Dancing on Graves with Preston & Child, Pt. 2 [INTERVIEW]

 A Continuing Interview with Agent Pendergast’s
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child from Two Graves Rear Cover Art (B/W)

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child from the novel “Two Graves.” Photo credit: Deborah Feingold.

Last month, we began our interview with the macabre creators of Agent Pendergast and his gruesome mysteries, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.  As we get closer to the November 12th launch of their new book, White Fire, we continue our interview with them on where they plan to take the series next and whether there may be a movie or TV show in the works!

DGM: Moving on, any plans to use cross-over characters from series outside of ones you two own?

D: Interesting you should mention this. Linc and I have just completed a short story with the writer R.L. Stine. Those of you who remember his Goosebumps series know his creepiest character was a ventriloquist dummy named Slappy. In our short story, which is definitely not for children, Slappy meets Pendergast… I can say no more.

DGM: Now that’s a much longer answer, Doug, and a highly intriguing one.  I shall have to know more when that collection or standalone story is printed, because it sounds like one our readers would love.

L: However, it is unlikely that characters from Doug’s solo novels will appear in my solo novels, or vice versa. We discussed this possibility at one point, and decided that it would be better to keep the various fictional universes separate.

DGM: Makes perfect sense, even from just the legal and publication standpoints, since the team is a separate entity from either writer.  (Not unlike the mid-‘80’s incarnation of the band Genesis in comparison to standalone acts Phil Collins or Mike & the Mechanics.)

Okay, now let’s move into film work, which comes from one of our readers:

When does the feature film option that Paramount own on Pendergast lapse? Have fan campaigns had any effect on a return of the Pendergast character to you for feature film purposes?

D: The option does not lapse. Paramount has a controlling
interest in Pendergast in perpetuity. We have no idea what kind of effect the
fan campaigns have had. I don’t even know if Paramount is aware of them.

L: People are so convinced Pendergast is perfect for a movie,
they can’t believe the possibility hasn’t been acted upon. We can’t believe it,
either.

DGM: Yeah, it’s pretty appalling that it hasn’t happened. Especially since some of the most clever tales, like Still Life with Crows, could potentially be done on a modest (by Hollywood standards) budget, yet have the great combination of suspense and humor to cross a lot of demographic boundaries.

How about Television rights?

D: Film and television rights are all part of the same
package, and Paramount controls them all.

DGM: Well, hopefully, AMC or USA will offer Paramount a lucrative enough sum to bring a Pendergast show to their channels. (Or, technically, I believe Spike is owned by Paramount.  If so, that could be a fit, since Pendergast is fast-paced, clever, and deals with some pretty brutal cases.)

Moving on to other forms of printed media, any news on a possible graphic novel?  After all, the dark style of the entire Pendergast world virtually screams to be brought into a Dark Horse or DC/Vertigo series!

D: We’ve always had a love of and interest in graphic novels, but so far we haven’t gotten very far with a graphic novel Pendergast.

DGM: Well hopefully that will happen in the future.

We’ll be back with the final part of our three part interview with Pendergast’s Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child at the beginning of next month, right along with our review of the new book, all before the launch on November 12th!  If you’re interested in pre-ordering their upcoming book, White Fire, you can do so at a discount through our Amazon link.

(We'd also like to give a special thank you at DGM to the Pendergast readers who supplied questions, especially Thom Jankowski who provided multiple questions and thoughts as we prepared for this interview!)

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Author: JT Hanke

J.T. Hanke is the founder and former editor of DarkestGoth Magazine. Stepping down as editor in 2019, he currently serves as its technical adviser and a contributing writer.

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