First appearing in 1910, the books focused on a young inventor named Tom Swift living with his widowed father, who comes from a long line of genius inventors. The books have continued to this day thanks to ghostwriters and each series has undergone an update so there was a new and improved Tom for each generation. Edward Stratemeyer (Stratemeyer's Syndicate was also behind The Bobbsey Twins, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew ) wrote the original outlines for the books, but the series has operated under a series of ghostwriters using the name Victor Appleton.
Hecht described the early books as having a "...kind of a Jules Verne feel, where they're talking about inventions that have actually now happened." Those early ones have titles like Tom Swift and His Motor Cycle. Eventually, the series was modernized and taken in more of an edgy, graphic-novel direction". Hecht has hinted that the film might be a mix of live action and CGI animation. Some of the other changes Hecht has in mind involve changing the family business. Hecht tells Variety, "The initial concept is to posit that Swift Industries is now a leading "green technology" company, giving the 20th century series a modern twist." Wow, that's kind of lame. Oh well, I guess they could always call it Tom Swift and the Giant Carbon Credit.