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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Next Big Thing?

Paranormal Romance.

And I’m not just saying that because I’ve got a book out.

The Twilight movies and books have been cleaning up despite the reviews. The franchise has already spawned a series of knockoffs. Sure Red Riding Hood bombed but True Blood and Vampire Diaries show this genre has legs.

Harry Potter and Twilight have really expanded the appeal of the fantasy genre. It was not that long ago that fantasy and paranormal fiction was a very male dominated genre. Things started to turn a little bit with Anne Rice. During the 90s the horror audience became more female oriented thanks to the Scream franchise. And of course Buffy was a cult hit during this period. Odd as it seems now, Buffy was derided by insiders as late as 2002 for having an audience of young girls. So when Twilight hit the market both in book form and as a movie, the audience was already primed. That audience made it’s presence felt.

So what’s next? Well Hollywood hasn’t even mined a fraction of the YA and adult Para Romance that’s out there. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for original para romance works. In fact there are some areas where screenwriters might make a splash.

Don’t forget the key word in here is romance. Most of the para romance tales on the shelves, both adult and YA, are deadly serious. Maybe the audience is ready for a paranormal romantic comedy? God knows we need a vampire comedy funnier than Vampires Suck.

There are a lot of science fiction and fantasy spec scripts out there. To be honest most of them have a very hard road to getting produced. The Para Romance angle gives these projects a bit more viability. If you’re hitting more than one target audience it’s a good thing.

I’d love to see the Wom Jep movie get a healthy dose of fangs and or magic. There’ s still a huge market for these movies as Lifetime proves. But the formula is getting a little stale. Some paranormal might spice up the genre.

The slasher has undergone many changes and revivals. Perhaps it’s time to combine it with the PNR. What would Bella do if Edward wasn’t a “vegetarian?”

These changes are coming. Or if not them then something like them. The writing is on the wall. In the 70s Star Wars showed that sci fi could be a commercial hit. Afterwards you saw sci fi creep into TV and other genres. Alien created revitalized the sci-fi horror genre. Then Terminator brought sci-fi into the action realm. There were sci fi love stories (Starman), comedies (Ghostbusters, which was kind of paranormal but anytime your characters strap on a proton pack, it’s sci fi) and kids movies (E.T.) Maybe all of these projects come about without the success of Star Wars but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

So how will Paranormal Romance influence the entertainment world? Will other Para titles make it to the big screen? Will vampires and werewolves crash the top of the Neilsen ratings? Will Joss Whedon’s Buffy finally get the respect it deserves from studio bigshots? Don’t know for sure but I can’t wait to find out.


  1. We'd go watch them all - maybe we should write one... thanks for the idea! We will credit you when we're famous.


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