Former Applause Books publisher Glenn Young is launching Opus, a new imprint that will publish a line of titles that will include fiction and works on the performing arts beginning with The Dark Knight Trilogy: The Complete Screenplays with Storyboards by Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan and David S. Goyer, to be published this month. The rest of Opus's initial list of nine titles will be released beginning in February 2013.
Young cited a distinguished list of maverick publishers—Barney Rosset, John Calder, Dick Seaver and Lyle Stuart—as the inspiration for launching Opus. “These were fearless guys. They knew the heart of publishing is in taking the writer’s risk and storming the ramparts for the cause. They were each themselves literary engines of our time.”
Published in collaboration with DC Comics, Warner Bros. and Faber and Faber (which will release the book in the U.K), the lead title for the new imprint, The Dark Knight Trilogy, collects the complete screenplays of all three Batman blockbuster films and has 60 pages of storyboards and a transcript of a roundtable discussion between the three screenwriters on their craft.
Joining Young on the Opus staff are publishing veteran Kay Radtke, who has been named executive v-p at Opus; editor Greg Collins and Sue Knopf, who will oversee production and design. Pat Gold has been named director for special projects. Opus Books will be available in print and digital editions and its titles are distributed by music and print publisher/distributor Hal Leonard.
While the Dark Knight Trilogy will be released immediately, the Opus list will pickup again next February with The Dervish, a novel by Frances Kazan set during the Ottoman Empire; and The Patient Ecstasy of Fraulein Braun by Lavonne Mueller, an erotic novel about Hitler set during the final days of Nazi Germany. Young compared the Mueller novel to the controversial erotic titles published by the late Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset.
Young said the new company will be driven as much by “imagination” as it is by “the standard P & L,” joking that launching a publishing house is a form of “magical realism.” He said that he “long ago scrapped my profit-and-loss spreadsheets in favor of another form of reckoning. Each time I sign up a new author, I say a prayer: ‘Oh, Lord, let it break even! That simple un-MBA, contra-corporate non–derivative-backed entreaty remains my mantra as we open the doors to Opus.”