Fantasy Rehabilitates Its Happily Ever After

By Siegel, Tatiana | Variety, June 11-June 17 | Go to article overview

Fantasy Rehabilitates Its Happily Ever After


Siegel, Tatiana, Variety


In the immediate aftermath of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, with its 17 Academy Awards capped by a best film Oscar for 2004's "The Return of the King," Hollywood seemed ripe for a fantasy invasion.

Yet despite the success of that franchise, including a nearly $3 billion (non30) box office haul, film studio executives largely have given dragons, fairies and gnomes the cold shoulder when filling their development pipelines. Though two successful fantasy franchises, "Harry Potter" and "The Chronicles of Narnia," were already under way, only a handful of new projects found their way to the screen in the years following "Lord of the Ring's" final triumphant bow: Fox's "Eragon," New Line's "The Golden Compass" and Sony's "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep." All three were box office disappointments, cooling any bigscreen momentum the genre might have enjoyed.

In 2007, amid little fanfare, HBO optioned George R. R. Martin's bestselling fantasy series "A Song of Fire & Ice" - the basis for "Game of Thrones." The show debuted in 2011 to critical and audience acclaim, and today, coupled with the breakout success of ABC's "Once Upon a Time," and the qualified success of NBC's "Grimm" on a tough night (Friday) - it is spurring a new hunger for projects that explore magical realms. The fantasy uptick in TV, which coincides with Peter Jackson's return to the Shire for the bigscreen prequel "The Hobbit," suggests the genre, which plays well on 3D screens around the world, may be sowing the seeds of what could be a broader revival.

"Everyone is now looking for another 'Game of Thrones,' and everyone is trying to handicap what will be the next 'Game of Thrones,' " says Intellectual Property Group partner Amy Schiffman, who reps authors Dennis Lehane and Don DeLillo as well as the estate of fantasy writer Andre Norton, whose work she is pitching. "There is absolutely more appetite (for fantasy books) at the feature, cable and network levels right now."

In the 13-plus months since "Game of Thrones" debuted on HBO, a number of fantasy books have been optioned for the screen in splashy deals, including the e-book "Wool" in mid-May. Fox acquired film rights for the Hugh Howeypenned sci-fi/fantasy hybrid, with Scott Free producing alongside Film Rites' Steve Zaillian and Garrett Basch.

Evan Daugherty, who wrote Universal's fantasy tentpole "Snow White and the Huntsman," which woke up to $95 million worldwide over the June 1 weekend, dates the genre's turning point to a year before the "Game of Thrones" bow. The scribe, who wrote the "Snow White" reimagining as an NYU undergrad around the same time "Lord of the Rings" was conquering the box office, found little interest for his fairytale take until Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" became a behemoth in spring 2010, raking in more than $1 billion worldwide.

"A lot of people read it at the time," recalls Daugherty of his gritty PG-13 take on the "Snow White." "Some liked it, but most didn't. They didn't get it until Disney's 'Alice' came out and was successful. I think that started the trend."

Still, inasmuch as "Snow White's" trailers feature scenes with visual similarities to "Game of Thrones," the new Universal pic seems to be reaching out to viewers of the HBO series.

Whatever sparked the renewed interest in the genre, Ut agents are pleased to find eager buyers looking for their next franchise property.

"In the past five years, (film and TV studios) are much more open to fantasy," says Kassie Evashevski, cohead of UTA's book department, who brokered the "Wool" deal amid a heated bidding war. "Even in publishing, if you look at the YA (young adult) market, so much of it is fantasy, post-apocalyptic, dystopian. There's definitely something happening in culture that is being reflected in the book market as well as television and film. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fantasy Rehabilitates Its Happily Ever After
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.