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Will GOD'S BANKERS be made into a film or miniseries?
With the great national launch of GOD's BANKERS a number of people have asked 'So, when is the TV or film on the book?"
For those of you not in the business, rest assured, while anything is possible, there is a bit of luck and good fortune for something to go from print to small or big screen. Trisha, my wife who works with me on all my projects, and I know from personal experience.
Five of my previous books were optioned. Some came tantalizing close to making it from print to screen. WARLORDS OF CRIME, was not simply optioned by a producer but bought by a major studio, Touchstone, which announced with great fanfare in the trade press that it was going to make an epic Triads meets the Godfather film. It never got made.
David Wolper, one of Hollywood's most prolific and best known producers (Roots, The Thorn Birds, L.A. Confidential), optioned CASE CLOSED. He was insistent that he had the power and determination to get it made. A talented screenwriter, Jonathan Rintels, was hired and did a super script. In his 2003 memoir, "Producer," Wolper wrote about the very few regrets he had in an otherwise illustrious career: "I was equally disappointed by my inability to sell Gerald Posner's book detailing his investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy, Case Closed....All three networks told me it was just too boring if there was no massive plot to killed the president. Posner seemed to have made one big mistake - he debunked all the conspiracy theories. Basically, the networks were saying there was no story if there was no story."
As for WHY AMERICA SLEPT, SHO flew Trisha and me to LA and we met personally with Robert Greenblatt, the 'Six Feet Under' producer who was then running Showtime. He was crazy about the book. SHO committed to a six-hour miniseries. An award winning screenwriter, Thomas Michael Donnelly, was retained to write the script and produced one that everyone thought was perfect. SHO even started early casting talk. It was such a 'sure deal' that Ballantine put a yellow banner headline on the back of the mass-market paperback "SOON TO BE A SHOWTIME MINISERIES" (as you see below) Then it sat at SHO as other projects jumped in front of it. You can imagine the tremendous politics and jostling for influence that takes place inside Hollywood when it comes to getting something finished and on the screen. We were finally told that it was going to CBS - a sister company - for a 3 hour Movie of the Week. 60 Minutes had committed to doing a special investigative hour from 7 to 8pm, and then the Why America Slept Movie of the Week would run from 8pm to 11pm on a Sunday. After ABC did a "Path to 9/11" miniseries, CBS lost some of its burning momentum. Eventually, the book never got to the small screen.
In fact, Trisha and I had a good brief meeting over God's Bankers - A History of Money and Power at the Vatican in New York this past week with a very well known film/TV producer. He was intrigued but noncommittal. We will have to wait and see if that leads anywhere. But we know all we can do is finish the best book to the best of our ability. Then it is out of our hands. If a film/miniseries/documentary gets made that is simply a bonus, but after all our previous experiences, I will believe it only when I see it on a small or large screen.