.
I think it was literally the feel of a pen in my hand that kicked it all off. Fast forward a huge chunk of time to about Because there was no contingency plan, I just steamed ahead with the next novel, which became The Dark Fields. The book started as a sort of what-if proposal. Thinking of the performance-enhancing drugs in sports, I thought, gltnn if there were a performance-enhancing drug for businessmen, lawyers, politicians even?
And I worked it out from there. I also liked the idea of exploring a sort of latter-day Jay Gatsby, where the great re-invention of the self was reduced to a pill, a commodity. I also liked the idea of a sort of latter-day Jay Gatsby, where the great re-invention of the self was reduced to a pill, a commodity.
It was through a referral by a friend, another writer, who was with him. Then he sold The Dark Fields at the very end of Contracts give me a headache, even to look at.
I was so happy to get that first deal with a publisher that I would have accepted any terms at all.
But it was a fairly standard limktless. I suppose I have been very lucky. He negotiated the contract with the publisher, they went back and forth on the details, and then laan he was satisfied he presented it to me as a good contract.
My agent sent it out to various film companies before the book had even been published. Antony was very experienced; soon after the book sale, he outlined a strategy to me for submitting it to film companies.
It was spring of My agent sent it out to quite a few places, and pretty quickly we got expressions of interest from Tribeca and from Scott Rudin.
And then from Miramax. It was the first step on a long journey. As it turned out, the book was very Hollywood-friendly, and could be pitched in four words: Viagra for the brain. Novel writing is a massively complex, organic process that lomitless to be allowed to breathe and transform itself as it goes along. If you want to write a movie, write a movie. Having said that, there could be a new synergistic paradigm out there, where book and movie are developed in tandem.
That paradigm alam where I live and breathe. Lkmitless I did come up with an even shorter pitch, three words: And with option renewals every eighteen months or so for the following few years, it went on paying bills.
Smaller ones, but bills are bills. Today, that aan actually be pretty good for a first novel. But back then big advances were more common, and I had higher expectations. But big advances can also be very dangerous, so it worked out well for me. Yes, which I did in Italy for five years and then back in my home town of Dublin for another seven.
You say that big advances can be dangerous. But they can bring limitleas pressures, too. It can mean no one will go near your next book.
And if the advance is for two books, the second book can suffer from the poor performance of the blynn, in terms of how much the publisher gets behind it. A modest advance gives you some cover. The ideal, I suppose, is to make money on royalties rather than on an advance.
But there are many examples out there of big advances being the last the world ever hears of certain writers.
How was the book doing before the Limitless movie came out, and what effect did the film have on book sales, your career, and your life in general? Can you paint before-and-after pictures? Up until earlyI was fairly miserable and losing hope of ever being published again. The Dark Fields had gone out of print aroundand the possibility of a movie being made of it was the one hope I was clinging to, but even that seemed to be receding. So my worldview at the time was quite negative and bleak.
The book had gone out of print aroundand the possibility of a movie being made of it was the one hope I was clinging alah, but even that seemed to be receding. Those developments immediately changed my circumstances and my frame of mind.
And then Bradley Cooper signed on to do the movie, and the future began to look very bright indeed. In NovemberWinterland was published to limit,ess reviews, so even before the movie came out I was a happy, well-adjusted and, most important of all, published author again.
The publicity surrounding the movie raised my profile considerably. That and sales of the re-issued Limitless novel as a film tie-in have helped tremendously with promoting my other books. And suddenly I was watching a tv spot for the Limitless movie, playing during the Super Bowl. It was sort of a collateral ad for the book, but it was pretty extraordinary.
Yes and that, alab me, was the best frame in the whole movie.
And it definitely sends people out to bookstores. And the movie definitely sends people out to bookstores. I had no direct involvement. Movies seldom wind up what the original author envisioned. How satisfied were you with the completed film? I was very satisfied indeed. When I first saw it, sitting at the premiere in New York, I absolutely loved it, and found the whole experience exhilarating. I understand the premiere had a rather unusual guest, who also did a promotional spot for the film, in which he attributes his success to the same drug used in the movie: Yes, I turned around at one point and saw this aging, Christ-like figure a few rows behind me, with a blonde beard and flowing locks.
At first I thought, who is that? And then the penny dropped, and I realized it was billionaire Richard Branson, whose company Virgin Produced helped finance the film.
That was pretty wild. At first, I was very unhappy with it. I love the original title, The Dark Fields. But I got used to Limitless pretty quickly, and given the changes they made, in a way it actually makes more sense as a title for the film. My main problem with the title change was that it meant the publishers were going to re-issue the book under the new title.
So he could stick with the original title and lose all of those sales, or he could live with the new title and make a pile of money. After careful reflection, he decided he could live with it. I was never going to lawyer up over it. First, because it was in the contract that they could change the title, and second, the logic you outlined above was clear. These things are hard to quantify, though, and it may prove different over the long haul.
The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn
I always felt that it should have done better the first time round. What a movie does, is bring more people to the book, make them aware of it aan give them a chance to read it, and then hopefully my other books as well. I decided to go with the movie tie-in. Generally, it was great. For alaan nearly ten years that the film was in development, everything limirless filtered through Leslie Dixon. My only direct contact with the whole process was visiting the set, attending the premiere, and meeting [star] Bradley Cooper and [director] Neil Burger, all of which was wonderful and stress-free.
The whole protracted, stop-start, ten-year thing, though, was a bit of a bummer, even from the remove I was at. Having said that, everyone I met was very nice and friendly. I have heard some horror stories, stuff that would be nightmarish to be involved in but was extremely entertaining to hear about.
I was very lucky with Leslie, lucky to have hooked up with someone who was so tenacious and committed to the project. And also someone who, being a writer glnn, was so sympathetic to the needs and anxieties of a fellow writer. She kept me informed of everything that was going on all through the process, which I believe is pretty unusual.
Author Interview: Alan Glynn (“Limitless”)
Also, I knew from the beginning that she understood the book and wanted to be as faithful to it as possible. When you write a novel you live with it so intimately and for so long that the idea of going back to it, deconstructing it and putting it back together again in another form just seems nightmarish-to me at least. When I finish a book, I want to move on. Many of the people reading this will be book authors who intend to sell film rights, or adapt the book themselves or with the help of someone else and then sell the screenplay.
Do you have any thoughts on the best route to pursue in getting your book or other story adapted for the screen?