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Many Films, works of Literature and other works are referred to not just by title but by author/ director/ etc., i.e. "William Shakespeare's Hamlet." There are seven main variations:

  1. Original Author's X -- Putting the author of the original work before the title of the adaptation in order to differentiate it from other Dracula-esque movies and add a stamp of authenticity. If the writer is still alive then this is intended to suggest the author did more than just sign the rights away and be done with it; if not, it's intended to suggest the creators are trying to be true to (their understanding of) the original work (especially if it's out-of-copyright - anyone can make a Dracula film).
  2. Celebrity Sponsor's X -- Attaching the name of a popular author or celebrity onto a game into which he probably had little input, in order to improve the branding and attract passing trade. This is similar to the George Foreman Grill, in that nobody is under the illusion that John Madden sat down and coded an entire video game in his spare time.
  3. Executive's X -- Putting the name of a producer or other executive with big-name power on the posters for much the same reason as (2), but this is worse because these people are usually directors or writers themselves. There's an implicit suggestion that the named person had something to do with it creatively when he most likely just gave it some money (or, at most, came up with a plot outline and a few characters). Sometimes rendered as Steven Spielberg Presents: Animaniacs. Many people still labour under the impression that Tim Burton directed The Nightmare Before Christmas (it was really Henry Selick; Tim Burton came up with the original story, but didn't write the screenplay).
  4. New Interpreter's X -- A variation on #1 used to show that this adaptation is a bold new vision distinct from the original author's version. A relatively honest variation, in that the name at the front of the title actually does belong to the person who created the work.
  5. Actual Creator's X -- where the creator actually did create the work, no qualifiers needed.
  6. Company's X -- A variation on any of types 2 through 5 with the company instead of a single person.
  7. Star's or Host's X or Bert's Family Feud -- Another variation on #5 with the star or host instead of the creator.

Not to be confused with Author Catchphrase or Signature Style. Compare Self-Titled Album.


TV Tropes' Examples:

Original Author's X


Celebrity Sponsor's X

  • Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine
    • This one started out somewhere between Case 2 and Case 3, since Asimov actually did write the editorials (and provide responses for the Letters column) for the first decade and a half or so. Of course, when Asimov died, it became pure Case 2.
  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
    • The novelizations of the games still have "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" on the cover, despite not being written by Tom Clancy.
    • So, just like Tom Clancy's Op-Center and Tom Clancy's Net Force, then?
    • The later entries in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six
    • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon
    • Tom Clancy's End War. We could go on and on..
    • Tom Clancy is, in fact, a brand now, with the logo on the left side of the cover art being the stylized Rainbow with a pistol, and the words "Tom Clancy's".
  • Madden NFL
    • Somewhat misleading, as Madden did much more than to lend his name and sponsorship to the game. The game was not initially conceived as a realistic football simulation, but Madden refused to put his name on it unless it were one. The game as it exists is very much his concept instead of the developers', so it's fitting that it's named after him.
    • Tiger Woods PGA Tour
    • Brian Lara Cricket
  • Clive Barker's Undying. Clive was brought in partway through development for a rewrite of the story, and he also ended up doing a character's voice. His name was attached to it because EA thought it would sell. Unfortunately, despite being a very good game, it didn't -- due in no small part to the sum total of EA's marketing campaign for the game being slapping "Clive Barker's" in front of the title.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, a documentary series; Clarke introduced each episode, but was otherwise uninvolved (even the narration for the bulk of each episode was done by somebody else)
  • Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine
    • Also a number of anthologies of short stories for children (one centered on spies, one on horror, one on mysteries, etc.) were published as Alfred Hitchcock's X. The Three Investigators series was also "presented" and introduced by Hitchcock. Hitchcock had nothing to do with any of these, other than licensing his name out to them.
  • Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Conspiracy by Eric Lustbader
  • The Jon Pertwee Book of Monsters and Peter Davison's Book of Alien Monsters, short story anthologies trading on the stars of Doctor Who. Apparently, Davison actually chose the stories in "his" book, while Pertwee only provided introductions to stories selected by another; this may explain why only Davison gets the 's.
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
    • Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX
    • Kelly Slater's Pro Surfer
    • Shaun White Snowboarding
      • Like the Punch-Out example below, these games actually have the likenesses (and sometimes voices) of the people named.
  • Quentin Tarantino presents The Protector and Quentin Tarantino presents Hostel. Interestingly, this is done by Tarantino himself to promote films that would otherwise be ignored, not by the studios.
    • In the case of Yimou Zhang's Hero, at least, this was the only way the Weinsteins agreed to distribute it without editing or dubbing.
  • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (though in that game, Mike Tyson was the final opponent)
  • Tekno Comics, a short-lived comics company in the Nineties had all their titles like this: Neil Gaiman's Lady Justice, Isaac Asimov's I-Bots, Gene Roddenberry's Lost Universe, Mickey Spillaine's Mike Danger (although since Danger is a Mike Hammer Expy, that might count as a type 1), Leonard Nimoy's Primortals, Tad Williams' Mirrorworld and so on.
  • Isaac Newton's Gravity. Something tells me Sir Isaac Newton had nothing to do with the creation of the game.
  • The Forgotten Realms series R. A. Salvatore's War of the Spider Queen. Each book in the series was written by a different author, and while Salvatore did oversee the project, his name is basically a selling point for these novels by lesser known authors.
  • The Adventure Island games are titled Takahashi-Meijin no Bouken Jima (Master Takahashi's Adventure Island) in Japan, after Hudson Soft's spokesman who is barely recognizable as his in-game likeness. The first game was actually titled Hudson's Adventure Island outside Japan, though it was originally Wonder Boy and not a Hudson Soft game at all.
  • Danny Sullivan's Indy Heat
  • Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf
  • Ivan 'Ironman' Stewart's Super Off Road


