The first teaser trailer for BBC America’s adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 novel, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency was featured during a panel at Comic-Con this weekend.
The 8-episode series will debut on BBC America on Oct. 22. Variety describes it as being about “the surreal adventures of a highly unconventional detective, Dirk Gently (Samuel Barnett) and his reluctant assistant Todd (Elijah Wood ). Together they navigate one big metaphysical mystery per season.”
Adams, best-known for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, published two titles featuring Gently, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,and Dirk Gently’s Long, Dark Tea-time of the Soul, He had plans for a third novel, which he did not finish before his death. The incomplete novel was included in the posthumous collection, The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time.
The film, starring Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, as well as Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston. is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films. It is scheduled to release on November 18, 2016.
The screenplay, written by Rowling, will be released as a book the day after the movie debuts, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).
Reporting from the conference, io9 says that Gaiman is happy with the process, which included a look back through his older drafts of the novel as potential fodder for screen stories. He announced that some of what he found might be “in the next American Gods book if I do another novel, which is seeming more and more likely these days.”
If that were not news enough for fans, after a very slow wind-up to get the iconic book to any screen, big or small, it seems Starz has hit the sweet spot with a spot-on adaptation.
Neil Gaiman said, “As a general rule, if you loved it in the book, it is probably going to end up on your screen.”
In a statement that is sure to thrill and intrigue readers of the novel, executive producer Bryan Fuller (Hannibal and Pushing Daisies) said the show is “fan fiction, in a wonderful way.”
Revealed as well is the news that a major element of the book, the journey the old gods take to the US, will get due attention and be treated as “trampolines into more stories.”
The Verge says more casting decisions were also announced. Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Glee, The West Wing, Pushing Daisies) will play Easter, “a member of the old gods. (Her traditional name in mythology is Ostara, the Germanic goddess of the dawn).” USA Today has a run down on the rest of the cast.
Anticipation is particularly high, as indicated by holds, for two titles arriving next week.
Releasing on Sunday, July 31st, the day after the play debuts in London, is the script, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine). No news yet on when it will hit Broadway, but the NY Post reports it may arrive as early as next season. Holds are heavy, and libraries have ordered enough copies to keep pace with demand.
After her major success with Big Little Lies (an HBO series adaptation is set to premiere next year), Liane Moriarty’s latest arrives Tuesday, Truly Madly Guilty(Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Holds are outstripping orders in many places by ratios as high as 8:1. A LibraryReads pick, it is also a People pick for the week (see below) and reviewed in advance by the NYT‘s now retired maven of popular fiction, Janet Maslin, who occasionally steps in to write about major releases. However, she finds it not as compelling as Moriarty’s previous three novels.
Nonetheless, it is a People pick for the week, described as “a vivid tale” and on the LibraryReads list for the month:
“A typical afternoon barbecue among friends becomes something much bigger when one pivotal moment of inattention leads to repercussions for all in attendance. In trademark Moriarty style, the story flashes back and forth between the day of the barbecue and two months later, slowly revealing the events of the day and its consequences, creating a delicious momentum for the reader as the tension builds and the pieces fall into place. Moriarty has another sure-fire winner with this look at the complexities of friendship, marriage, and familial relationships.” — Halle Eisenman, Beaufort County Library, Hilton Head, SC
Published last week, this is People magazine’s “Book of the Week” — “In this beguiling novel, three generations of articulate, self-aware women fall to pieces … With a fine understanding of women and a delicate wit, Nadler shepherds all three through grief and humiliation and out the other side.”
“Once on the fast-track to academic stardom, Jason Dessen finds his quiet family life and career upended when a stranger kidnaps him. Suddenly Jason’s idle “what-ifs” become panicked “what-nows,” as the humble quantum physics professor from a small Chicago college gets to explore the roads not taken with a mind-bending invention that opens doors to other worlds. This fun science fiction thriller is also a thoughtful page-turner with heart that should appeal to fans of Harlan Coben.” — Elizabeth Eastin, Rogers Memorial Library, Southampton, NY
Crouch is the author of the Wayward Pines series, adapted as a Fox TV series.
In addition to the #1 pick and Truly Madly Guilty, noted above, a third LibraryReads pick arrives this week.
