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June, 2004 - Nr. 6


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Children’s writer nabs Hollywood contract

  TWIG - German children’s book writer Cornelia Funke is opening the next chapter of her career. The ink is barely dry on her contract with the producers of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy at New Line Cinema, who have bought the rights to her phenomenal bestseller "Inkheart" and its two sequels - neither of which has yet to be written.

Funke has signed on to co-produce all three "Inkheart" films after a fierce rights battle between Heyday Cinema and New Line Cinema, the latter of which the author later referred to as her first choice.

Success in the United States came gradually Funke, who was originally a book illustrator, until her book "The Thief Lord" began to climb the New York Times bestseller list in 2002. Since October 2003, "Inkheart" has stalwartly held spots in the top ten children’s books.

Now, Funke is dealing with Hollywood media moguls, and is determined to make sure the film version of "Inkheart" is true to the original. "The most important thing for me is - and what bothered them the most - I don’t like to talk about money. What I want is creative control," Funke said in a recent interview with Deutsche Welle television.

In the zenith of reality entertainment, the real stories that are stirring imaginations and thrilling young and old hearts alike are often found elsewhere - in the mythical elements of today’s blockbuster film adaptations of books. The success of the Lord of the Rings as well as the Harry Potter series should bode well for Funke, an author often described as "the German J.K. Rowling."

Inkheart traces the paths of Meggie and her father Mortimer, a book restorer, on an unlikely adventure. One stormy evening, a swarthy figure shows up at their house to inquire about a mysterious book - a crumbly leather-bound novel Meggie has never heard of that her father pulls off a dusty shelf. As reality grows to liken the pages of fantastical story, Meggie gradually is sent on a journey into her family’s past, where she will find out why she cannot remember her father ever having read out loud to her. A pack of colorful characters helps her on her way.

As an added bonus, there are enough references in the book to spark young people’s interest in other great works - as well as chapter introductions that include famous scenes from the world’s most beloved pieces of children’s literature. Indeed, it is a book to make readers fall in love with books, wrapped in an adventure story steeped ample fantasy - villains, magic, and heroism that will lend themselves well to film adaptation.
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


Listen to the author talk about her book at Bookwrap Central


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