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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Down Periscope

November 08, 1987|John M. Wilson

It's been three years since Tom Clancy's debut novel, "The Hunt for Red October," found the best-seller list. But the submarine thriller, being produced as a feature film by Mace Neufeld for Paramount, won't be surfacing soon.

Neufeld will only say that it's still in development. We reached Clancy at his Maryland home, where he's polishing up his fourth novel, "The Cardinal of the Kremlin"--due out next summer from Putnam, about "FBI covert operations and all those neat fun things." But he said he's in the dark about the "Red October" project: "Nobody tells me nothing."

At least three screenwriters have so far taken shots at adaptations. Don Stewart (Oscar winner for "Missing") turned in the first draft earlier this year.

"It's a tough book to crack--there's a lot of gadgetry to it, the technology is an important part of the intrigue," Stewart told us. "And there's a lot, including characters, to boil down into two hours. Paramount's trying to get the best screenplay it can, and if it takes more than one writer to do it, that's the nature of screenwriting."

After Stewart came Robert Garland ("No Way Out"), and now a third writer's aboard (we couldn't get a name at press time).

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