Executive's X

  • Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
    • A (probably intentional) effect of this is that many people by extension think that he directed Coraline as trailers advertised it as "from the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas" and make no effort to tell you that means Henry Selick.
    • Maybe not on the TV spots, but the theatrical trailer included Henry Selick's name.
    • DirecTv took this a step further. "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King gives the yuletide season a touch of Halloween in an animated tale from the mind of Tim Burton. Animated. From a Tim Burton story."
    • Few also remember that this was, technically, a Disney film; aside from placing it under their Touchstone logo, Disney didn't want anyone to intinally know it was from or associated with them, so adding Burton's name was one more degree away in their eyes.
  • The miniseries Steven Spielberg's Taken. Spielberg neither wrote nor directed any episodes (all ten episodes were directed by different people, and while they were all written by the same man it wasn't Spielberg).
    • Although Spielberg has "Story By" credit on 15 episodes of Amazing Stories (including the two he directed) and wrote another one, his name isn't part of the title except in British listings guides (which insisted on calling it Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories).
  • Wes Craven Presents: They, in addition to being a terrible film, is an example of #3.
    • Also Wes Craven's Wishmaster, Wes Craven presents Dracula 2000, ...
    • The "Wes Craven Presents" series was an attempt to give experience and an opportunity to some up-and-coming young directors. It was hoped that attaching Craven's name would make the films more appealing to distributors and renters. The whole effort has probably done more harm to Craven's name than it has good for anyone else's.
  • Billy Rose's ...
  • Jenna Jameson's Shadow Hunter. Many readers felt shortchanged by this comic, since it was fairly light on Fan Service despite being backed by a porn star.
  • Oprah Winfrey Presents The Color Purple, the musical adaptation of the 1985 film adaptation of the 1982 novel by Alice Walker.
    • See also, among others Oprah Winfrey Presents David And Lisa, Oprah Winfrey Presents The Wedding, and Oprah Winfrey Presents Mitch Albom's For One More Day.
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents, an anthology television show featuring horror / mystery / crime stories, for which Alfred Hitchcock served as executive producer and host. He also directed some (but not all, or even most) of the episodes.
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (if it isn't obvious, The Movie is the one film that was directed by Jackson)
  • Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon, which Berry Gordy wrote directed was Executive Producer of.
  • All the Warner Bros. TV cartoons that were co-produced with Amblin Entertainment were fully titled Steven Spielberg presents [show title].
  • Marvel Comics always included a "Stan Lee Presents" before the title of each comic issue for decades. This has led to Lee's reputation getting rather severely inflated among people unfamiliar with comic books.
    • Now Boom Studios is doing the same thing with a trio of titles that Lee is involved in (but not as an actual writer or artist).
  • Are We There Yet? the TV Show from Executive Producer Ice Cube (who does do the promos for it).