“The Unseen World is a compelling read with vibrant, finely constructed characters. Moore intertwines a complex coming of age story with the science of cryptology and the history of artificial intelligence, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of love, loss and belonging. The core of the novel explores the relationship between Ada and her scientist father David. When a tragedy upends their routine lives, Ada embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will eventually lead her to new truths. Elements of mystery and suspense keep you turning the pages in this multi-layered gem of a book.” — Janie Hermann, Princeton Public Library, Princeton, NJ
“Burton’s follow-up to The Miniaturist also takes place in the art world, but this time the settings alternate between London in the 1960s and pre-Civil War Spain in the 1930s. In 1967, a long-lost work by a dead Spanish painter turns up in London. Is it really an original Isaac Robles? Or is there a more complicated story behind the intriguing painting? A fun read with interesting meditations on the purpose and making of art.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY
“There are hundreds of coming-of-age stories, but the one told in The Summer That Melted Everything is unique. In the summer of 1984, a series of disturbing events in Breathed, Ohio, are attributed to the arrival of a 13-year-old boy named Sal who claims to be the devil. Gossip and superstitions, exacerbated by the sweltering heat, turn the villagers against Sal. Only the family of the local prosecutor welcomes the boy, who is befriended by their son, Fielding. Through beautiful imagery and rich characters, McDaniel offers an original meditation on what is right and wrong, good and evil, in a magical, heart-wrenching, and unforgettable novel.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI
Deadline outlines the plot, “It centers on the O’Brien clan—a large Irish-American family living on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in a town designed and founded by three O’Brien brothers. The television series focuses on the drama that ensues when the O’Brien family reunites after years apart to face the memories from their past and learn the importance of reconciliation.”
It premieres on August 14 and stars Meghan Ory, Jesse Metcalfe, and Diane Ladd. Several sneak peeks are available on Hallmark’s show site.
War Dogs: The True Story of How Three Stoners From Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History, Guy Lawson (S&S; OverDrive Sample; also in mass market) will open on August 19 and stars Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Bradley Cooper, Ana de Armas and J. B. Blanc.
It is based on nonfiction account by Lawson, originally titled Arms and the Dudes, and tells the unlikely story about winning a $300 million US government contract to supply weapons for the war in Afghanistan.
USA Today offered a sneak peek in March. Below is the trailer.
Walker Books in the UK, along with Candlewick Press in the US, announce plans for a series of novelty and interactive children’s books based on J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, reports The Bookseller.
Karen Lotz of the Walker Group says the books will offer “unique and beautifully presented content and innovative play value.”
There are no details yet on titles which are set to release this October.
As we noted earlier, there is also an agreement in place with Scholastic to “publish children’s movie tie-in books for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequels, as well as tie-in books based on the original eight Harry Potter films.” Harper Collins has adult tie-in rights and plans to offer titles that “delve into, and behind the scenes of, the richly textured film and its sequels to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the new stories. Books will include details about how the films were made, the process of art and design, interviews with the cast and crew, and interactive formats such as colouring and postcard books.”
The original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Scholastic; 9780545850568), a faux Hogwarts textbook, is currently out of print an only available from used book retailers. However, the screenplay of the movie will be published on Nov. 19, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).
Another script is also about to be released, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine), timed to debut a day after the premiere of the London stage production on July 30th.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is written by Rowling and stars Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, it opens on November 18. It also stars Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston and is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films.
We posted the trailer previously, below is a featurette with commentary by Rowling:
According to Variety, the Divergent series is likely to move to the small screen as disappointing box office is leading the studio Lionsgate to consider skipping the big screen ending.
Instead the plan appears to be the release of a made-for-TV movie, using it to launch a spin-off series.
Although nothing has been finalized or confirmed, according to Variety it is likely that Ascendant will not open in June 2017 as planned and it remains unclear “if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the Ascendant television movie.”
The first two films did well at the box office but the third film sank, leading to the possible change of plans. Deadline states there is a “decreasing interest in the property from its core audience at the box office each year.”
Robert Kirkman is moving away from comics with his next planned TV project according to The Hollywood Reporter and now has his eye on creating the next Game of Thrones. Through his Skybound Entertainment unit he is adapting Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber, a ten-book science fiction/fantasy series.
Zelazny died in 1995 and was a long-standing and beloved figure in the SFF community, winning Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards.
