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Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors

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    Items 21-30
    Neil Gaiman
    Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
    23. Neil Gaiman
    Known For: "Coraline." Big Number: Has won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, Newbery and Carnegie literary prizes.

    Gaiman is the rare author who has had a pretty good run in Hollywood — he’s had Coraline and Stardust adapted for film, which together grossed $260.2 million worldwide, plus Disney is making his award-winning The Graveyard Book and HBO is planning an American Gods series. Part of that success comes with knowing when to let go and when to hold fast. “When Henry Selick was adapting Coraline, he invented the character of Wybie so that Coraline would have someone to talk to,” says the 52-year-old married father of three who gained attention with his Sandman comic series. “I saw the logic in that and was completely OK with it.

    On the other hand, there were some producers who wanted to option Anansi Boys but change all of the characters from black to white. Their reasoning was that black audiences don’t go for fantasy and that white audiences won’t turn up for a film with an all-black cast. I thought about it for a few heartbeats and said, ‘No.’ ” Still, the England-born author has no interest in adapting any of his books. “I have already delivered my preferred version. Why write it again when there are new stories to tell?”

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