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Last Updated: Monday July 17 2006 15:06 GMT

Horowitz speaks out on Stormbreaker film

Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz has written 26 books for young people, but he is perhaps most famous for his series about teenage super-spy Alex Rider.

This week, a movie based on the first Alex book - Stormbreaker - hits the big screen.

Newsround's Leigh Mytton caught up with Anthony at a top London hotel to find out how he was feeling in the countdown to the big release.

How do you feel about Stormbreaker being turned into film?

I was nervous to start with, when I was writing the script. I didn't need the film. I had nothing to gain and everything to lose but now that I have seen the film, I am very happy. It was better than I could have imagined!

The cast-list is amazing - with Robbie Coltrane, Andy Serkis, Alicia Silverstone and newcomer Alex Pettyfer as Alex Rider. What do you think about that?

Every few days a name would be dropped at me. They'd say: 'There's a chance that Robbie Coltrane will play the Prime Minister.' It was unbelievable.

There are a lot of wish lists in the film and TV business. You usually end up with someone completely different, but people just said 'yes'.

And what about the casting of Alex?

Alex Pettyfer
Alex Pettyfer

You could have had the biggest galaxy of stars on the planet but if the boy playing Alex had not been great, you would be wasting your time.

Alex Pettyfer is going to be a worldwide star and he's such a nice kid.

Stormbreaker seems to be a very British film - what's your response to that?

I think it is a British film. It has a very heavy dose of British money, mainly British talent and all British locations, but when you watch it, it doesn't feel like a British film. It holds its own against any big international film that you will see.

Was it difficult adapting the book for the big screen?

I had to accept that the film was going to be different from the book. I knew I would have to make changes. I've been working in film and TV all my life. But I was fine with that - as long as the spirit of the book remained.

What do you think about Alex being compared to James Bond?

Pierce Brosnan as Bond
Pierce Brosnan as Bond

I'm a huge fan of the Bond books and I love to tell anyone who will listen that they should read them. I loved the early Bond films. In part, because they were what I was seeing when I was 11 years old.

But Alex Rider is very different to James Bond - there are as many differences as similarities.

Where do you get your ideas for Alex's gadgets?

From my teenage sons' bedrooms!

I have two teenage sons, so what they have is the beginning of where the gadgets come from. They are based on things a teenager has and always scientifically plausible.

Do you think there could be more Alex Rider films?

It depends on whether Stormbreaker is a success. I've written a script for the next book in the series Point Blanc. In an ideal world, we could be shooting it by Christmas.

If Stormbreaker's not liked, that's the end of it. But the sneak previews have been fantastic - beyond anyone's expectations. It's 90 minutes long and there is not one boring moment in it. The pace never stops!

How's work going on the next Alex Rider book?

I have the plot, the settings, the actions, some of the characters. I'm going to Australia later this year to research it. It's a very difficult journey for Alex - starting three days after Ark Angel finishes. He's hardly time to catch his breath before he's off again!

What do you think about children's literature at the moment?

Jacqueline Wilson
Jacqueline Wilson

This is the golden age, We are living in a most exciting time with the most fantastic talent. When I started in children's books, no-one would be able to name many living children's writers.

But now we've got Philip Pullman, Darren Shan, Michael Morpurgo, Eoin Colfer, JK, Jacqueline Wilson - you cannot stop yourself!

What's your advice to budding writers?

The more you read, the better you write. The more you write, the better you write. Improve your writing and believe in yourself.

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