The Rittenhouse Saga’s publishing contract with Random House Publishing Group included a film option clause, and Columbia Pictures has announced plans to produce the motion picture adaptation of Mutt.
The film will be directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth). I will be actively involved in adapting the screenplay, which is being written by Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The Newsroom). Hugh Laurie, playing the role of the gateman Green, will anchor a cast of lesser-known talent (casting information will be forthcoming over the next several months).
The Rittenhouse Saga: Mutt will be filmed in Philadelphia’s Kensington and University City neighborhoods, which inspired the environments of the series. Columbia’s contract includes an option to adapt Stray and the series’ future books, pending box office performance of the first film.
In negotiations, Sorkin emphasized his enthusiasm for the project, which will cast the political themes of his other works in a radical new setting. “This book is just phenomenal,” he said of Mutt. “I’d like to think I know a thing or two about writing, but reading [Mutt] has shown me there’s always something new to learn.”
“Hell,” he added, “I wish I’d written it.”
The ebook version of Mutt is still free on Amazon pending its November re-release with Random House. Columbia Pictures’ The Rittenhouse Saga: Mutt is slated for a tentative Summer 2015 release.
Today, I am overjoyed to announce that my books Mutt and Stray, along with their forthcoming sequels, have been accepted for publication by Random House Publishing Group.
The series, which has already found thousands of readers and won glowing reviews from the book blogging community, will be published in yearly intervals between now and 2017, starting with Mutt’s Random House re-release on November 27, 2013.
Random House is delivering $200,000 advances on the first two books, and for each subsequent book at the time of delivery. In addition, the publisher will be investing $200,000 per book on the series’ publicity campaign, for a total of $1,000,000.
Publishing Group President Gina Centrello called the deal “an enormous opportunity for our company,” also describing Stray as “quite possibly the best damn book we’ve ever read here at Random House.”
If you haven’t read the books, hurry up and grab Mutt on Amazon while the ebook is still free! Once I turn over my materials to the publisher, that’s that.
My immense thanks to everyone who continues to support the Rittenhouse Saga.
“If a trivial mistake messes up my Cure for Warts one more time, I’m going to throw down my laptop, find the nearest pharmacy, and just buy some of that acid stuff my parents used to use when we were kids and got them on our feet. Where am I supposed to find my wand, anyway… Oh, there it is. Who the hell buried behind all this other stuff on the counter? Alright… Wait, what the hell do you mean, I got it wrong? That was perfect, Snape. You’re just envious because I’m the Chosen One and you never got with my mom…”
-Me, during the Potions tutorial
It’s been a while since my last update about Pottermore, mostly because it’s been a while since I last got to spend time with Pottermore. I’ve completed the Philosopher’s Stone sequence, and since doing so, I haven’t felt any great draw to continue.
Admittedly, I’ve had some fun with the site. After being assigned to Ravenclaw, I became acquainted with its potion-making and spell-casting minigames. They provided some passing entertainment, as did searching for collectible items in the story moments. But overall, after exploring a full novel’s worth of content, I’ve come away with the impression that Pottermore isn’t entirely sure what it wants to do, and as a result, it spends most of its (and its users’) time half-doing things.
I’m sure the site is set up this way to avoid impeding progress for people who just want to explore the story, the Pottermore’s various game elements never gel successfully with the story or each other. Gameplay features are generally introduced once before being relegated to their own corners of the site; after the tutorials the Spells and Potions mechanics were not used in the Philosopher’s Stone again. Even the exploration can barely be referred to as such. The setup of the Moments suggests the possibility of a point-and-click adventure game a la Myst, complete with puzzles to solve and environments that can be seamlessly explored. But Pottermore is not the kind of game, if it can be called a game at all.
And to be honest, after all the time of spent on the site, I don’t know what it’s trying to be. All the behind-the-scenes description and other exclusive pieces of writing are interesting in themselves, but if I really just wanted to read them, I’d prefer a more to-the-point interface than this. And if it was supposed to be an actual game, it needs to decide what kind of game. I’d be cool with a Myst-type adventure game like the kind the Moments are suggesting, and equally cool with the kind of MMORPG that seems to inspire Diagon Alley and the Potions mechanic.
I’ll probably keep up with Pottermore for a bit longer to see if there’s something I’m missing, and I do like reading the bonus content. But for a really immersive experience of the series’ world, returning to the novels and films is probably a better bet. And for those really stuck on finding a good interactive version of Hogwarts, this game might be the closest you’re going to get.