Koontz's 'Frankenstein' novels -borne from a failed 2004 USA series- lands at TNT
It’s a well-known fact that James Patterson does not actually write his books. He collaborates with other authors, writing outlines –he claims about 80 pages or so- that these said collaborators then flesh out into full length novels. Patterson enjoys the lion shares of the profits and the fame that comes with it. Meanwhile, the real writers get little in way of money, though some eventually get book deals of their own.
Back in 2004, horror writer Dean Koontz –someone I’ve always considered a second-rate Stephen King- was developing an idea with science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the USA network to create a modern day version of Frankenstein. Koontz withdrew from the project over creative differences eventually with the network, but the production continued in a different direction with similar characters and a modified plot.
Much like Patterson, Koontz worked on the outlines he created with Anderson and together, they released a novel called Prodigal Son, the first in a proposed trilogy. City of Night was co-written with Ed Gorman, while Koontz had no co-writer for the third volume, Dead and Alive (though it had been reported that Gorman was a co-writer on the concluding novel). As the series grew more popular, a second trilogy was proposed. And as reprints of the first trilogy were released to coincide with this new series, all the co-authors names were removed from those previous volumes, giving Koontz sole credit.
So, in 2010 the first book in the second trilogy was released, called Lost Souls and a year later, Dead Town was released. Again, both books were credited to Koontz only, and whether he actually wrote them by himself or had uncredited co-authors (like Patterson had early in career before he admitted he only wrote the outlines) is not known. Also, somewhere down the line, the proposed second trilogy was never to be, as Dead Town became the fifth and final volume in the Frankenstein series.
In 2010, 1019 Entertainment acquired the novels in hopes of producing a feature series of the books. Now two years later, the books have landed back on TV, at TNT, with the cable net set to develop them as a series from 1019 Entertainment and Lionsgate Television. James V. Hart, who wrote screenplays for Dracula, Muppet Treasure Island, Hook, and Contact, will adapt the books along with his son, Jake Hart.