Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Star Characters, Spun Anew, May Live Well More Than Twice; New York Times, 10/22/13

Sarah Lyall, New York Times; Star Characters, Spun Anew, May Live Well More Than Twice: "Authors’ estates that still hold copyright — in the case of Fleming, this will last until 2034, 70 years after his death — stand to make tidy profits from licensing the rights for sequels, and can also lure new readers to old franchises. “This is bringing a fresh, new interesting life to Bond,” said Corinne Turner, managing director of Ian Fleming Publications. It’s “about the heritage,” she said, not the money... As for Mr. McCall Smith’s plans to rework “Emma,” various commenters groused on the BBC Web site that if there was ever a case to be made for not tampering with perfection, this was it. Mr. McCall Smith, though, said his assignment was simply to use “Emma” as a starting point for his own imagination. Austen has developed into a cottage industry, with reimagined books and movies — “Clueless,” “The Jane Austen Book Club,” “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” to name a few — appearing all the time. And the publishing world is littered with the entrails of authorized sequels to Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind,” including Emma Tennant’s “Tara” (the book fell apart when she fell out with the Mitchell estate) and Alexandra Ripley’s “Scarlett,” a commercial success but a critical disaster."

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