Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Dunkirk Set to Storm Theaters

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

The WWII movie Dunkirk opens on July 21. Directed by Christopher Nolan, known for creating major blockbusters, including his Batman trilogy, starring Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “one of the most anticipated movies of summer.”

IndieWire has a rundown of elements to watch for and things to note, including Nolan’s telling the Associated Press that “Dunkirk is not a war film. It’s a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film.”

    

Although not based on a specific book, several tie-ins are being published including the lead title, Dunkirk: The History Behind the Major Motion Picture by Joshua Levine (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks; HarperAudio; also in Mass Market; OverDrive Sample), followed by Dunkirk, the screenplay by Christopher Nolan (IPG/Faber & Faber) and the coffee table book, The Making of Dunkirk by James Mottram, with a forward by the director (S&S/Insight Editions).

Coincidentally, Michael Korda’s upcoming book is also about the battle,  Alone: Britain, Churchill, and Dunkirk: Defeat Into Victory (Norton/Liveright, forthcoming Sept. 19).

Hitting Screens, Week of June 26, 2017

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The upcoming weekend brings the latest in the family film franchise, Despicable Me 3 (see our earlier story for tie-ins), the debut of one adaptation and the continuation of a James Patterson TV series.

Fresh from winning Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, only the second time a woman has done so in 71 years, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled opens in theaters on June 30th [CORRECTION: the film opened in 4 theaters last week and did well. It expands to 500 locations on Friday].

Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst star in the film about a group of women sequestered in a Southern girls boarding school during the Civil War and the wounded Union soldier who arrives at their doorstep. (See our earlier post for more on the novel and its adaptations).

Reviews vary widely. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair” and CNN credits it with being “a small-scale movie that exalts old-fashioned movie-making qualities, yielding a refreshingly understated alternative to a sea of summer blockbusters.”

On the other hand, USA Today writes, “While Coppola creates some gorgeous imagery, the drama amounts to an overly pretentious version of a sudsy made-for-TV movie, complete with bodice ripping.”

Coppola appeared on CBS This Morning to promote the film, talking about the cast and her vision for the story.

Tie-in edition: The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In), Thomas Cullinan (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s Zoo returns to CBS for its third season on June 29; it stars Nonso Anozie, Nora Arnezeder, Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly, and James Wolk.

The first two seasons focused on how the animal kingdom turned on humans and began hunting them down. Humans developed a gas to stop them, but it had an unpleasant side effect. Rotten Tomatoes describes new series, “Ten years after the animals were cured but at the cost of sterilizing the human population, a new threat rises in the form of ‘the hybrids,’ an army of unstoppable lab-made creatures focused on destroying mankind.”

There was a tie-in for season one, the Zoo story was extended as one of Patterson BookShotsZoo 2, and is also a graphic novel. There is no tie-in for season 3.

AMERICAN ASSASSIN, Trailer

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

The first full-length trailer for the movie based on Vince Flynn’s American Assassin has been released. Deadline reports that this may be the launch of a new “action hero franchise … built on a deep well of bestselling novels by the late Vince Flynn … in a revenge tale that could be the start of a Jack Ryan-like journey for [Dylan] O’Brien’s Mitch Rapp character.”

Also starring Michael Keaton, the film opens on Sept. 15

American Assassin is the eleventh title in the book series, chosen because it moves back in time to depict Rapp’s first assignment. Tie-ins will be released in August.
American Assassin: A Thriller
Vince Flynn
S&S/Atria; August 15, 2017
Trade Paperback
Mass Market
S&S Audio

To Movies: DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

After 207 weeks on the NYT Picture Book Best Seller list and counting, Sony announces that they will adapt the 40-page picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Oliver Jeffers (Penguin Young Readers/ Philomel) into a feature filmDeadline reports that it is “envisioned as a live-action/animation hybrid.”

Described by Deadline as being about “a box of crayons whose inhabitants go on strike against their young owner after growing sick of how they’re being used, as their individual colors dictate very limited day-to-day existences for each crayon,” it’s not mentioned how fraught assumptions about color can be, as Betsy Bird explored in a post on her SLJ blog, Fuse Eight.

To Screen: THE WISHING SPELL

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Chris Colfer, who has gone from actor on Glee to author of The Land of Stories series to screenwriter and director, will adapt his children’s novel The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Hachette/ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) for the silver screen.

The Hollywood Reporter calls it a “striking move” for the 27-year-old.

