My earliest jottings in planning for a book on Roger Rabbit were made in January 2009. Along the way, I interviewed over 140 people who were associated with some aspect of the Roger Rabbit universe – the early Disney development period, the Disney/Amblin development period, the production of live-action and animation portions of the feature film, the shorts, work on a sequel, theme park presence, and merchandise presence.
A manuscript was completed in May 2017, and a publishing contract was received in June 2017. There were some re-writes to be done… and a bunch of editing. The final manuscript was essentially complete in September 2017. I anticipate that the book will be published in spring 2019. I had no idea what was involved in writing a book and naïvely thought that four years would be lots of time to write a book and get it published – in time for the 25th anniversary of the release of the film… in 2013. I missed that milestone… and will also miss the 30th anniversary milestone. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting read.
One of the earliest things I did… after thinking about what I thought was a clever title… was to design a clever cover concept. It shows Roger, in his original incarnation, pulling his future self out of a magician’s hat. Of course, it would never be possible to use those images on the cover. The next thought was to use an ‘essence’ of that concept. The next thought was to show imagery specific to animation at The Forum in London – the 5th floor skylights and umbrellas, with a caricature of Dick Williams at an animation desk. The next thought was to have an illustration of The Forum. Pete Western prepared a rough concept illustration for me.