Thriller Seekers

Focus Features options Dean Koontz’s latest novel

American novelist Dean R Koontz sells books by the barrow load. So it’s no surprise that Hollywood is always knocking on his door to ask for fresh fodder to adapt. The one slight hitch: most of the resulting films have been a little… how to put this gracefully? Really, really crap.

And even Dean has begun to notice. "I have not been wildly happy with adaptations that have occurred in the past," Koontz blabbed to trade rag Variety. "I've felt that the books were reduced to the lowest common denominator and an action line that may not be like mine.” But surely Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms?

Fortunately for Koontz fans, a little company by the name of Focus Features was ready to mosey on up and flash some mighty fine, Oscar-scooping credentials in his face. “I was impressed by James Schamus and Random House Films president Peter Gethers' attitude. I feel very confident in turning this project over to them. Because the people at Focus understand both story and subtext, they make narratively engaging, intelligent movies." That Dean. He loves him some gay cowboy action.

The book’s not even on the shelves yet, but we do know it focuses (no pun intended) on an ordinary man whose peaceful workaday life is shattered when he receives a phone call from a stranger. Soon his love for his wife is being tested in a harrowing series of trials over 60 hours. A wife in peril? A chance to scowl? Somebody call Harrison Ford! His favourite film role just arrived again.