Authors are finally having their (pay) day in Hollywood. Well, some authors are. Oh, all right, maybe just John Grisham and Michael Crichton, each of whom always seems to be setting the terms for the other’s next deal. Case in point: Touchstone just paid Crichton a reported $10 million for his December disaster novel, Airframe, which inspired us to reminisce a bit …
TITLE: John Grisham’s courtroom thriller The Runaway Jury
HOW MUCH FOR THE RIGHTS: Warner Bros. paid Grisham $8.0 million last August.
STATUS: Currently in development. Grisham regular Joel Schumacher (A Time to Kill, The Client) may direct.
TITLE: Crichton’s Jurassic Park follow-up, The Lost World
HOW MUCH: The author reportedly traded a flat fee for a share of Universal’s probably astronomical grosses.
STATUS: Began shooting Sept. 5, with Spielberg at the helm and Jeff Goldblum reprising his Jurassic role; planned release is Memorial Day weekend ’97.
TITLE: Grisham’s A Time to Kill
HOW MUCH: Warner Bros. paid Grisham $6.0 million in 1994.
STATUS: Released this summer, Kill (starring Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson) has grossed $107.3 million domestically.
TITLE: Grisham’s The Chamber
HOW MUCH: Universal paid $3.75 million in 1993.
STATUS: Released two weeks ago, Chamber (starring Chris O’Donnell and Gene Hackman) has grossed $12.8 million.
TITLE: Crichton’s Disclosure
HOW MUCH: Warner Bros. paid Crichton $3.5 million.
STATUS: Released in 1994, Disclosure (starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas) grossed $83 million.