The Netflix deal takes advantage of Coben’s international allure. He said he sells more books abroad than the United States, and is one of the greatest contemporary writers in France, according to his agent.
He announced from the conservatory behind his home: “I’m Jerry Lewis from the crime novel.” Winslow and Laszlo sleep in patches of warm light at his feet.
His 2007 novel, “The Woods” (as Cobain said, “20 years ago lost four children and one is now back”) became Netflix Polska last year. Netflix Spain produced “Innocent” from its 2005 book about a former inmate’s attempt to break out of the past. The Stranger was produced for 2015 by Netflix in the UK, as was the 2012 Stay Close, which is currently being filmed.
A Cobain executive produced the shows, not a writer, but his daughter Charlotte wrote in “The Stranger” and “Stay Up Close.” “Adding this professional aspect was much easier than any of us expected,” she said of working with her father on Netflix. “It supports my thoughts a lot, but not the bad ones. I appreciate that.”
Larry Tanz, who oversees Netflix Originals for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that most of the successful people at Coben surround themselves with employees and processors who get things done. “But Cobain does the job himself,” said Tanz. He comes up with ideas, notes the initial parts of scenes, and takes part in phone conversations.
“He’s very flexible, and you don’t see that much in his rank-makers,” said Tanz. “Much of the original book has been added or changed, and Harlan always says, ‘Wow, love it! ”