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Andrew Neiderman

January 19, 1998

Turning a hit novel into a hit movie is a devil of a job, according to Andrew Neiderman, author of The Devil's Advocate (published by Pocket Books), who spent six years in the movie-making process.

"It's a very hard process," said Neiderman. "I wish we could have avoided going through so many drafts! Obviously, you can't write a movie the same way you write a book, but no one was exactly certain how they wanted the movie script."

There were many other setbacks. "When Warner Brothers first bought the movie rights they were pretty anxious to get it done, because at the time, supernatural horror movies were big. Then those went 'out' for a while, and 'Devil's Advocate' was put on the back burner. Also, since Devil's Advocate is a law story as well, we were in a race with The Firm in 1994, and The Firm beat us in finishing production first. So once again, we were put on hold".

However, Neiderman perservered, and the Devil's Advocate became a box office smash hit. Keanu Reeves plays a Kevin Taylor, a lawyer (Brad Pitt was originally considered for the role) who joins a new law firm that just happens to be run by the devil (Al Pacino). Neiderman says he wrote the story picturing where the devil would be most comfortable. "I thought that the devil would be most comfortable as a lawyer, getting criminals off the hook."

Neiderman applied the same kind of logic to his new novel The Dark (Pocket Books), in which a psychiatrist takes on a new patient and his wife suspects the patient is the devil. "The devil would also be quite comfortable controlling a psychiatrist and his patients. And you hear so much about psychiatry in the media, movies, books, it seemed like a good premise for a book."

Neiderman's next novel, In Double Jeopardy, due out in the spring 1998 from Pocket Books, doesn't include a "devil", but deals with the issue of capital punishment. The story is about a rich man who murders his wife, and is much more reality based than Neiderman's other novels.

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