Letter Suggesting Fritz Leiber's Gather, Darkness as a Robert Wise Film. Robert Bloch.

Letter Suggesting Fritz Leiber's Gather, Darkness as a Robert Wise Film

Notes: A three-page letter signed "Bob" from Bloch to "Max" (probably Max Rosenberg) extolling the merits of Fritz Leiber's 1943 novel, Gather, Darkness, and suggesting it could be a science fiction blockbuster directed by Robert Wise. Wise was the rare Hollywood director who worked on mainstream blockbusters like Westside Story and The Sound of Music, as well as genre films like The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Haunting.

Apparently at a recent lunch, Max urged Bloch to come up with a new film project. At that time in 1972, Bloch had just written five horror screenplays for Max Rosenberg's production company, Amicus Productions (hence my attribution of the recipient). Bloch pitches Rosenberg one of Fritz Leiber's novels from Astounding. Rather than summarizing the book, Bloch copies four paragraphs from the dust jacket of his 1950 "hard-to-get" edition. Then Bloch editorializes:

"This book has been sitting around all these years waiting for the right moment to 'happen' as a film, and I have a hunch that the moment is now—because the dramatization of the revolt against the Establishment, the agonizing over the future of science, the present movement 'to get into' witchcraft—and because film has finally reached a point where it's possible to show the 'miracles' convincingly and do the spectacular chase sequences properly."

Reading between the lines, Max may have encouraged Bloch to think beyond writing screenplays. Bloch rejects that idea and "any similar ploys." This book, however, "may give Bob Wise the sort of project worthy of his talents." Block concludes, "What I'd dearly love to do is the script itself."

3 pages, typed. 2111 Sunset Crest Drive letterhead. 6-1/4 by 8-1/2 inches. Nearly 600 words about a pulp science fiction novel and its big screen possibilities. The project, like most in Hollywood, never got made.

Bloch (1917–1994) was a writer in the H. P. Lovecraft circle in the 1930s; Alfred Hitchcock adapted his novel Psycho as a classic film in 1959, and he wrote horror and weird fiction for nearly 60 years.

Edition + Condition: Sheets folded for mailing and a bit browned along the top edge. Near fine.

Publication: Los Angeles: 1972.

Item No: #307730

Price: $400