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Cinemax Orders SKIN TRADE Script

I am very excited to announce the Cinemax (HBO's sister company) has optioned the television rights to "The Skin Trade," the offbeat "werewolf noir" novella I penned back in the late 80s. The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end... but if they like the script, we'll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we'll get a series on the air.

Which would be very cool. I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade. Those of you who know the story of DOORWAYS, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early 90s, may even recall that it was SKIN TRADE that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to LA for a round of pitch meetings. So we're a few decades late...

"The Skin Trade" has had a storied, and complex, publishing history. It was originally written for NIGHT VISION 5, the fifth volume of the prestigious annual horror anthology from the late lamented small press Dark Harvest, where it appeared together with original contributions from Dan Simmons and Stephen King, some stellar company. The novella was very well received, and went on to win that year's World Fantasy Award.



It was subsequently reprinted several times, most recently (and notably) in an illustrated edition from Capclave, where I was Guest of Honor, with a cover and interior art by the amazing Rick Berry.



There's also been a comic book miniseries and graphic novel from Avatar. Daniel Abraham did the adaptation and script, while Mike Wolfer provided the art.



More recently, the novella was purchased by Mike the Pike Productions, who played a big part in taking the project to Cinemax. To handle the adaptation, script the pilot, and produce the show (should we get a greenlight), we've tapped a terrific talented young scriptwriter named KALINDA VAZQUEZ, whose previous credits include work on PRISON BREAK and ONCE UPON A TIME. That was not an easy choice. Cinemax and my agents set me up for meetings with close to a dozen different Tv writers, many of them very impressive, but Kalinda's take on the story and the characters blew me away. She loves the story and the world, and really seems to get Willie and Randi, and her pitch to Cinemax was one of the most polished and professional I've ever heard. I love her enthusiasm, and look forward to working with her.

(And no, while I would have loved to write the script and run the show myself myself, that was never really in the cards. I have this book to finish. You know the one).

So... THE SKIN TRADE... coming to your TV set, er, eventually. Maybe. Howl for it.

Comments

( 32 comments )
Matt Stedman
Oct. 11th, 2015 12:28 am (UTC)
Well, Cinemax is known for skin...
enayan
Oct. 11th, 2015 01:04 am (UTC)
Congrats!
Congratulations! You seem pretty excited as you posted this twice ;) Look forward to seeing Skin trade brought to life.
Ray Betancourt Álvarez
Oct. 11th, 2015 01:37 am (UTC)
Television rights
Hello, from South America Mr. Martin. First of all, congratulations. I think that from now on, we could spect this kind of news, I mean, people making TV shows based on your work. Maybe someday we'll see one based in "Fevre Dream".
I would like to ask you, what kind of rights did they buy? Which rights you didn't give them? Same question related to ASOIAF and GOT?
Thank you for your time.
cashcraig
Oct. 11th, 2015 02:13 am (UTC)
Man, those comic covers are far out. Very cool
DaliDimovski
Oct. 11th, 2015 02:19 am (UTC)
Congrats!
Woohoo! Congrats, George! I just read the TP last year and loved it. Wonderful news!
gerisullivan
Oct. 11th, 2015 04:27 am (UTC)
Back in 1988, Wiscon was still in February. You were one of the guests, and I was at a late-night reading you did. NightVisions 5 wasn't out yet; you had the entire audience on the edge of our seats reading from "The Skin Trade."

Seriously. The novella starts out introducing mystery after mystery after mystery. The scheduled time for your reading drew near its end, yet if you'd stopped, the entire room would have had your head. Thankfully, you kept reading. Five minutes over, 10, and more. No one left. No one moved. Finally, the story reached a point where one of the big questions piled so high with all the others...one of them was answered. Probably the first part about how Joanie died, but that seems too early in the story for as long as the reading lasted, so maybe it was something later. But at last the audience knew *something* about what was going on, we knew enough to be able to wait a few more months for Night Visions to be published.

It remains the best reading I've ever been to. I'm not even all that much of a fan of suspense, but you and the story were magnificent that night.
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 07:07 am (UTC)
Why, thank you. That's very kind.

I love doing readings... though it has been many years since I've read anything but a chapter from A Song of Ice and Fire or the worldbook.
missmatchedeyes
Oct. 11th, 2015 11:27 am (UTC)
Is a copy the Skin Trade available for sale at the Cocteau? I'd like to read it. Thanks!
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
The illustrated SKIN TRADE with the Rick Berry art is out of print, I fear, though you could doubtless find a copy on ABE.

However, the novella is included in the second volume of DREAMSONGS (along with a lot else), and that one is indeed available from the Cocteau. Signed as well.

