Exclusive Interview with Nelson DeMille - "Plum Island" to be brought to television!
Posted By Blackfive
The following is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our book reviews by clicking on the Books category link in the far right sidebar.
Plum Island, the New York Times best-selling book by Nelson DeMille, will likely be made into a television series. Produced by Sony and Lionsgate for a cable TV station, each of the ten episodes will be one hour long. This novel introduced the wisecracking, confident, not politically correct, street-smart character, NYPD John Corey. Although Plum Island was supposed to be a stand-alone book the popularity of Corey convinced DeMille to make him the lead in a series of novels. The dean of political thrillers was kind of enough to take time away from writing his next John Corey book to speak with blackfive.net about this project as well as future projects.
Plum Island’s plot begins with Corey on medical leave, recovering from bullet wounds, when his friend, chief of the Southold Police Department, enlists his aid while looking into the double homicide of Tom and Judy Gordon, also friends of Corey. They happen to be employees of Plum Island, the nearby high-level bio-containment facility located in Long Island, studying deadly diseases such as anthrax and simian Ebola. The investigation originally leads the detectives to suspect the Gordons’ of stealing a vaccine with the motive of peddling it to the pharmaceutical world for billions of dollars. But Corey contemplates a competing theory that the couple might have been involved in selling drugs, or looking for buried treasure. The local murder investigation soon crosses jurisdictional boundaries and draws county, state, and federal investigators with Corey’s nemesis Ted Nash also introduced in this novel.
Although written in 1997 it is still relevant today with the many different issues explored: genetically engineered viruses, bio-terrorism, government cover-ups, and government surveillance. DeMille commented to blackfive.net, “It will be interesting to see how the screenwriters make it into a contemporary piece. Originally, pre-9/11 it was not well guarded and was under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture. However, today it is under the control of Homeland Security.”
Hopefully the screenwriter, Ron Bass, will be able to capture not only John Corey’s personality but also his partner’s, Beth Penrose. In all of the Corey books the characters dialogue helps to create a plot that has tension, suspense, and humor, including the silly type jokes DeMille is known for as a writer. The female lead plays the perfect “straight man” to Corey matching his wit, wisdom, and sarcasm. As DeMille describes it, “Usually the women in Corey’s life are the voice of reason. In the books he brings in his street smarts and the women bring in the logic. The one thing that was told to me is what they might do with Corey’s romantic interests. They are hinting that possibly he would not ever be married. What they might do is have the male/female lead romantically involved with some sexual tension.”
How much control will DeMille have over the project? DeMille’s short answer was not much. However, he has offered his advice and is hoping that Bass will take him up on it. “I think having the author involved is a good thing because it makes the project more successful. On the other hand I don’t want to meddle since writing for a TV show is such a different format than what I am used to. I sometimes wonder why a book property is bought for the screen considering all the changes made. You wonder if they are buying the story or buying it for the built-in audience of the author. A good TV series allows the viewers to really understand the characters that the novelist has written. One of my other books was made into a screenplay where they missed everything and the screenwriter did not understand that people want to read and watch other people. Without the jokes and sarcasm the characters do not sound like real people. My son interviewed to be a screenwriter for this project since in TV land there is a team of writers. Maybe if he is chosen he will consult with his father.”
If the pilot is successful a TV series will be made with the possibility of a feature film being produced. There is talk that each season will be based on the next Corey book. His favorite book, The Lion’s Game is considered for the second season. “Although I resisted a TV series for a number of years I decided to go with it because of the very good cable shows currently on TV. Also, TV is willing to deal with Islamic terrorism while feature films will not. The reason for this is the need for movies to be distributed overseas. They would have to worry about the movie theatre being blown up, threats, and any backlash, while TV shows are just watched in people’s homes. That is why there is great interest in making my latest book, The Quest, into a feature film. It does not deal with terrorists and is marketed as Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code.”
DeMille also noted the book he is currently working on will be another John Corey novel, A Quiet End. Corey is no longer with the Anti-terrorism Task Force and now works for the Diplomatic Surveillance Group, essentially being demoted. His new duties include following people from the foreign embassies. Assigned to watch the Russian UN mission Corey finds out that one diplomat is a bad guy associated with the KGB. DeMille noted, “This book is about a resurgent Russia which as you know I thought about long before the Ukraine crisis. The theme of this book is that the Cold War has come back with Corey understanding the Russian threat as existential and long range. This book is almost like a stand-alone in the same way as Plum Island.”
He also told blackfive.net, the female lead will not be Corey’s wife, FBI agent Kate Mayfield who is off to Washington DC after a promotion. “There will be sexual tension with his new partner. He is having problems with his wife since her promotion. They seem to be drifting apart. Something has to happen with Kate because the backstory has become cumbersome.”
