Peter S. Beagle Needs Our Help

from Conlan Press:

A Call to Action in Support of Peter S. Beagle, Author of The Last Unicorn

Q: I’ve heard that Peter S. Beagle hasn’t been paid anything from sales of The Last Unicorn on DVD or videotape. True or false?
A: Sadly true. Since 1999, London-based Granada Media has sold more than 1.2 million DVDs and half a million videotapes of The Last Unicorn through various distributors around the world. They have also made cable and satellite deals in several different countries. Despite this success they have paid Peter absolutely nothing, claiming that the film has never made a profit. Peter and his attorney have been fighting with Granada over this since September 2003, and there is still no end in sight. At this time, the only Last Unicorn DVDs making money for Peter are the ones sold through Conlan Press — he gets more than half the income from those.

Q: I’ve also heard that he got cheated on his screenplay for the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings. True or false?
A: True. Peter was brought in as a consultant to tell producer Saul Zaentz and director Ralph Bakshi how to fix the unusable screenplay they’d already spent $50,000 on. To get Peter to write a replacement screenplay for free as part of his original $5,000 consulting fee, Saul Zaentz promised to pay Peter more than his usual screenplay rate for Part 2 of the project, and to hire him to write other films as well. None of that ever happened, though… and, in fact, Peter had to threaten to sue just to get the second half of that meager $5,000! Since then he has gotten nothing — while Saul Zaentz has gone on to earn nearly half a billion dollars from rights related to his ownership of the animated film. (That’s right: billion with a B.)

Q: Is there any way that I can help?
A: Yes. You can read the facts posted at conlanpress.com/youcanhelp/, then go spread the word. You can join the more than 1,100 Peter S. Beagle fans who have posted their names and support messages at conlanpress.com/html/fans_speak.html. You can write complaint letters and faxes to Saul Zaentz Productions, Granada Media, and movie industry magazines like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. You can donate directly to Peter’s legal support fund at conlanpress.com/html/donations.html. And finally you can buy Beagle books and related products through Conlan Press, where Peter gets more than half the income from each sale (a lot of which he uses to support the battle for his rights).

Q: What’s happening with the live-action film version of The Last Unicorn?
A: Since 1999 the live-action remake rights have been controlled by Continent Films, a small company in London. Continent has never raised significant development or production funds, and most of what they have announced via their website over the years has been false or wildly exaggerated. Nevertheless, they do control the live-action remake rights until at least 2015. Peter does not back their efforts — especially after reading what they did without permission to his screenplay — and is, in fact, actively trying to get them to sell their rights to some studio or producer capable of doing a good job.

Q: How can I keep current on these things and other Beagle-related news?
A: Simple! Sign up for Peter’s free email newsletter, The Raven. In addition to all the Beagle info that’s ready to report, nearly every issue has some little extra something by Peter (essays, poetry, song lyrics, what have you) that he wants to share directly with his fans. To get The Raven, sign up at either peterbeagle.com/raven/ or conlanpress.com/html/newsletter.html. Or else you can just send a sign-up request in by email to contact@conlanpress.com.

Personally Signed Beagle Items Available from Conlan Press

  • A Fine and Private Place (novel: Tachyon trade paperback, Conlan Press downloadable audiobook)
  • The Last Unicorn (animated film: 25th Anniversary edition widescreen DVD)
  • The Last Unicorn (novel: Roc/B&N deluxe edition hardcover, Roc 40th Anniversary trade paperback, Conlan Press downloadable audiobook)
  • Art prints/posters/computer wallpaper inspired by The Last Unicorn (various artists)
  • The Line Between (fiction collection: Tachyon trade paperback)
  • The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche and Other Odd Acquaintances (fiction & nonfiction collection: Tachyon trade paperback)
  • Sigunick & Beagle Acoustic — The Lost ‘62 Tape (28-minute live recording on CD)
  • Strange Roads (illustrated 3-story fiction collection inspired by the art of Lisa Snellings-Clark: DreamHaven limited edition chapbook)
  • Tamsin (novel: Roc trade paperback, Firebird mass market paperback)
  • The Unicorn Sonata (illustrated novel & accidental collector’s item: Turner Books hardcover)

Note About The Last Unicorn (Deluxe Edition):

There are fewer than 1500 copies left from the original 15,000-copy printing, and Barnes & Noble has decided not to reprint. Order soon if you want to be guaranteed of getting this deluxe edition. There aren’t that many left in inventory now, and those will probably sell out before the end of the year.

Connor Cochran
Business Manager for Peter S. Beagle
& Publisher, Conlan Press

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