EXCLUSIVE: Interview With MAN OF STEEL: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION Writer Greg Cox
Greg Cox is a New York Times bestselling author who has written the movie novelizations for everything from Daredevil to The Dark Knight Rises, and most recently Man of Steel. He's also penned books based in comic books like Infinite Crisis and 52, as well as TV shows such as Star Trek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the following interview, Greg talks to us about the process behind writing Man of Steel and much more. You can find out about his work by clicking HERE. Details on the novelization from Titan Books can be found HERE.
We talk to Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization writer Greg Cox about what it was like to adapt the Zack Snyder helmed and Christopher Nolan produced reboot into a novel, as well as getting his thoughts on the movie, his future projects and much more. Check it out!
Firstly, can you tell our readers about yourself and how your writing career started?
I started out selling short stories to magazines like AMAZING STORIES and MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE before getting a full-time job as an editor at Tor Books, where, among other things, I edited tie-in novels based on Zorro, Mortal Kombat, Freddy Krueger, and other franchises, while simultaneously writing for other publishers on the side. Eventually I switched to writing full-time, although I still do some editing and copywriting as well.
Have you always been a Superman fan?
Absolutely! I have dim memories of watching the old George Reeves TV series as a child, and have been reading DC Comics for pretty much as long as I can remember. I was in college when the first Christopher Reeve movie came out and I still remember going to see it on my holiday break that year. And, of course, I watched LOIS & CLARK and SMALLVILLE religiously. (I actually lobbied aggressively to write a SMALLVILLE novel, but, alas, was never able to seal the deal.)
How did you become involved with writing this book?
Well, I had already written the novelization for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, which people seemed to enjoy, so I was invited to write MAN OF STEEL as well. I actually have a long history with DC Comics and Warner Bros. Believe it or not, I sold my first BATMAN story to DC way back in 1992!
Did writing the book mean you got to see the movie or read the script for Man of Steel early?
The movie was still in production while I was writing the book, so I didn't have an opportunity to see the film. What happened was that I flew out to Los Angeles last summer to read the script, check out a gallery of pre-production art, inspect some of the props and costumes, and generally pick the brains of various people involved with the movie. Later on, I would occasionally email Warner Bros. with specific questions about this scene or that.
What were your thoughts on the film?
It's always a little strange watching a movie after you've written the novelization, since part of your brain is inevitably comparing it to the version you wrote (and noticing every minor discrepancy), but I was really impressed by the movie. It was epic and intense and easily the best and most ambitious Superman movie since the first Christopher Reeve film thirty-five years ago! I can't wait to see it again--with the writer part of my brain turned off this time!
What were the biggest challenges you faced when writing a character like Superman?
I've written Superman before, in various DC Comics novelizations, so I felt very comfortable writing him and Lois again. The biggest challenge was trying to visualize the movie's all-new take on the planet Krypton. I couldn't use any of my old Superman comics or encyclopedias for reference, since Krypton has a whole new look in the film, so I was constantly pestering the poor folks at Warner Bros. with questions about what the Codex looked like, how the Genesis Chambers worked, etc.
Which aspects of the film did you most enjoy fleshing out for the novelization?
I had fun researching all the real-life military hardware in the script. At times, I felt like I writing a Tom Clancy novel!
Which characters did you most enjoy writing?
Clark, I suppose, since I got to write him at various different stages in his life: as a child, a teenager, a restless drifter, and, finally, the Man of Steel.
How did your process differ - if at all - writing this novelization compared to the one for The Dark Knight Rises?
The main difference was that the DKR book was the conclusion of a trilogy, so I had already seen the first two movies (several times!) and had a pretty good idea of what a Christopher Nolan BATMAN movie was like. I had already seen Christan Bale play Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine as Alfred, and so on, so it was just a case of trying to recapture the look and feel of the first two movies. With MAN OF STEEL, I had to rely much more on the script itself and my conversations with the folks at the Warner.
What other projects do you have lined up?
Thanks for asking. My latest STAR TREK and LEVERAGE novels (based on the TV shows) are on sale now, as well as RIESE: KINGDOM FALLING, a young-adult novel based on popular science fiction webseries. Meanwhile, I have a few other projects in the pipeline that I can't really talk about just yet.
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