(Daily Variety, January 13, 2000)

Byline: Michael Fleming

Columbia Pictures and producer Laurence Mark have made a preemptive
acquisition of the upcoming Robert  Crais  novel "Demolition Angel" for
$525,000 against $ 1 million, with  Crais  aboard to script his thriller.

Story revolves around a female bomb squad detective and a male ATF
agent chasing a serial bomber. The Ballantine novel will be published in May.

Crais is a former TV writer on shows including "Hill Street Blues" and
"Cagney and Lacey" who as an author is best known for the mystery
series featuring private eye Elvis Cole. The sale of "Demolition Angel"
is something of a surprise, if only because  Crais  has steadfastly declined
king-sized offers for Elvis, both as movies and TV series. He's written eight
of those novels, the last of which was "L.A. Requiem." "Demolition Angel"
was his first non-Elvis effort.

The book was brought in by Mark exec Jonathan King and bought
preemptively, an encounter made possible by Mark's vain attempt to buy
the Elvis books.

"I feel like that series is my life's work, and I've turned down about 19 or
20 offers since 1987," said  Crais,  who has been around long enough to
see other author's creations go awry on the screen. "Larry wanted to buy
Elvis for a TV series, which I thought would be wholly inappropriate for
Elvis, but he admired the language and the work, and I admired the films
he's produced. We gave him this book and he bought it." Will  Crais
consider allowing Elvis to reenter the building? "If this yields a picture I'm
proud of, it's conceivable that after 20 turndowns something could happen."

Crais  is repped by Broder Kurland Webb Uffner's Tricia Davey, Emile
Gladstone and Norman Kurland, working with lit agent Aaron Priest.

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