George R.R. Martin wants the film rights to his novella “The Skin Trade” back.
Martin filed suit against Blackstone Manor, LLC, in Los Angeles last week, claiming that the company didn’t exercise its option to make a good-faith film adaptation of his werewolf-themed novella in time, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Blackstone Manor “hastily assembl[ed] a barebones cast and crew” to shoot the film just before the option would expire, Martin claims in the lawsuit.
The production “was the equivalent of a contractor agreeing to build a skyscraper and, on the last day to begin construction—without a foreman, crew, or approved blueprints—having a handful of day laborers take a month to build a gazebo on the construction site instead,” the complaint reads in part, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
A website appearing to be that of Blackstone Manor features the company’s name and a logo, along with the text “The Skin Trade by George R.R. Martin,” and nothing else.
“The Skin Trade”was featured in Night Visions 5, a 1988 horror anthology. A reviewer for Kirkus singled out the novella, about a private investigator and her werewolf partner investigating a series of murders, as “a jet-powered, marvelously inventive and suspenseful tale brightened by flashes of humor and of true terror.” (The rest of the anthology, unfortunately for its contributors, wasn’t as good, according to our critic, who wrote that “only Martin’s closing—and rousing—werewolf novella saves this collection from the Hall of Shame.”)
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.