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Author Jon Krakauer sues over adaptation of ‘Into the Wild’

  • Author: Associated Press
  • Updated: December 9, 2018
  • Published December 9, 2018

FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2014 file photo, Colorado-based author Jon Krakauer gestures during an interview in Denver. Krakauer has filed suit over a musical adaptation of his 1996 book "Into the Wild." The Boulder Daily Camera reported Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Krakauer originally agreed to let playwrights Nikos Tsakalakos and Janet Allard use his name and the book title but changed his mind because he objected to their script. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

BOULDER, Colo.— Author Jon Krakauer has filed suit over a musical adaptation of his 1996 book “Into the Wild.”

The Boulder Daily Camera reported Friday Krakauer originally agreed to let playwrights Nikos Tsakalakos and Janet Allard use his name and the book title but changed his mind because he objected to their script.

The lawsuit asks a judge to stop the playwrights from using his name and the title. His attorneys say the agreement allows him to withdraw permission.

Krakauer filed the complaint in Boulder District Court on Nov. 30 against playwrights Nikos Tsakalakos and Janet Allard along with the Christopher Johnson McCandless Memorial Foundation.

According to the complaint, Krakauer and the foundation, run by McCandless' father, were approached by Tsakalakos and Allard in January 2013 about a musical based on "Into the Wild" and McCandless.

Both Krakauer and the foundation signed an agreement on the play, and the musical "Into the Wild" debuted in Michigan in April 2017 and was marketed as "based on the novel of the same name by Jon Krakauer," according to the complaint.

On May 29, 2018, Krakauer then told Tsakalakos and Allard he “found the script objectionable” and had decided to exercise his right to have his name and the title “Into the Wild” removed from the play, a right Krakauer’s attorneys said he had under the agreement he signed with Tsakalakos and Allard, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper says the playwrights didn’t respond to requests for comment.

McCandless died in Alaska in the summer of 1992. Krakauer wrote about McCandless in Outside Magazine in 1993 and then later wrote “Into the Wild.” The book was adapted into a movie directed by Sean Penn in 2007.Krakauer’s lawsuit also names the Christopher Johnson McCandless Memorial Foundation, which had also agreed to the adaptation.

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