• Member Since 30th Jan, 2013
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Viking ZX

Author of Science-Fiction and Fantasy novels! Oh, and some fanfiction from time to time.

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How Marvel’s Movies (and Others’ Products) Have Changed Storytelling · 7:40pm May 23rd

Pop quiz for you. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy to answer. Have you ever read any licensed literature? Like Star Wars books, or Star Trek, or Warhammer, or … Sands, really any licensed property? Or maybe seen a tie-in TV show to a movie? Played a game of a movie or a book?

Basically, anything that could be considered “secondary canon?”

Right. I can already tell I’ve lost some of you. So let’s back up. Let’s say you are a movie producer. Better yet, you’re one of those producers like James Cameron who often writes, produces, and directs your own movies. And you’ve just made a hit.

Now, with this hit on your hands, someone has come to you and asked for a chance to expand on the universe! They want to write a trilogy of books that tie into the movie and extrapolate a bit after it! Awesome!

But … you don’t want to write a trilogy of books. You want to keep making movies.

“No problem!” says the publisher with the contract. “We’ve got an author lined up! They’ll write all three. We just need some notes on the movie, for you to answer some questions, and that’ll be all we need!”

So you sign the paper, and the trilogy comes out. You collect a small licensing fee, and a bunch of fans of your movie go on to read the book and form excited theories and ideas.

Except … a year or two later, when you sit down to write the sequel, you’ve got a bunch of ideas that don’t quite mesh with the world and liberties the author of the book trilogy took to flesh out their story. Not that you know this: You probably haven’t read them. Or, if you did read them, you’d know the score as being thus—

The movie came first, therefore the movie is the final word.

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Comments ( 4 )

So I, uh, almost completely failed to notice that this was becoming a thing beyond comic book movies. This is pretty cool, though it sounds like a lot more work and restrictions placed on the writers.

If I hadn't been looking in to how Halo's books come about, I wouldn't have noticed it myself (reminder, tomorrow's project is Beta Editing the Halo novel pitch). It definitely is going to be a lot more work all around, but one can always avoid that product and make their own, right? And it does make for a much more cohesive universe.

It's evidently not a problem you're striving to avoid. :rainbowwild:

Good luck in the Haloverse!

Sounds good.

Part of the problem with Universal's Dark Universe was that they didn't plan for a long term strategy.
The Mummy should've been well done, and then they can start working on the rest of the universe.
Universal didn't want to take their time to build their universe a good movie by good movie.

But, I worry about the sickness that's infesting Hollywood.
This might interfere with the push to have one canon.

Good luck with the Haloverse.

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