June 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Eruption: James Patterson has finished Crichton’s passion project

Eruption: James Patterson has finished Crichton’s passion project

Image source, Penguin Random House

Comment on the photo, James Patterson is one of the world’s best-selling authors

Jurassic Park creator Michael Crichton died of cancer more than 15 years ago — and now, his unfinished “passion project,” about a volcanic eruption that threatens humanity, has been completed by fellow literary giant James Patterson, and is already generating hot interest in Hollywood.

The Eruption takes readers on a thrilling journey across Hawaii’s largest island, which, unbeknownst to its residents, hides dangerous military secrets dating back decades.

There has been no official screen auction yet, but Sherri Crichton, who discovered her late husband’s unfinished manuscript more than a decade ago and controls its estate, told BBC News she is now in talks with Steven Spielberg about the possibility of adapting the film for the big screen. .

Crichton’s previous works, such as Twister, Westworld and ER, have sold for huge sums, making him one of the world’s most successful book, film and television writers – even in death.

“We have an incredible amount of interest, including five or so stars who have raised their hands, and many filmmakers and studios,” Patterson told me in a joint interview with Cherry.

“When Jurassic Park came out, Michael and Steven Spielberg figured out a way to elevate the genre — and it was cool and completely different — and I think that’s what we hope to do with this.

Image source, Penguin Random House

Jurassic Park, Spielberg’s highest-grossing film, is now a global franchise worth more than $6bn (£4.7bn).

“We’re back to Steven,” Cherry said.

“The magic thing about it is that they brought in things that, like Jim was saying, had never been shown in a movie before — and that’s what this deserves.

“We need that elevation, where you’re really taken on that journey like you were with Jurassic.

“This is the same kind of heart-warming, chill-inducing experience – and partnering with the right team is everything.”

Sherry knew that Patterson, the world’s greatest suspense writer, who had read all of Crichton’s novels, was the one she wanted. After sending in the incomplete manuscript, the 77-year-old signed up to complete it.

Image source, Sherry Crichton

Comment on the photo, Michael Crichton was fascinated by volcanoes and collected large amounts of scientific research

“I knew I was in the right hands with Jim,” she said.

“Together they were the perfect duo on the page.

“It was very exciting – and I found myself sitting, waiting, [thinking,] “When will I start taking classes?”

They had to go through packages of “meticulously organized” scientific research, and Patterson had to hire a researcher in Alaska to help.

Image source, James Patterson

Comment on the photo, The prolific Patterson still uses a fax machine to send handwritten pages

“It had this dual story that is very unusual and they merged,” Patterson said.

“I found it irresistible as a storyteller.

In less than a year, this “unprecedented literary collaboration” was completed.

“I really get into these things,” Patterson said.

“I’m a fucking worker seven days a week.”

High-level collaborations

Patterson has sold more than 400 million books worldwide.

Popular titles include Along Came a Spider, Kiss the Girls and the Alex Cross series, which Amazon Prime Video is adapting for TV.

In the UK, Patterson is currently outsold only by Richard Osman and Colin Hoover.

He is also the most borrowed author in UK libraries, according to publisher Penguin Random House.

Eruption, which has original working titles like The Black Zone and Vulcan, is Patterson’s first attempt at posthumous publishing — but he’s familiar with high-profile collaborations, having written biographies of Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton.

“I challenge any readers to decide where Michael stopped and where I began,” he said.

“It wasn’t the easiest thing in the world, to make things smooth.”

Image source, Sherry Crichton

Comment on the photo, Sherri shared never-before-seen personal photos, like this vacation snapshot from the Amalfi Coast in 2007, and opened up about Crichton’s creative process

Sherri rarely spoke publicly about her late husband.

She was pregnant with their son, John Michael, when he died in 2008 at the age of 66.

As CEO of CrichtonSun, the publishing and production arm of Crichton Properties, Cherry worked hard to protect his legacy.

And at their home in Santa Monica, California, she kept his writing desk untouched for more than a decade.

Feel closer

All of his original handwritten notes, including early drafts of the Jurassic Park books and films, have also been carefully preserved.

Patterson felt pressure to do well with Eruption, because of the sentiment attached to the project from Sherry and her son, who loves the novel.

There’s enough material for a sequel — or even a trilogy — but neither Patterson nor Cherry will commit to it yet.

Meanwhile, the completion of the eruption causes Sherri and her son to feel closer to Crichton, despite their remaining sadness.

Image source, Sherry Crichton

Comment on the photo, “His passion project was centered in the place that inspired him most, Hawaii.”

“It’s softened over the years, but it’s still very emotional,” she said.

“I found a part of Michael.

“I really loved him for his warmth, his vulnerability, his fun, his humor, his genius.

“I loved him for all the obvious reasons – and we were starting our family together.”

“Returning to his papers was a necessity to keep in touch with him.

“I needed to find a way to answer some questions that I didn’t know how to teach my son about him.

“I didn’t want to read it in a book.

“I didn’t want to take it from what people might say about their experience with Michael.

“I needed to know that — and I needed to be able to see that and feel that — and what happened during that process was really falling in love more deeply.”

Eruption, by James Patterson and Michael Crichton, is published in hardback by Century, on Thursday 6 June (RRP: £22).