Fans of the John Corey series are looking forward to two new projects, a new book due out sometime later this year, and a TV series probably entitled Corey. With any luck, next fall fans will be able to get their fix of John Corey. Hopefully, the TV series will maintain DeMille’s fingerprint over this great character.
Tonight, RangerUp (with Nick and Tim Kennedy) are hosting a segment of a new show being developed by the Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers producers. The show is about young Americans wanting to join the military and meeting some of the people that have served in it. It's a cool concept when you think about having the Rangers and an SF Soldier like Tim meeting a recruit.
If you are a veteran in Chicago and want to come out and support RangerUp and the military, here are the details:
My name is Lauren Kalb and I'm an LA-based casting director, currently casting a new Action/Adventure competition show called "The Assailant" for The Discovery Channel. I am hoping you will be able to help spread the word about our show by passing on this press release to people who might be interested!
WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR: Highly specialized former military, special forces and/or law enforcement agents who are mentally and physically fit. In each episode, four contestants will have to re-enact actual missions that were executed by elite branches of the military - IDF, Spetsnaz, MI-6, Delta Force, Recon Marines, Green Berets, Navy SEALs, etc.
I have attached our press release with more information about the project. Please feel free to pass on to anyone and everyone (age 18+) as we are looking to cast a number of episodes. Also, feel free to take a look at our website <http://www.metalflowersmedia.com>www.metalflowersmedia.com so you can become familiar with our slate. We've proudly cast THE COLONY, BULLRUN, PITCHMEN, DUEL, AMERICA'S TOUGHEST JOBS and the upcoming INFRASTRUCTURE VIGILANTE.
Anyone who is interested can email me at <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>email@example.com
As a note, as with requests from the media, this is passed along without comment. Posting in no way implies endorsement, non-endorsement, or anything other than passing along a request that may (or may not) be of interest to our readers. If not interested, skip. If interested, drop them a line. No animals were harmed in the making of this post, and tax, tag, and title are extra. Void where prohibited.
Number one TV audience of the year. Epitome of anyone's career- to sing the National Anthem at the Big Game. Packers and the Steelers. Epic teams. And an audience to match watching it all.
And she totally blows it.
CAN ANYONE in Hollyweird possibly do it right? Do any of them give two shits about the USA? And what was with that Michael Douglas opening to the Super Bowl? Could that have possibly been any more Leftist? I thought it was going to be a Democrat Party advert at the beginning.
But anyway, it's a good game, Jimbo will be satiated (if it continues as such) and we'll all have commercials to talk about... and screwy singers.
Aguilera needs to take a lesson from this little girl-
UPDATE: I've been in touch with the people working on this, and the winner will have a donation made in their name to the Fallen Heroes Fund.
Are you former special operations, U.S. or other? Are you in a position where you can devote a few weeks to a project? Are you up for the chance to win $100,000? If so, SPIKE and GRBTV want you:
As with most such things, the selection process looks to be "interesting" as they will narrow the field down to a dozen operators for the competition. The way to get more information is in the image (click to get the larger version); and, the press release is below:
What does it take to be picked for an
Extreme Makeover? "We're looking for those special people who have
amazing strength of character and never give up. Whether it’s keeping
their chin up in really tough circumstances or going out of their way to
help others. We want to help people whose stories have really affected
their community or made a big difference in other people's lives. There
are a lot of people who are heroes to those around them because of the
way they inspire others and quietly serve their communities on a daily
Hey, good people of BlackFive, friend, hero and all-around uber-badass, Staff Sergeant Tim Kennedy will be fighting on Friday. You can catch the fight in Tulsa (one of my favorite towns) or on Showtime.
UPDATED8/6: Kevin 'won' the right to continue last night, as I would have hoped. Funny thing is, he was on stage with the Dominatrix Yodeler/Opera chic (WTH???) when he was told. I'm sure he's gonna have some stories to tell back in Mayfield...
We like to take a break, now and then, from supporting the troops and their families to supporting 'good guys' in other venues. This is just such a case.
I was never one to get into 'American Idol' or any of the so called 'reality-based' TV shows. In fact, I've never seen a full episode of 'Idol'; it always just seemed too contrived or plastic to me. Plus, they have an age limit. WTH? That seems to prove just how bad Hollywood needs a reality dose itself.
'America's Got Talent' seems to forgo all that. Part 'Gong Show', part 'Idol', this seems to better showcase what hidden talents are out there. No age limit, and given some of the acts, no TALENT limit either. I'm posting because I've seen one act, Kevin Skinner, that needs pushed, and hard.
