for the most part have been adapted from books, television shows and
even comics, as we saw with the Frank Miller '300' series based on the
480 BCE Battle of Thermopylae. Conversely, movie novelizations which
are commonly known within industry circles as tie-ins, can be described
as books adapted from a completed screenplay and/or film. These novels
differ in the timing of their release as they are available for sale
concurrently, or even several months prior to the movies' premier.
Also used as a tool to promote visibility, their availabity is not as
conventional, since the book precedes the movie's distribution by
For the writer of these novelizations, there is much
more to the craft than copying what the actors say verbatim and
describing the scenes exactly as they appear on screen. Created from
the movie scripts which average around 150 pages in length, much of,
however, not all of the dialogue is transcribed within these books so
that the audience has a familiarity with the actors' lines. However,
the sequencing of events are rearranged with scenes and characters
added or deleted for continuity. Usually these changes are made to provide a transition so that there is
an adherence to the plot without detracting from the story line.
One such effort is 'The 300 Spartans'
paperback, which was based on George St. George's screenplay for the
1962 20th Century Fox motion picture of the same name. Written by
author John Burke, the novel was distributed within the USA by Signet
Books, while its alternate title, 'The Lion of Sparta' was published
internationally by Pan Books of London.
For those who are
aficionados of the movie, there are several subtleties which will be
recognized immediately, the most obvious being that the book is
narrated by Megistias. According to Herodotus, it was this Arcanian
soothsayer who foretold of the encirclement of the Greek position by
the Immortals, led by Hydarnes. Those who have embraced 'The 300
Spartans' movie will enjoy Burke's version as it captures the movie and
its characters, while keeping true to the film's integrity and the
events as they ocurred between Greece and Persia approximately 2,500
Author's notes - Images
'The 300 Spartans' & 'The Lion of Sparta' paperbacks
John Trikeriotis is a financial consultant in the USA and maintains the website 300 Spartan Warriors.
As a member of the Leonidas Expeditions which is comprised of
academics, authors and scholars, he will be traveling to the
battlefield of Thermopylae to locate several areas pivotal to the