Reviving Defunct Fictional Heroes

The Financial Times recently ran an interesting piece by Esther Bintliff about how publishers are commissioning prominent authors to revive “defunct” fictional heroes such as Phillip Marlowe, Hercule Poirot, and Bertie Wooster. Mainstream publishers and literary estates are seeing how Hollywood’s franchise-building pays off. And you can’t grow a franchise without new product coming out on a regular basis. That’s a problem when the creator is gone. Apparently, even a huge name such as Agatha Christie loses attention with a static catalog.

Of course, the JDM estate is firmly on record against having any other writer touch Travis McGee. That’s their prerogative. But I’ve got to admit that I hope some day they change their mind. What are your thoughts?

Here’s the link:

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/7aa42476-60f6-11e3-916e-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

You should also be able to get to the FT article by Googling: Dead men’s pens: reinventing Wodehouse, Austen and Chandler