Q: How did the idea for THE LIBRARIAN: QUEST FOR THE SPEAR come about?
A: I have an idea drawer filled with hundreds and hundreds of movie ideas, and most of them came to me very quickly, like a thunderbolt, but this was an idea more than 20 years in the making. I've had a life-long fascination with archeology and history that was fueled when I was on a tour group as a kid. I participated in a real archeology dig that was, amazingly enough, actually looking for the Ark of the Covenant. I then read books like Holy Blood, Holy Grail and got interested in all these ancient relics that supposedly had mystical powers. When films like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Romancing the Stone came out, I started conceiving an idea about a single place where all these ancient relics and treasures would be housed, much like the warehouse where the Ark was put into at the end of Raiders. I tried dozens of ways to make this idea work, shoe-horning it into practically everything I was working on, but I never had the right hook. I even tried putting it into the sitcoms and animated shows I was a staff writer on, often facing a producer telling me that maybe Punky Brewster or Darkwing Duck weren't exactly the best shows for this kind of material. Finally, about two years ago - and I've never had this experience before - the hook came in the form of a commercial that just popped into my head. It opened with a tough-sounding voice saying, "How hard can it be to be a librarian?" And then our librarian hero turns to the camera and says, "You have no idea," and we cut to these scenes of him in incredible action and danger. It was the contrast between the librarian stereotype and the action scenes that finally gave me the hook and the right tongue-in-cheek attitude.
Q: We usually see the male hero as the strong, muscular type. Why did you choose a librarian as a hero and a woman for his "bodyguard"?
A: I think that having a woman as the brawn and the man as the brains was a little fresher than the more traditional tough-guy hero. Besides, my wife is the toughest person I know, although I think I could probably take her. Before I get into trouble, I should also say that my wife is also the nicest person I know.
Q: What is the main theme or message in this story?
A: It sounds a little pretentious for me to say, but I think that the theme of much of my work is "anything is possible" - somebody who truly believes that they can change the world.
Q: What do you hope audiences will come away with after seeing this movie?
A: I'd love them to come away with the same sense of wonder that Flynn, our librarian hero, feels when he first sees all the wonderful relics and treasures in the library. I believe that our world is full of great mysteries, and I would love it if I had inspired even one person to start investigating those mysteries, as it's been the one great hobby of my life.
Q: THE LIBRARIAN: QUEST FOR THE SPEAR is an idea that could easily be a feature film. What made you decide to do it on television?
A: I originally conceived the idea as a huge feature film, a $100-million adventure epic. I then pitched it to Dean Devlin, and he pointed out to me that it would have a much better chance of getting made if we did it for television, and he thought than an artist-friendly network like TNT might be the right place for it. Since I was in development hell on many of my scripts at the studios, I agreed with Dean. When I was writing the first draft, I figured I really had to scale it down because my $100-million epic was going to have to be done on a TV movie budget. However, when I turned in the first draft, Dean had just seen a low-budget film that a couple of his ex-special effects people had done, and he now realized what we could do on a relatively small budget. He urged me to go much bigger in my second draft. In fact, my second draft was much bigger in scale than even the $100-million epic that I had first conceived. And that was the draft that got made. I have no idea how they did it.