Wilson sells novel’s screen rights to 20th Century Fox

BY STACIE BOSTON
Multimedia Reporter
03/14/2016 10:30 AM
Audio Clip
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cover artworks for publications written by Cherokee Nation citizen Daniel H. Wilson. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Daniel H. Wilson sold the screen rights to his latest novel, “Avtomat,” to 20th Century Fox in December. This is the second novel for which Wilson has sold screen rights. The first being his 2011 bestseller “Robopocalypse.” COURTESY
PORTLAND, Ore. – Cherokee author Daniel H. Wilson now has two novels whose screen rights were bought. His latest novel “Avtomat,” which he is writing, was picked up by 20th Century Fox in December to bring to the silver screen.

Wilson said to have two novels bought for movie deals before they were finished being written is something for which he’s thankful.

“I was very, very lucky to have lightning strike twice,” he said. “With ‘Robopocalypse’ (his 2011 bestselling novel), those film rights were bought before I sold the book, which is just a crazy thing that never happens. And I would never expect it to happen, and oddly enough it happened again with ‘Avtomat.’”

Wilson said he got the idea for “Avtomat” by thinking about the past and what technology it held and might have held.

“I got really interested in ancient civilizations and the level of technology that they had back then,” he said. “Specifically in these really ancient robots called automatons, and typically they’re called quartz automatons because they were given to kings and queens and emperors, and they were these robots that could play the flute or they could deliver tea. There are legends of these types of machines going all the way back to the Greeks and before then. But these machines were really built in the Renaissance and before the Renaissance. I just started thinking what kind of technology could our distant ancestors have had. …how much technology could have been lost.”

He said “Avtomat” is about an “ancient race of machines” hidden in plain sight for thousands of years guiding the technological progress of humans until they start to run out of power.

“But now they’re starting to be revealed because they’re having to fight each other and cannibalize each other to extend their lifespans,” he said.

Wilson said the novel has influences from films and focuses on things he “loves.”

“It’s a little bit ‘Interview with the Vampire’ because I get to go into the period time. I’m writing these characters in the 1700s and the 1800s and as they live through all these different ages and all these different societies. It’s also a little bit like ‘Highlander’ in that they’re these immortal beings that are kind of hunting each other,” he said. “For me, it’s the perfect storm because I’m writing about something I love, robots and technology, and I’m getting to really incorporate all of this historical knowledge, which is also what I love, into the story.”

As for the “Robopocalypse” film, Wilson said it’s still in the development stage.

“I don’t think that it’s going to be the next film that (Steven) Spielberg directs, although that’s up to him,” he said. “I should find out later this year more like exactly what’s going to happen with it in terms of whether DreamWorks is going to hang on to it and keep working on it or what’s going to go on, but at this moment I really don’t know.”

Wilson said when it comes to creating works such as “Robopocalypse” and “Avtomat” he feels it is a way to commemorate his ideas and interests for future generations.

“That’s one thing I do love about writing is that I feel like I’m kind of leaving something behind that my family can read and maybe get a feel for who I was,” he said.

Wilson also thanks his fans for giving him the confidence it takes to create his works.

“Your friends and family and supporters and fans and readers will come out to a book talk every couple of years and they have fun. And it’s just one day for them, but for me seeing their faces and knowing they’re there, it’s with me every minute until I get back there because everyday I get up and I have to have the confidence to convince myself that I can write and that people care and will want to read what I’m creating,” he said.

Follow Wilson on Twitter at danielwilsonpdx or like him on Facebook. Also, check out www.danielhwilson.com.

Daniel H. Wilson: At A Glance

Daniel H. Wilson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Tulsa and majored in computer science. From there, Wilson received a fellowship to attend Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh. While there, he received a mater’s degree in robotics as well as machine learning, and in 2005 he received his doctorate in robotics. Along with writing novels, he’s also written for DC Comics’ “Earth 2.”

