Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors
“I can’t afford the pay cut,” jokes Patterson about why he’ll continue penning screenplays, as he did with the recent Alex Cross movie. It would be hard for Patterson to top his 2011 publishing earnings ($94 million) or output (11 books), but he’ll give it a go. Besides the Cross film — the third featuring the character but the first with Tyler Perry replacing Morgan Freeman — Patterson is working on a TV series based on his Private novels, about a Marine-turned-P.I., and has international spinoffs Private: Berlin and Private: London (with co-writer Mark Sullivan) in the works. But Patterson is most passionate about his YA and kids novels, which “people think is my best stuff.” He’s trying to get a Maximum Ride movie off the ground, though the expense of launching a sci-fi series about a group of hybrid bird-human kids on the run from authorities is a hurdle. More likely up first is a movie based on his younger-skewing hit series Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Again Patterson’s thinking internationally, retitling the movie Skool for crosscultural visual appeal. Yet for all the talk about the business and marketing of Hollywood, Patterson remains a pop-culture geek at heart, waxing on about what he likes on TV (Luther, Justified), in print (YA cult hit The Book Thief) and at the movies (Taken 2). In fact, he confides he doesn’t have a home theater setup because he enjoys the big-screen experience. “I’m a movie theater freak. Love ’em.”
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