I’m considering allowing a film adaptation of my novel but want the “frame story” message maintained. What would this device technically be called in the agreement?


The original Planet of the Apes novel was a satire told by advanced space-faring apes who had achieved word peace. The inner story was an earth destroyed by mankind. The original 1968 film adaptation had nothing at all to do with space-faring apes or achieving world peace.

I do not know what agreement Boulle made with the producer Arthur P. Jacobs in making the film (and allegedly the film is only loosely based on the novel, per Wikipedia), I only wish to know the terminology for “message” which will avoid an accidental sabotage of my message. In my case, the narrator of the frame story largely carries the message. Interpretation from a different angle/POV could damage the message of the work.

  • 2
    I really don't know and can't answer, but I assume that author must have significant clout to be able to force creative stipulations on movie producers.
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 16:35
  • I would consider US patent and Copyright office protections to be “significant clout,” no?
    – Vogon Poet
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 16:48
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    Movie makers do not reprint the book, they create a new derivative work, and the author is normally expected to give movie creators full control of the screen versions. Unfortunately I seen movie makers abusing this process very often, and I never heard of authors having an upper hand in this struggle.
    – Alexander
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 16:58
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    This makes me think of Harriet McDougal's fight to get the Wheel of Time adaptation she (and the fans?) felt Robert Jordan/the series was owed. It seems you make a jump, hope for the best, and sue if needed... or maybe you could join the film crew as an advisor or even producer... but to be honest, there are many forces influencing a movie adaptation and not all of them are good... That being said, I don't know if the legal device you're asking for exists or not, the example you mention and many others suggest it does not...
    – Erk
    Commented Apr 13, 2022 at 1:20
  • This may be helpful: movies.stackexchange.com/questions/101432/…
    – levininja
    Commented Jul 14, 2022 at 17:52


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