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wins Colorado Book Award, goes to screenplay

On October 16th, 2003, Dan’s horror novel, A WINTER HAUNTING, won the 2003 Colorado Book Award for Best Genre Novel.

The 12th Annual Colorado Book Awards were sponsored by the Colorado Center for the Book, which annually recognizes the best books published by Colorado authors in the preceding year. Judges come from the Colorado book community. For the 2003 awards, forty finalists had been named in thirteen categories.


           WINTER HAUNTING wins book award
           SONG OFKALI announcement
ILIUM-OLYMPOS movie deal
           HYPERION movie rumors

The awards ceremony was held at the Seawell Grand Ballroom at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. More than 300 people attended to hear Governor Bill Owens proclaim a “Colorado Book Awards Day” and to announce that his beloved Red Sox were ahead in the final American League playoff game going on during the awards program.

Other guests at the podium during the night, including keynote speaker Walter Isaacson, author of the bestseller BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, kept updating the crowd on the ball game score, always with the Red Sox leading the Yankees. When it was Dan’s turn to come up and accept his award, he said that he’d been listening to the game on his Walkman (a lie), and the Red Sox were ahead at the top of the fifth inning (cheers from the crowd), but that a meteor from outer space had just crashed down and taken out the entire Red Sox dugout (stunned silence followed by hisses and boos.)

Dan grinned at them and said, “I'm a Cubs fan . . . my season is over. Deal with it.” The Red Sox later went on to lose the game to the Yankees in the last inning.

The ceremony was hosted by former Denver Broncos player and media personality Reggie Rivers and was brought to a close by Colorado Center for the Book Executive Director Christiane Citron. Dan was able to escape with his award and his life.

A WINTER HAUNTING is currently in the process of being optioned for film – details soon to follow in updates on this News page – and Dan has been hired to write the treatment and screenplay in the summer of 2004. He plans to spend time consulting with his friend Robert Sigl, German film director who had been slated to direct Children of the Night before that movie ran into a snag a few weeks before principal photography was to begin in the summer of 2000. After their consultation, Sigl will be talking to the producers of A Winter Haunting about his vision of the motion picture.

The option for A WINTER HAUNTING also includes a holdback on Dan’s earlier “Elm Haven” novel, SUMMER OF NIGHT, and he plans for his screenplay to be an amalgam of the two books with totally new elements.

“I have a simple plan for A Winter Haunting, the movie,” says Dan. “I want it to be the most original and frightening psychological horror film ever made.”

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SONG OF KALI Announcement

The following formal announcement of the film option for Dan's book SONG OF KALI is currently appearing in various film and publishing journals. Darren Aronofsky is the director of such films as "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream".

"Film rights to Dan Simmons's first novel SONG OF KALI, which portrays a journalist's descent into horror as he investigates reports of a famous Bengali poet returning from the dead in nightmarish Calcutta, to be adapted for screen by Louis Sussman, with Darren Aronofsky and Eric Watson set to produce, to Protozoa Pictures; the deal was finalized in conjunction with Richard Curtis of Richard Curtis Associates and Michael Prevett with The Firm Entertainment."

Darren Aronofsky

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HYPERION: THE MOVIE – rumors and reality

There have been a lot of recent rumors and queries regarding the status of the movie option on the four Hyperion novels. Dan recently gave this response to some of those queries –
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Hyperion movie in the works. It has been optioned by a top-notch studio, is slated to be directed by a top-name director, and already has the involvement of a top-flight movie star. Screenwriters have been attached to the project and a first draft screenplay is expected soon.

The reason the details haven’t appeared here on this web site or elsewhere is that the studio and producers have the prerogative of announcing the deal before anyone else, and so far they haven’t chosen to do so, although the rumors of the option have appeared in print in various places.”

The Hyperion “movie poster” art used here is a work of art from one of our contributors, an artist named “Sparth” whose other work and links can be found at www.cafesale.net. 



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ILIUM-OLYMPOS movie deal signed with Digital Domain
The following news item appeared in the January 9, 2004, issue of VARIETY

'Ilium,' 'Olympos' optioned for epic
Bain, Domain plan film on Simmons sci-fi saga


Visual effects facility Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films ("What Dreams May Come") have optioned author Dan Simmons' sci-fi novel "Ilium" and its sequel, "Olympos," to adapt into a feature film.

Simmons, who will also pen the screenplay, is an award-winning sci-fi writer. His "Hyperion" saga is a multi-volume space opera widely compared to the "Dune" series.

"Ilium," published in July by the Eos imprint of HarperCollins, is another epic sci-fi tale that spans 5,000 years and sweeps across the entire solar system, including themes and characters from Homer's "The Iliad" and Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

"Olympos" will be released in 2005, providing "Ilium's" producers with a potential franchise.

Producer Barnet Bain brought "Ilium" to Digital Domain topper Scott Ross. The two will produce the pic, while Simmons will serve as an executive producer.

Duo next plan to approach directors and create a visual representation of the book to showcase the cinematic elements of the novel as a way to land distribution and attract a cast for the film.

"We're thrilled about working with Dan and Barnet on this compelling property," Ross said. "'Ilium' affords us a great opportunity to develop this film and find a visionary filmmaker capable of handling this bold landscape."

"Ilium" joins several other films Digital Domain is developing in-house, shepherded by development exec Kevin Cooper. Facility, currently busy creating effects shots for Fox's "Day After Tomorrow" and "I, Robot," has been looking to boost revenues and expand its efforts beyond solely serving as a work-for-hire effects shop. It most recently completed sequences for "Peter Pan," from Universal, Revolution and Sony. "Secondhand Lions," distribbed by New Line last September, was its first production, generating $42 million at the domestic B.O.

Bain produced "What Dreams May Come," for which Digital Domain created the majority of the visual effects sequences and won an Oscar for its work. His other credits include the television movie "Homeless to Harvard."

Simmons is repped by Richard Curtis Associates and The Firm. Molly Hansen negotiated the deal Posted: Thurs., Jan. 8, 2004, 10:00pm PM


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