Earlier this month, I mentioned that the Italian Mutant Chronicles fanzine Doomzine had interviewed me for issue #23. I had some requests for an English version of the interview, and Fabio Dall’Ara kindly provided me his original notes. I’ve finally had a chance to format them and present the results to you here.
Doomzine #23 Interview of Matt Forbeck
This interview was conducted by Fabio Dall’Ara and appeared in issue #23 of Doomzine, a Mutant Chronicles online fanzine, available in Italian at http://www.mutant.it/Article121.html.
DZ: Hello Matt, thanks for the time that you grant to us. You have already written novelizations? If yes, which?
MF: The Mutant Chronicles novelization is my first for a film, although I’ve written many gaming-related tie-ins. I wrote three books for Blood Bowl, three for Eberron (Dungeons & Dragons), and three for Knights of the Silver Dragon, which I created for Wizards of the Coast.
DZ: We read your name between credits of many titles about MC, jobs that you have executed in past years. What do you remember most about these jobs?
MF: I had a great time working on the Mutant Chronicles back in the ’90s. I got to work with some incredible people and made a lot of good friends. Many of us had worked for Games Workshop before that, and this was our chance to put our stamp on something new.
DZ: Have you read the screenplay of the movie of MC?
MF: Yes. The producers sent me a copy when I agreed to write the novelization.
DZ: What do you think about the screenplay? Is there something in it that hits you in a particular way?
MF: It’s jam-packed with action. No one’s going to mistake this for a romantic comedy.
DZ: Are there points of contact with “old” MC, or is this a new incarnation of this saga?
MF: Fans of the older Mutant Chronicles material will recognize many elements in the film. The director altered some of the background to fit his vision, but to be fair it’s been 10 years since we’ve seen any new Mutant Chronicles material, so it was time for an update.
DZ: Do you think that this work needs a type of particular approach?
MF: You have to take the material seriously, or you can’t expect anyone else to. I spent a lot of time in the Mutant Chronicles universe over the years, and I know it as well as anyone. I think that will help a lot.
DZ: How do you do the work? Among the best novelizations that we’ve read is The Abyss by Orson Scott Card, a real novel with much deepening of the characters. Will your job be close to that type of novelization, developed over many pages, with much creative freedom, or will the job be more classic and follow the screenplay?
MF: This is a novelization, so it will follow the screenplay. However, it’s a full-fledged novel, so I have lots of room to expand and examine details and characters in more depth. In fact, the producers are encouraging me to add as much resonance to the book as I can, to breathe even more life into the story, and I’m looking forward to it.
DZ: Did you had some directions from Random House or Paradox or Pressman, in order to carry out your job?
MF: I work directly with Paradox on the book. I edited their Age of Conan novels for them, and I’ve known Fred Malmberg over there since his days as the head of Target SE, the original publishers of Mutant Chronicles. They’re giving me a lot of leeway and plenty of support to produce the best book I can, and I’m working hard to live up to those expectations.
DZ: Tell us about you. Which are your preferred movies, the novels, the games that you prefer, the music that you listen to, and all that comes to your mind.
MF: I devour anything I can get my hands on. With my work and my large family, I don’t have as much time to devote to watching, reading, and listening as I used to, but I do what I can. For Mutant Chronicles influences, I look to Blade Runner and the novels of James Ellroy and listen to industrial music. That all gets me in the right frame of mind.