A Frustrating Journey

by William F. Nolan

(Author of Logan's Run, Logan's World, Logan's Search and Logan's Return)

Way, way back in the mists of times (November of 1994) my wife and I sat down in the offices of New Line Cinema and talked to Michael DeLuca about a new film version of Logan's Run .

DeLuca had stated, in print, that it was time for another shot at the book, that the 1976 MGM film had left much of the original novel untouched and that he wanted to produce a remake for Turner Entertainment under the New Line banner.

"I'd love to be involved," I said.

"Of course," he said. "I'll be in touch."

"Fine," I said, and waited.

Fifteen months of silence.

Then, early in 1996, Atlas Entertainment expressed a strong film interest in Logan. We talked. I helped prepare a 13-page concept outline -- but, by March, Atlas was out of the game, and Turner was back in. (They owned the remake rights via a takeover from MGM.) Things looked promising.

I helped write a 50-page film treatment for the Turner people, but this got zero attention. In May of '96 I was talking to David Kirschner of Kirschner Productions about a remake. They didn't like my concept, and told me, in June, that they still wanted to do the film, but without any input from me.

Turner refused to release the rights. "Lots of producers want to do it," I was told, "but we want to structure the right deal with the right people. And it's gonna happen."

"Fine," I said, and waited.

By November of that year I was informed by my agent that the right to remake Logan's Run was now held by Warner Bros. who had bought out Turner. "The good news is," he said, "the people at Warner's want to film a remake."

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In March of 1997, Warner's was ready to talk to me about my writing a possible scrit for the new film. In April, I had a meeting at the studio in Burbank with Warner exec Jeff Robinov. He listened to my pitch, then shook his head. "Nope," he said, "we're looking for a special concept."

"Just what are you looking for?" I asked.

"We don't know," he admitted. "But when it comes along, then we'll know." I would not be involved; I was "too close to the material."

Okay, I had other Logan fish to fry, including my two sequel novels, Logan's World and Logan's Search . I'd sell Logan to another company.

This worried Robinov and his people.

In April they made me an offer for what they termed a "Holdback Agreement." They would pay me a goodly sum of money to "hold back" all other Logan materials - stories, novels, concepts - allowing Warner Bros to retain all rights to Logan on film. A deal was hammered out in which I would be paid chunks of money in annual installments with the bulk due me on the first day of principal photography.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

Time passed. In March of 1998 the word went out that Warner's was actively seeking a writer for Logan's Run . Newcomer Skip Woods was chosen and he signed to write the remake. He would get right to it. Things looked promising.

A year crawled by.

By June of 1999, Logan has a new producer. Joel Silver, who had produced the Die Hard and Matrix films, was set to co-produce with Warner Brothers. He would work directly with Skip Woods.

Six months later, I was told by an officer at Silver Pictures that Logan was a "passion" of theirs and that it was full-steam ahead.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In April I found out, via the trade papers, that Woods was also going to direct the new film as well as write it.

Four months crawled by. In August, I sat down with Woods for a 3-hour meeting. He loved the book and was going to restore a lot of it. He'd even have Logan and Jess reach Sanctuary, which he would place on a parallel Earth.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

I sent Woods nine pages of notes, which he seemed pleased to get. They would help on the screenplay.

In May of 2001, as we entered the new century, Woods told Creative Screenwriting that he was very excited about doing the new Logan film, but had to complete another film first.

Hmmmm, another film, eh? News to me.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In September I got a phone call from Woods. He had almost finished a treatment for Logan. It would soon be in the hands of Joel Silver.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In May of 2002 I was informed by one of Silver's people (I've never talked to the man himself) that Logan was on track, as "very high priority."

Nine more months went by.

In February of 2003 Woods' agent told me that Skip had finished a revised treatment. (Silver had nixed the first version.)

My holdback expired in May, but the studio quickly renewed at even better terms. But the "big money" would come on the first day of principal photography.

In July I was unable to reach Skip Woods. I found out that he was in Spain, working on another project. He was no longer connected with the Logan remake.

Hmmmmm. News to me.

In September, things looked up, or seemed to with the announcement that no less a talent than Bryan Singer would be directing the new Logan film. He'd done two big-hit X-Men pics and was, I learned, a "big fan" of my Logan novel. He intended to restore many elements from the book absent in the MGM version. He was on it fulltime as his next picture.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In March of 2004 both Hollywood trade papers reported that Logan's Run was "on the fast track" for immediate production, and that a script was in the works by a new team of writers.

By June, however, the first team had been replaced by a second team but all was well. The art department at Warner's, under Singers direction, had completed "a new world for Logan to inhabit. That same month Cinefax reported that production would begin that fall in a huge "rented park" in Canada.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

In late July of '04 I was informed that Bryan Singer had signed to do a new Superman film for Warner's and that the Logan project had been "pushed up" to 2006. But, by golly, Singer was still gung-ho on the remake and would certainly direct it in 2006.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

(I was still getting money in chunks per my holdback.)

In 2005 Singer completed his work on Superman Returns and seemed ready to tackle Logan once again. A friend of his, who had worked with him before, was assigned the screenplay. It was go-go-go.

"Fine," I said, and waited.

Suddenly, in the spring of this year, Singer is out of the loop; he is going to direct a sequel to his new Superman film.

Which brings us, dear Logan fans, up to the time of this writing (mid-June of '06). Logan is once again back in what one Warner's exec termed "development Hell" - and the studio is currently seeking a new director and new writers.

Jeez! After a full decade, after ten long years , Logan's Run is still not ready for the cameras at Warner Bros.

Will the film ever be made?

Yes, I do sincerely believe that it will.


You tell me. Singer has been the driving force behind Logan for the past two years. Without him, the project awaits another strong talent to re-activate it. But there's no question, that talent is out there.

My holdback expires in June 2007.

"Don't worry," my agent tells me, "they'll renew."

"Fine," I said.

And I'm waiting.


Bend, Oregon

June 13, 2006

Copyright 2006 - William F. Nolan. Used with permission

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