Unfortunately, the JCC website is down right down, but my minions hope to have it back up real soon now.
missmatchedeyes
Oct. 11th, 2015 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'll check the JCC website tomorrow!
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 08:05 pm (UTC)
The site is back up, I am pleased to say.
missmatchedeyes
Oct. 11th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
!!
Excellent! I'm ordering one now. 'Tis the season for a good horror story!
William Lawhorn
Oct. 13th, 2015 11:39 am (UTC)
WSFA Press Edition
There are still copies available of the unsigned trade version of Skin Trade directly from WSFA Press. http://www.wsfapressbooks.org/
grrm
Oct. 16th, 2015 03:11 am (UTC)
RE: WSFA Press Edition
Good to know.
Alexander Heylin
Oct. 11th, 2015 01:03 pm (UTC)
Fevre Dream
I always thought Fevre Dream would be a good book to adapt to a film or short mini - series. Though Vampire stories have been rather done to death the unique setting and atmosphere of the book sets it apart from the usual fare.

For what is it worth I also enjoyed 'The Skin Trade' which I read in an anthology of George RR Martin's short stories and highly recommend.
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Fevre Dream
FEVRE DREAM has been optioned several times... but of course in Hollywood many are optioned but few are filmed.
cashcraig
Oct. 11th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Fevre Dream
Such as, recently, Wild cards ):
John Nelson
Oct. 11th, 2015 01:56 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to this
I love knowing a non GoT story of yours will be hitting the screens. Hopefully the *less than literate scene* (I just couldn't find a description that was both accurate, but not too mean sounding) will learn you provide many flavors of stories and characters...
arya_wolf
Oct. 11th, 2015 07:20 pm (UTC)
CHEERS!!!!
Congrats!! One more feather in your very full cap. It must be very satisfying at long last all your talents are recognized. You will be a busy man for as long as you wish.

Well deserved...............
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: CHEERS!!!!
Thanks.

(Though I have never actually felt that I lacked for recognition. I have been very lucky in that regard throughout my career).
Caner Ataseven
Oct. 11th, 2015 09:30 pm (UTC)
I read SKIN TRADE in Dreamsongs, that and SANDKINGS are my favourites. I hope Sandkings will be optioned to and be directed by Ridley Scott. I also hope for Winds of Winter info but I never get it, so.. no high hopes.
kalindavazquez
Oct. 11th, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
Here's to Howling
Just wanted to say hello via the non-blog and echo GRRM's excitement on this project. The Skin Trade blew me away when I read it and I instantly fell in love with Randi and Willie. I'm having such fun playing in the universe he created and am thrilled to be collaborating with him!
grrm
Oct. 11th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Here's to Howling
Hi, Kalinda.

Great to see you here. This should be fun.

Thanks for dropping by.
dragonborngurl
Oct. 11th, 2015 10:45 pm (UTC)
SWEET!!!
James Rutledge Roesch
Oct. 12th, 2015 12:34 pm (UTC)
If it's anything like GoT, I'm sure we'll all be howling...
fanterr
Oct. 13th, 2015 02:55 am (UTC)
Congrats
dmailer9
Oct. 13th, 2015 04:30 pm (UTC)
Cinemax is a great choice
This is cool. The Knick and Strike Back are solid television, but most of all Banshee is amazing. Cinemax is rising up to the top of my favorite channels. Quarry will be a great addition to its roster next year, and hopefully The Skin Trade will join it some day.
a_ngua
Oct. 14th, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
I first read Skin Trade ... time ago, and then I reread it few times again meanwhile. Love it.
As for news about series... not sure what to expect; I'm ASOIAF books fan but to be honest I don't like the GOT series, hopefully they won't "ruin" this one for me as well...
lordevaco
Oct. 15th, 2015 12:54 am (UTC)
What happened to the Tuf Voyaging pitch, George? Still waiting for a response or HBO wasn't interested?
gavdude
Oct. 15th, 2015 12:38 pm (UTC)
'Were' we first met
The Skin Trade remains my favourite werewolf story of all time. Such a brilliant and original concept that something far more sinister is hunting the hunter.
After reading it as a naive 12 year old and not understanding what a novella/short story was, I thought "I must read more of this. There must be more!" — thinking it to be a sample or a teaser. For several years after, I would search for 'George R R Martin' in the horror section of my local bookshop, "surely there's more books on this... I need to know what the silver thing... the mirrors.."
And then over 20 years later, I saw a poster for 'Dance of Dragons' in the London Underground. "Hang on a minute, I know that guy!"
So (after reading ASOIAF twice), I can safely say it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance again Mr Martin. Long may you tease!
auryanne
Oct. 15th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
This is exciting, I LOVE werewolf stories!
RedNeoCon
Oct. 15th, 2015 11:54 pm (UTC)
Can't get Skin Trade on Kindle!
Have any sway with publishers?

Can't get Skin Trade on Kindle or any other ebook reader. Shame because I really want to read it now.
( 32 comments )

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