The decision by a publisher, when it comes to what potential movies to adapt into novelizations, can be difficult and convoluted. What kind of advertising budget does the film have to supplement the cost of publication? Who is the target audience, and is it broad enough to maximize potential sales? Is there already built-in brand recognition that will offset the cost for additional advertising or product placement costs with stores? Can we find an author who produces manuscripts fast, cheap, and with just enough quality that studios won’t be demanding multiple revisions before the publication deadline? When we look back at the multitude of novelizations published over the last fifty years we’re endlessly curious about how some very unlikely adaptations were green lit while others, with what seemed like surefire hit movies and large audiences, were not. Regardless of this disparity, there are some movies and their eventual novelizations that become so popular that they defy the barriers of language and distance, turning into a juggernaut steamrolling their way across the entire globe. If you really want to find a film concept that is universally popular, look to ones whose novelizations were published and re-published on almost every continent on this great planet of ours. Today we’d like to highlight one of our favorite movie novelizations, the adaptation of the film Robocop written by Ed Naha and first published by Dell in 1986…

Above: (left) One of two US editions, (center) UK edition, (right) Polish edition

Over the past few years while we were researching movie novelizations for this site we’ve managed to stumble upon and procure copies of Naha’s book from the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, Japan, Canada and France. We’ve also located copies in Germany and Australia that we’ve yet to lay hands on, but that’s a pretty staggering amount of locations for a movie novelization to end up in print. For such an under-loved genre of books, Robocop seems to be one of the adaptations that has really broken through to massive audience popularity.

Above: (left) French edition, (center) Russian edition, (right) Japanese edition

Living in the US it’s not always easy to find copies of books from other countries. Heck, it can be a challenge just finding copies of movie novelizations here what with the population of used bookstores shrinking every year. So it has us wondering, just in how many countries did Robocop eventually find itself in print?