While he's not quite an underdog from what I've seen, I'm posting because I would love to see this cat win this thing. For those of you who have NO idea what I'm talking about, watch this (oh- and bring tissues):
Shockingly honest performance. You hear him talk, you see him onstage, then you hear him play and sing. This guy needs a gig on Grand Ol' Opry pronto. It seems that, even if he 'loses' he could win. Too much raw talent to miss out or be ignored. Someone's going to offer this dude a contract.
To give you some history, Mr Skinner comes from Mayfield, Kentucky (Yay, KY!) and was graduated from Graves County HS. Holding odd-jobs around the area, to include being a chicken catcher (claims he and his co-workers caught about 60,000 in one night) he has never been out of Kentucky before joining the talent show. Well, he's about to do some traveling now...
Here's his second video- not quite as good as the first, but far above the rest of the field:
You can tell he's nervous as hell, and his voice cracks just a bit. Its his to lose, IMHBIO. I just hope he takes it all the way.
TO VOTE: Call 1-866-60-AGT-11 (866-602-4811) or text VOTE to 4811. Do.It.Now.
Go Kevin! Go Kentucky!
ps- yeah, this isn't 'new' but the voting JUST started. Up 'til now, we'd have no impact. Just.Go.Vote :)
UPDATE: Sorry about the Hulu vids not working- worked in the preview, but not now. You can go HERE for the first video, HERE for the second. Hulu has great resolution to watch them on.
I'll be on Glenn Beck at 515PM EST to discuss the VA health care system as proof that government health care works. I tend to, um, disagree. There's an awful lot of good that the VA does, but there's also a lot of bureaucracy smothering the likelihood of success....
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
Retired Special Operations Master Sergeant, Jim Hanson ("Uncle Jimbo") is now focused on writing about the military, politics, intelligence operations and foreign policy. Email: jimbo AT unclejimbo DOT com
Writer, photographer, and raconteur C. Blake Powers is the Laughing Wolf. He is independent in politics and covers topics including journalism, military, weapons, preparedness, space, science, cooking, food and wine, product and book reviews, and even spirituality. Email: wolf1 AT laughingwolf DOT net Laughing Wolf's Amazon Wish List
Bill Paisley, otherwise known as Pinch, is a 22 year (ongoing) active and
reserve naval aviator. He blogs over at www.instapinch.com on a veritable
cornucopia of various and sundry items and will bring a tactical naval
aviator's perspective to Blackfive. Readers be warned: any comments of or
about the F-14 Tomcat will be reverential and spoken in low, hushed tones.
Email: wpaisley AT comcast DOT net
Mr. Wolf has over 26 years in the Army, Army NG, and USAR. He’s Airborne with 5 years as an NCO, before becoming an officer. Mr. Wolf has had 4 company commands. Signal Corp is his basic branch, and Public Affairs is his functional area. He recently served 22 straight months in Kuwait and Iraq, in Intel, PA, and senior staff of MNF-I. Mr. Wolf is now an IT executive. He is currently working on a book on media and the Iraq war. Functional gearhead.
In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
Email: TheDOTMrDOTWolfAT gmail DOT com
Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
McQ has 28 years active and reserve service. Retired. Infantry officer. Airborne and Ranger. Consider my 3 years with the 82nd as the most fun I ever had with my clothes on. Interests include military issues and policy and veteran's affairs.
Email: mcq51 -at - bellsouth -dot- net
Tantor is a former USAF navigator/weapon system officer (WSO) in F-4E Phantoms who served in the US, Asia, and Europe. He is now a curmudgeonly computer geek in Washington, DC, picking the taxpayers pocket. His avocations are current events, aviation, history, and conservative politics.
Twenty-three years of Active and Reserve service in the US Army in SF (18B), Infantry and SOF Signal jobs with operational deployments to Bosnia and Africa. Since retiring he's worked as Senior Defense Analyst on SOF and Irregular Warfare projects and currently ensconced in the emerging world of Cyberspace.
Major Pain --
A Marine who began his blog in Iraq and reflects back on what he learned there and in Afghanistan. To the point opinions, ideas and thoughts on military, political and the media from One Marine’s View. Email: onemarinesview AT yahoo DOT com
Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
COB6 spent 24 years in the active duty Army that included 5 combat tours with service in the 1st Ranger Battalion and 1st Special Forces Group . COB6 was enlisted (E-7) and took the OCS route to a commission. COB6 retired a few years back as a field grade Infantry officer.
Currently COB6 has a son in the 82nd Airborne that just returned from his third tour and has a newly commissioned daughter in the 4th Infantry Division.