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Darlington Woods Optioned

In some of my recent Facebook comments I’ve mentioned work I’ve been doing on a new project.

Well, here goes . . .

A couple months ago my good friend and mentor in many ways, Kathy Mackel (a novelist and screenwriter), sent a copy of Darlington Woods to a movie producer she knows in Los Angeles.  A few days later I got an email from Kathy saying the producer read the book in one night, loved it, and wants to talk.

A day later I was on the phone with Roma Roth of Reel World Management discussing the possibility of turning Darlington Woods into a screenplay. She sounded excited . . . I was excited.

There were details to work out, of course, and after a few weeks of discussions, several more phone conversations, and back and forth email, Roma optioned Darlington Woods to begin work on developing a screenplay.

That’s where I came in. Both Roma and I thought it best if we worked on the screenplay rather than outsource it another writer who may not keep the integrity of the story. Almost three weeks ago I began to work on it and finished the first draft just a few days ago.

Now, what does all this option business mean?

Here’s what it does mean: Roma has temporary rights to shop the screenplay around Hollywood and elsewhere in hopes of finding a studio willing to purchase the rights and put up the bucks to film the movie. That’s all it means.

Here’s what it doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean the movie will come out next summer . . . or ever. Novels and screenplays get optioned all the time and while it’s cool and exciting, it’s no guarantee the rights will be purchased. No guarantee at all. In fact, it’s still a long, long shot. (But God is a perfect marksman and specializes in long shots).

So please, don’t ask me when the movie is coming out. Don’t ask me who will star in it. Don’t ask me if I’m rich yet (oh, if only it was that easy).  Don’t ask me if I’m going to Hollywood. Don’t ask me if I know Tom Cruise.

While it’s a major blessing to be in this position and a real shot in the arm for Darlington Woods (a story worthy of the big screen . . . in my opinion), I’m grounded enough to know that actually making it to the big screen is still a dream and a hope away.

But with God . . . stranger things have happened. I’m just enjoying the process and learning as much as I can along the journey.

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