Eruption: James Patterson Completes Crichton’s Passion Project

Eruption: James Patterson Completes Crichton’s Passion Project

James Patterson has taken on the monumental task of completing Michael Crichton’s unfinished “passion project,” a novel titled “Eruption,” which delves into a humanity-threatening volcanic eruption. This collaboration has already sparked significant interest in Hollywood, with none other than Steven Spielberg being approached for a potential big-screen adaptation.

“Eruption” transports readers to Hawaii’s largest island, where hidden military secrets from decades past pose a grave threat to its unsuspecting residents. Sherri Crichton, who discovered her late husband’s incomplete manuscript over a decade ago, is now in discussions with Spielberg about bringing this thrilling story to the silver screen. Michael Crichton’s previous works, such as “Jurassic Park,” “Twister,” and “Westworld,” have cemented his legacy as one of the most successful writers in both literature and film.

In a joint interview with Sherri, Patterson expressed the overwhelming interest the project has garnered. “We have an incredible amount of interest,” he said, noting that several stars and filmmakers have already shown enthusiasm. Patterson and Spielberg hope to elevate the disaster genre, much like they did with “Jurassic Park,” aiming to create a unique and heart-pounding cinematic experience.

Sherri emphasized the importance of partnering with the right team to do justice to the novel. “We need this elevated, where you are really taken for that ride like you went on with ‘Jurassic Park,'” she said. The collaboration between Patterson and Crichton is seen as a perfect match, with Patterson having read all of Crichton’s novels and being the world’s biggest thriller writer.

Patterson, who still uses a fax machine to send handwritten pages, found the dual storyline of “Eruption” irresistible. “My joke to Sherri was, ‘Well, now that I’ve read this much, I have to find out how the hell it ends,'” he said. The project required extensive research, some of which was so dense that Patterson had to hire a researcher in Alaska to assist.

The completion of “Eruption” marks Patterson’s first foray into posthumous publishing, although he is no stranger to high-profile collaborations, having co-authored works with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton. “I do challenge any readers to decide where it was that Michael stopped and I started,” Patterson said, highlighting the seamless integration of their writing styles.

Sherri Crichton has rarely spoken publicly about her late husband, who passed away in 2008. As the CEO of CrichtonSun, the publishing and production arm of Crichton’s estate, she has worked tirelessly to preserve his legacy. In their Santa Monica home, she has kept his writing desk untouched for over a decade, surrounded by framed awards, film memorabilia, and special photos of Crichton and Spielberg together.

Completing “Eruption” has been an emotional journey for Sherri and her son, who was born shortly after Crichton’s death. “It does ease over the years, but it does still get very emotional,” she said. The process of going through Crichton’s papers and notes has allowed her to feel closer to him and to better understand the man she loved.

“Eruption” is set to be published in hardback by Century on June 6, with a recommended retail price of £22. The novel promises to be a thrilling addition to Crichton’s legacy, blending his fascination with volcanoes and meticulous scientific research with Patterson’s storytelling prowess.

As the literary world eagerly awaits the release of “Eruption,” the potential for a Spielberg-directed film adaptation adds an extra layer of excitement. With the right team and vision, “Eruption” could very well become another iconic work in the realm of disaster fiction, much like “Jurassic Park” before it.

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