New Interpreter's X


Actual Creator's X

  • Sid Meier has gained sufficient acclaim for his work that Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the official title. And Sid Meier's Civilization. And Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon. And...
    • Sid Meier's been getting less involved in the games of late; although he remains Chief Creative Officer of Firaxis, he doesn't write much code anymore. He apparently does contribute a lot conceptually, though.
  • Like Sid Meier, Will Wright makes such good games that he deserves to have his name in the title, though nobody ever includes it in idle conversation.
    • Supposedly, that's because Will Wright either doesn't want his name in the titles, or EA doesn't want his name in the titles. Depending on who you believe, Will Wright is either a humble guy, or EA is full of jerkass executives.
      • That's the inclusive or, I take it.
  • Chris Sawyer's Locomotion. A sequel to his earlier Transport Tycoon game, the only reason his name was included on this one was to play up on the popularity of the other game he made in between those two.
  • John Romero's Daikatana
  • Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate
  • Archer Maclean's Mercury
  • Tim Burton's Corpse Bride
  • Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio. This is somewhere between types 3 and 4, actually, since Paul McCartney is both author and executive. He was one of the creators of this work, but he did have a collaborator. Since Paul couldn't read the music he was writing, he was afraid that people would think this piece was ghostwritten if he didn't put his name on it. Carl Davis, his collaborator, did not appreciate this title.
  • Tyler Perry and anything he releases.
  • Despite the below-mentioned parody, Clive Barker's Jericho is actually a case of this... to a degree. He didn't actually write the code or anything, but he collaborated on development and is listed as "creator" in the credits.
  • Blake Edwards did this with several of his films' onscreen credits from The Great Race onwards, as he often served as director, writer, and producer. He also named his 1980s production company Blake Edwards Entertainment.
  • Kurt Busiek's Astro City. Put in by the author because his editor thought simply Astro City sounded too hokey. His name tends to be in rather smaller print.
  • Clancy actually did write the stories for the early Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six games. Later ones are Celebrity Sponsor's X (above).
  • George A. Romero's Land of the Dead
  • Writers who are popular enough tend to have their names as large or larger than the title on the covers of their books. Sometimes this reaches ridiculous levels.
  • Wes Craven's New Nightmare
  • Older Than Steam: This device was not unknown in the 17th century. One of the compositions of Johann Kaspar Kerll bears the title La batal à Casparo Ceerl.
  • Sometime's this is done as a fan reflex more than anything - several works by Katsuhiro Otomo have his name added by fans more than anything. Oddly, the only film that has this as an official alternate title is Memories which as an anthology, had numerous people working in the same capacity as Otomo did. Go figure.
  • James Cameron's Avatar, in order to distinguish it from the other Avatar; Cameron did write and direct it.
  • Not a clean-cut example, considering the title uses Colon Cancer rather than the more classic possessive form. Nevertheless, the opening sequence for Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos certainly drops a hint or two about who created it... taking this trope to drinking game levels.
  • Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D: "The Naked Sample."
  • The Inferno by Dante Aligheri, is almost always referred to as Dante's Inferno.
  • The original edition of Shakespeare's sonnets is actually titled "Shakespeare's Sonnets", and repeats the words as a running title on every page. At that time this was a very unusual kind of title; one could almost believe that the editors foresaw the centuries of disputed authorship that were to follow.
  • Kira Is Justice was formerly called C0's Death Note, because it was a Working Title. It was changed.
  • In the 1960s kids' cartoon "Beany and Cecil" (also called "Matty's Funnies with Beany and Cecil"), creator Bob Clampett shoehorned his name in every episode about six times, including in the opening theme song, which also features a cartoon rendering of him. Every half-hour episode consists of three cartoon shorts, and in the beginning of every one of them, the main characters sang "so here are Beany and Cecil in--a whole half-hour--Bob Clampett cartoo--oon!" The Other Wiki reports that he was known as "a shameless self-promoter." Well...yeah.
  • Recess: Created by Paul and Joe (at least on The Merch)


