We are all our own worst critics, even people as brilliant as writer Neil Gaiman. Gaiman recently addressed what he deems to be his “disastrous” attempts to adapt his novels Books of Magic and Sandman into films.
The writer confirms that he has no idea whether or not the “terrible” script Books of Magic resulted in a film after he renounced the movie rights reports according to an interview with DigitalSpy.
That’s correct, Gaiman called one of his works “terrible.” This is kind of hard to imagine for those who loved his novel Coraline and his film Stardust.
The publication reports that Gaiman revealed the first line of the almost Sandman film to be, “As if your puny weapons could hurt me, Morpheus the Mighty Lord of Dreams.”
Still, he said that the worst almost-adaption was of Books of Magic.
“It was really weird because the first draft and the second draft scripts were really good. And they were good enough that they got everybody at the studio really excited. Now, everyone is giving notes and now everyone is piddling into this thing because they really like the idea of smelling their own wee and it’s slowly turning into this sort of ‘urine soaked blancmange’ and it’s no longer any good,” Gaiman told DigitalSpy.
The writer admitted that a story’s original writer leaves a production, opening the door for a new writer to come in and make a lot of changes in attempt to get their name in the credits. Then a lot of people involved come in and out of production and eventually the director writes a draft and suddenly they are set to make the film.
Gaiman feels this may have happened with Book of Magic. He said, “For all I know they may have done, because I called DC Comics and said, ‘This has nothing in common with Books of Magic anymore other than the hero’s name is Tim Hunter and the movie is called Books of Magic.”
If a Book of Magic film happens, Gaiman said that all it will accomplish is upsetting many fans of Tim Hunter and the novel. It will make them feel used.
He added that he might as well ask the studio to pay him off to use the script, and allow him to take back the name ’Books of Magic.' Ultimately, they can rename the hero, and have it their own. “
“I have no idea if that film ever got made or not.” Gaiman concluded.
Of the Sandman scripts, Gaiman said, “It was so bad, I couldn’t even get to the end of it. I read about five to ten pages and went, ‘I can’t bear this’. “
Later this year Gaiman will return to his work The Sandman for a prequel miniseries illustrated by JH Williams III.
Either way, we find it hard to believe Gaiman could ever produce awful work.