Wilson’s Works

“How to Survive a Robot Uprising” 2005, author, non-fiction

“Where’s My Jetpack?” 2007, author, non-fiction

“How to Build a Robot Army” 2007, author, non-fiction

“The Mad Scientist Hall of Fame” 2008 co-author, non-fiction

“The Nostalgist” 2011, author, short story

“Bro-Jitsu: The Martial Art of Sibling Smackdown” 2010, author, non-fiction

“A Boy and his Bot” 2011, author, novel

“Helmet” 2012, author, short story

“Amped” 2012, author, novel

“Parasite” 2012, author, short story

“Freshee’s Frogurt” 2012, author, short story

“Foul Weather” 2012, author, short story

“Robot Uprisings” 2014, anthology

“The Executor” 2013, author, short story

“Earth 2: Future’s End #1” 2014, author, comic

“Garden of Life” 2014, author, short story

“The Nostalgist” 2014, Wonder Room Productions, short film based on short story

“Earth 2: World’s End” 2015, author, comic

“The Blue Afternoon That Lasted Forever” 2014, author, short story

“Robopocalypse” 2011, author, novel

“Mayday! Deep Space” 2015, application

“Robogenesis” 2014, author, novel

“Earth 2: Society” 2015, author, comic

“Press Start to Play” 2015, anthology
ᏣᎳᎩ

PORTLAND, Ore. – ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᏪᎵᏍᎩ Daniel H. Wilson ᎾᏊᏃ ᏔᎵ ᏧᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᏚᎾᎥ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᏚᏂᏴᏛᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏩᏒᎢ. ᏬᏂᎢ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ “Avtomat,” ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎪᏪᎵᎠ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 20th Century ᎤᏂᏁᏒᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎥᏍᎩᏱ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏛᏂᏲᏟ ᎥᎿ ᎠᏗᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᏱᏙᎳᏛᎢ .

Wilson Ꮓ ᏔᎵᎭ ᏧᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᏚᏂᏩᏎᎢ ᎠᏏ ᏧᏍᏆᏛᎢ ᏱᎩ ᏕᎪᏪᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎬᎢ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᎢᏙᎯᏳᎯᏯᎢ, ᏙᏳᎢ ᎠᏆᏢᏱᏕᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏋᎭ ᎠᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏩᎫᏘ ᎤᏮᏂᎵᎯᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ‘Robopocalypse’ (ᎾᏍᎩ 2011 ᏫᏓᏤᏢᎢ ᎤᏬᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᎤᏅᏗᏅᏗ), ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏴᏛᎢ ᏚᏂᏩᏒᎢ ᎠᏏ ᎾᎩᎾᏗᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎥᏝ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ. ᎠᎴ ᎥᏝ ᏱᎨᎵᏍᎨᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏏᏊ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏂᎤᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ ‘Avtomat.”

Wilson Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏚᏭᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ “Avtomat” ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᎵᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ technology ᎠᎴ ᏱᎬᏩᎵᏍᏙᏗ.

“ᎠᏆᏍᏆᏂᎬᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏣᏁᎲᎢ ᏴᏫ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ technology ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏤᏟᏓ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᏥᏕᎮᎢ robot ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᏂᏪᏎᎯ automatons, ᎠᎴ ᏭᎪᏛᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᎸᏌᏗ automatons ᏓᏃᏎᎮᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏂᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ ᏕᎨᏥᎧᏁᎸᎢ, ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᎨᏒᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᏗᏤᎷᎩ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎩ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎤᎦᎶᎦ ᎠᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᎬᏩᏅᏓᏁᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎩ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏂᏃᎮᏗ ᎯᎢᎾᎾ ᎢᏳᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᎬᏩᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎩ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ ᎠᏂᎪᎢ ᎠᏉ ᎠᏏ ᎤᏟᎢᏗᏜ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᎯᎠ ᏳᎾᏍᏗ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎨᎪᏢᏅᎯ ᎨᏒᎩ Renaissance ᎠᎴ ᎠᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ Renaissance. ᎥᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ technology ᎢᏂᏁ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ ᎡᏘᏴᎢ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ. … ᏱᎦᏃ technology ᎢᎩᏲᎱᏎᎳ.”

ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ “Avtomat” ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎨᏥᏃᎮᎭ “ᎢᎸᎯᏳᏃ ᏣᏕᎮᎢ ᏧᏃᏢᏅᎢ” ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏫᏴᎢ ᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎬᏍᎦᏝ ᎯᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎠᏥᏱᎵᏙᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ technology ᎤᏪᏋᏍᏗᎢ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᏔᎿᎥᎢ ᏭᏂᏍᏆᎶᏤᎲᎢ ᏄᎾᏟᏂᎬᎬᎢ.

“ᎠᏎᏃ ᎿᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᎠ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎲᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏅᏌᏊ ᏓᎾᏟᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏅᏌ ᏓᏓᏰᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᏓᏅᏅᎢ ᏓᏃᎯᏗᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Wilson Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏤ ᎪᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᏗᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ “ᏚᎸᏉᏛᎢ.”
“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎦᏲᏟ ‘ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏟᏃᎮᏢᎢ Ꮎ Vampire’ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏥᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᎩᎬᏛᏂᏙᎰᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎾᏍᏛᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ 1700 ᎪᏪᎵᎠ ᎠᎴ 1800s ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎶᏌ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏚᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ. ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎾᏍᎩᏯᎢ ‘Highlander’ ᎥᎿᎾᏃ ᏗᏂᏲᎱᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏅᏌᏊ ᏚᎾᏓᎭᎷᎪᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎠᏯᏃ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏬᏌᏂᏴᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎪᏪᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏛᎢ, robots ᎠᎴ technology, ᎠᎴ Z ᎠᏆᏠᏯᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ Ꮎ “Robopocalypse” ᏗᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ, Wilson Z ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᏏ ᎤᏓᎷᎳ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᎢ.

“ᎥᏝ ᏱᎨᎵᎠ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵᏁᎢ ᏗᏓᏴᎳᏛᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ (Steven) Spielberg ᏱᏛᎯᎸᏍᏔᏂ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏧᏭᎪᏙᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎯᎠᏃ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏘ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏱᎦᏕᎶᎰᎯ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏒᎢ ᎢᏳᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ DreamsWorks ᏱᏙᏛᏂᏂᏔᏂ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏙᏛᏳᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎵ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏊ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎥᏝ ᏯᏆᏂᏔ.”

Wilson ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏴᎪᏢᏍᎦ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ “Robopocalypse” ᎠᎴ “Avtomat” ᎠᏕᎶᎰᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏭᎪᏛᎢ ᎤᏩᎫᏗᏗᏒᎢ.

Wilson Z ᏓᎵᎮᏤᎭ ᎬᏬᏟᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᎫᏍᏓᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵᎢ ᎦᏳᏬᎷᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ.

“ᏗᏣᎵᏃ ᎠᎴ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᎫᏍᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏓᎸᏉᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏂᎪᎵᏰᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᏂᎷᎩ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏢᏗᎢ ᏳᏓᎵ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏱᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᏂᏰᎸᏐᎢ. ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᏌᏊᏭ ᎢᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᎬᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏗᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᏥᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏁᏙᎲᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏆᏍᏓᏩᏗᏙᎰᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏱᏫᎠᎩᎷᏥᏃ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᏂᏚᎩᏨᏂᏒᎢ ᏯᏆᏗᏛᎭ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏎ ᏱᎬᏆᏛᏁᏗ ᎦᏓᏙᏎᎰᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏰᎵ ᎬᏉᏪᎶᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏓᎨᏳᎯᏳ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᎾᏚᎳ ᏧᏂᎠᎵᏰᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏕᎪᏪᎵᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎠᏍᏓᏩᏛᏍᏗᏃ Wilson ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Twitter ᎥᎿᎾᏂ danielwilsonpdx ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎦᎸᏉᏙᏗ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ Facebook. ᎠᎴᎾᏍᏊ, ᎠᎬᏛᏗᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ www.danielwilson.com.

About the Author

stacie-boston@cherokee.org • 918-453-5269

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