The Wishing Spell sees twins transported to a world in which fairy tale characters are real. The publisher describes the fractured fairy tale as a world where “Goldilocks is now a wanted fugitive, Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Queen Cinderella is about to become a mother!”

The Wishing Spell is the first book in what has become a multimillion dollar franchise. The larger universe includes novels, picture books, chapter books, and a forthcoming graphic novel.

The final novel in the series will be published on July 11, Worlds Collide (Hachette/ Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; Blackstone Audio).

Twentieth Century Fox and the 21 Laps studio will jointly create the film. The later is responsible for Arrival, Stranger Things, and the upcoming adaptation of Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series.

To Screen: Winnie-the-Pooh
Times Two

Friday, June 16th, 2017

In an odd bit of timing two films related to the beloved books and poems of A. A. Milne are headed to the movies.

The first is Goodbye Christopher Robin starring Domhnall Gleeson as A. A. Milne, Margot Robbie as his wife Daphne, as well as several actors who play Christopher at different ages.

The story focuses on Milne’s relationship with his son, the success of his books, and the effect the entire process had on Christopher himself. Variety describes it as “a bittersweet story of the little boy who inspired the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.”

It premieres October 13, 2017. The trailer is currently the #1 trending video on YouTube.

Disney is also making a film on the same subject, titled Christopher Robin. Ewan McGregor is set to star according to The Hollywood Reporter.

THR says the film will follow Christopher Robin as a grown up who has “lost his sense of imagination and is a businessman focused on work and success.”  Variety adds “Pooh and his friends reenter Robin’s life to help him gain that back.”

A premiere date has yet to be announced.

EVERY DAY, To the Movies

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

A feature film adaptation of David Levithan’s YA novel, Every Day (PRH/ Knopf Books for Young Readers; Listening Library), about a 16-year-boy who wakes up each morning in a new body, but still in love with the same girl, is set to begin production at the end of the month, reports Deadline, for release in 2018.

Australian actress Angourie Rice will star as the girl, Rhiannon. No other cast members have been announced. Michael Sucsy (HBO’s Grey Gardens 2009) will direct.

FERDINAND Gets a New Trailer

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

The second  trailer for the Blue Sky adaptation of Munro Leaf ‘s 1936 classic The Story of Ferdinand has been released. The film opens on December 15.

WWE star and actor John Cena is the voice of Ferdinand. Also featured are SNL‘s Kate McKinnon, as well as Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) and Bobby Cannavale.

9780670674244The book is still in print in hardcover and paperback (Penguin Young Readers/Puffin) and is being released as a board book in August.

 

Alone And Adrift

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

CBS Sunday Morning featured A Speck in the Sea: A Story of Survival and Rescue by John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski (Hachette/Weinstein Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) as their cover story this week.

In this harrowing but ultimately triumphant story, John Aldridge falls off his boat in the early hours of the morning while fishing in the Atlantic. After surviving sharks, cold, and twelve hours in the open ocean, the Coast Guard spotted him clinging to a rope. The rescue pilot told him they never find men alive, they just find bodies.

The story was widely reported, most notably in a 2014 NYT Magazine cover story. The Weinstein company bought both the book and the film rights.

The book came out in late May. Publishers Weekly calls it “hair-raising” and a “page turner.”

No word yet on when the film will premiere but it has some big names attached on the production side, including the producers behind Moneyball and Paranormal Activity.

Hitting Screens, Week of June 12, 2017

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

    

Amazingly, no new adaptations open either on TV or in theaters this week.

Over the weekend, My Cousin Rachel, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier was considered a disappointment, drawing just $954K in 523 theaters, as well as mixed reviews.

In its second week, Wonder Woman, considered “amazing,” is still at #1 in 4,165 theaters. In movie speak, it’s exhibits “a very rare hold for any superhero tentpole movie which typically ease between 50%-60% in their second weekends.” In another form of super-hero, Captain Underpants came in a distant third, but, given it’s low production costs, is still considered a relative success.

To Screen: DRAGON RIDER

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Cornelia Funke’s middle-grade novel about a boy who joins a young dragon named Firedrake on a quest for a magical place is headed to the movies.

The animated adaptation of Dragon Rider (Scholastic/Chicken House; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample) will be created byGerman studio , according to  The Hollywood Reporter, and directed by an award-wining German animator (Funke is also German).