Company's X

  • Seen all-too-frequently with Disney movies.
    • In the case of Disney's The Kid, this was done to differentiate it from other movies titled The Kid.
    • Done with their TV shows too. Curiously, The Other Wiki (and a Jerkass on the Disney Wiki) insists on Adventures of the Gummi Bears and House of Mouse always being referred to with the "Disney's" preface.
      • The Canadian network Family, a de facto Disney Channel for Canada, used to do this; since about 80% of their schedule is Disney shows, this meant that practically everything was prefaced by "Disney's".

  "Coming up next on Family, Disney's Recess, followed by Disney's Kim Possible, and then, Disney's Hannah Montana."


Star's or Host's X



References and parodies:

Fan Fiction


Films -- Live-Action

  • Parodied by the film Jane Austen's Mafia!, which has nothing at all to do with Jane Austen.
    • At the time, there were a lot of film and TV adaptations of Austen, the Bronte sisters and their contemporaries that were using the formula (e.g., Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice), so it was a topical parody.
  • In the Hot Fuzz writers' commentary, it is stated that the film's Romeo and Juliet parody was initially going to be referred to as Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet.
  • Parodied in Mr. Bean's Holiday: "CARSON CLAY PICTURES present - CARSON CLAY - in a CARSON CLAY production - of a CARSON CLAY film" - PLAYBACK TIME
  • Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire, one can only guess that is title is for cases where you forgot, for cares to forget that the cinematic motion picture (feature length) is adapted from a long form narrative prose (fiction-American, written in English) work of a different name written by an author under a pseudonym.
    • The adaptation was originally called Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, but retitled to avoid confusion with the 2009 sci-fi film Push.
    • NBC's The Office parodies this trope when Michael, taking Erin out to lunch, pops in a book-on-tape "novelization" of Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire.


Live-Action TV

 Dick: I can see it now on the marquee... Dick Solomon Presents A Dick Solomon Production of Dick Solomon's Romeo and Juliet.

  • Married... with Children: "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Larry Storch players present: A Larry Storch production of Larry Storch's Phantom of the Opera, coming to you in Surround Storch. Starring Larry Storch ..."
  • An episode of Growing Pains where Ben makes a movie for class, Ben gives him self top billing for everything, writing, directing, producing and staring. He does give the rest of the cast credit, in tiny writing squeezed onto one title card.


Web Originals


Webcomics

  • Lilformers had "Michael Bay presents: A Michael Bay Movie: Michael Bay's Transformers. (Directed by Michael Bay)". (The movie did have at least one mention of Michael Bay's name in its credits, but Lilformers is Lilformers.)


Western Animation

  • Family Guy parodied both types 3 & 4 with "Peter Griffin Presents The King and I, a Peter Griffin Production." His new interpretation might as well have been a new play entirely; it was set on the planet England and featured partial nudity, kung fu fighting, & Groin Attacks.
    • The marquee also refers to "A Peter Griffin Joint", a parody of Spike Lee's odd director credit (instead of "A Spike Lee Film").
  • Brak Presents The Brak Show Starring Brak
  • The title of the work is Mary Shelley's Frankenhole, but it was created by Dino Stamatopoulos. While the setting is Dr. Frankenstein's lab in Eastern Europe, the show is a parody of horror genres.
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