Like Game of Thrones, Zelazny’s series, reports Tor.com, “concerns royal family politics over a throne. But in this case, our hero Corwin awakens on Earth with amnesia. He comes to discover that Earth is just one of many “shadows,” or parallel worlds, that exist between the two true worlds of Amber and the Court of Chaos. As a prince of the royal family, it is Corwin’s birthright to rule Amber and fend off the forces of chaos.”
George R.R. Martin is a fan of Zelazny. Tor notes that Martin memorialized the author via a blog post:
“Lord of Light was the first Zelazny book I ever read … I’d never heard of this Zelazny guy. But when I read those words for the first time, a chill went through me, and I sensed that SF would never be the same. Nor was it. Like only a few before him, Roger left his mark on the genre.”
If you need to add copies, Harper Voyager published a collected edition of all ten stories in 2010: The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10 by Roger Zelazny (HC/Harper Voyager) as well as a new edition of his 1988 winner of both the Nebula and Hugo for best novel, Lord of Light.
Girls’ soccer gets the spotlight from Amazon Studios, which just announced the launch of a new series based on the middle grade novls by U.S. Women’s National Team star player Alex Morgan. Like the books, the series is titled The Kicks. The pilot, which was released last year as part of Amazon’s kids pilot season, is still available on Amazon. All nine live-action episodes will be avail on Aug. 26 for Prime members.
Morgan introduces the series in the trailer:
Proclaims lead character, Devin Burke, played by newcomer Sixx Orange, “I am NOT a princess, I am a soccer BEAST!”
Delia Ephron’s latest, Siracusa (PRH/Blue Rider Press; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample) may bring her to a new level of popularity. The novel is getting strong media attention and is rising on Amazon, currently just outside the top 100. Deadline Hollywood reports a film deal is in the works.
However, says the reviewer, “Siracusa takes a more expansive look at matrimony and its discontents,” adding,
“For much of the way, Siracusa is a sophisticated, elegantly written, delightfully cynical look at four middle-aged Americans, not unlike people most of us know, as they struggle to make sense of their lives. Then, abruptly, the story darkens. All readers may not share my admiration for its shocking conclusion, but it’s that sudden glimpse of tragedy, even of evil, that gives Ephron’s novel the feel of a classic.”
The LA Times says it is “skillfully wrought,” comparing it to “Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 film Rashomon … Ford Madox Ford’s 1915 modernist masterpiece The Good Soldier and Showtime’s ongoing dramatic series The Affair. There’s even an echo of Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel, Atonement about passion, guilt and how writers distort lives for literary ends.”
However, the review adds a note of caution, saying “In the end, Siracusa, like life, is a tad disappointing, its culminating disaster coming as something of an anticlimax.”
The book was featured on multiple summer reading lists. Ephron was recently interviewed on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show.
Holds are spiking at the majority of libraries we checked, some topping 7:1 ratios.
“The Chemistis the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross … I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain.”
It will be the first thriller by the author most famous for her YA Twilight saga novels and will her second adult novel after her SF novel, 2008’s The Host.
Although it’s getting snowy and cold in the North of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the series is focused on summer. According to multiple sources including Vanity Fair, season seven will air in summer 2017 and consist of only seven episodes. The previous six seasons have featured 10 episodes each and they aired in the spring.
Perhaps even more troubling for fans, Vanity Fair also reports that the final season, #8, will be even shorter, just six episodes. Sources such as Variety have confirmed those numbers, leaving fans only 13 hours more to enjoy.
“It’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome … We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end … Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros, Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them … The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game.”
Showrunner D.B. Weiss tells Variety that the high production values of the series are also part of the reason for shorter season because hey simply cannot make ten episodes in 12-14 months of shooting, “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.”
The NYT points out that the late start might change future award seasons: “If the seventh season begins later than May, it will not be eligible for next year’s Emmy Awards,” continuing “Game of Thrones has garnered the most Emmy nominations of any TV show for three consecutive years, and last year it took home the Emmy for best drama for the first time.” This year, reports USA Today, it racked up 23 nominations, the most of any show in 2016.
As if to temper the disappointment over the delayed start and shorter seasons, Vanity Fair speculates that the schedule might give George R.R. Martin enough room to complete The Winds of Winter in time for inclusion in the TV series. Martin, who always has much to say on his blog, is completely mum on that point.