The book has seen strong success in the US. It was #1 on the NYT Children’s Best Sellers list for over twenty nonconsecutive weeks and spent two years on the list overall. Booklist‘s starred review called it “a good, old-fashioned ensemble-cast quest in the style of Lloyd Alexander, with a bit of Puff the Magic Dragon added to the mix.”

Other titles by Funke have made their way to the screen. Both Inkheart and The Thief Lord have been made into films, although neither received glowing reviews.

No word yet on when the film will premiere.

The Dark Tower Teasers, Video Cliff Notes

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Three new teasers for The Dark Tower have been released, sending the first book in the series, The Gunslinger, rising on Amazon.

The A.V. Club. reports that each teaser helps orient viewers to the complicated world of the novels and the film.

The first, titled “Earth,” provides story background on how Roland Deschain, a knight, played by Idris Elba, is charged with defending the two universes of the movie (ours and his) that are threatened by the Man In Black,played by Matthew McConaughey.

In the second, titled “Knight,” Roland demonstrates his skills with a gun, illustrating why he is also called the “gunslinger.”

The third, titled “Man in Black,” shows that figure holding forth about his power and his certainty that he will win.

The movie premieres on August 4.

New mass market paperback editions of the first four books in series were published in 2016, when the movie had an earlier release date. New tie-ins have been announced for The Gunslinger in several formats:

The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger
Stephen King, S&S
Trade Paperback , June 13, 2017
Mass Market, June 27, 2017
Hardcover, July 11, 2017

Hitting Screens, Week of June 5, 2017

Monday, June 5th, 2017

At the box office this weekend, Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins hit  a new milestone, becoming the highest ever US opening for a film by a female director.  As Deadline notes, this follows on the heels of Sofia Coppola winning as Best Director in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.

Coming in a distant second, the kids movie Captain Underpants, was considered an underperformer.

Only one adaptation opens this week, My Cousin Rachel, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier.

Director Robert Michell (Notting Hill) tells The Telegraph that his version, starring Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) and Sam Claflin (Hunger Games), is “detailed, dark, sexy, cinematic and full of surprises.”

Reviews so far delve into that claim.

The Hollywood Reporter, while saying it lags in places, calls it “A deliciously dark mystery … Handsome and richly atmospheric … [with] a disquieting shiver of a conclusion.”

The Wrap is less enthusiastic, writing that the story “lives on the corner of Jane Austen Avenue and James M. Cain Boulevard [but] For all the will-changing and bodice-ripping and skulking about [it] lands in a bland zone better suited for Masterpiece Theatre season-filler than for the big screen.”

In addition to the trailer, a featurette examines du Maurier’s “extreme tales told subtly.”

Tie-in: My Cousin Rachel (Sourcebooks Landmark; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS, First Trailer

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The first trailer has been released for Kenneth Branagh’s star-studded film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

It quickly became the #1 Tending video YouTube (it is now #2) and also gave the book a boost, sending it roaring up the Amazon charts.

Entertainment Weekly quotes Branagh calling the film darker than other adaptations: “I think what I found in the book … was that it unleashed something very primal, very kind of grisly. I realized that we could find a way to have the fun of Agatha Christie, but have the absolutely deadly intention behind it … I think we’re making a scarier film than people might imagine.” The blood red smoke of the train, revealed in the newly released film poster, echoes that tone.

The movie premieres on November 10. Branagh stars as Hercule Poirot and is joined by Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley, playing suspects and murder victim.

HarperCollins is publishing mass market and trade paperback tie-ins on Oct. 31st.

 

Hitting Screens, Week of May 29, 2017

Monday, May 29th, 2017

After a long slog to the screen, the Amazonian Princess finally premieres on June 2 in Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious franchise) as the newest DC Superhero. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine plays her romantic interest and ally and Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, and Danny Huston round out the cast.

Early takes are glowing. Entertainment Weekly reports that the film is “being hailed as a ‘blast,’ ‘so good,’ … the best to date from the DC Extended Universe. Also receiving widespread praise is Wonder Woman herself, with Gadot described as ‘absolutely phenomenal’ and ‘a legit movie star.'”

Collider writes, “Full reviews are still under embargo for the time being, but the lucky few in the first screening audiences were given permission to post reactions to social media … with the most common refrain being that Wonder Woman is the best DCEU movie thus far.”
Tie-ins include:

Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books; OverDrive Sample)

Wonder Woman: The Deluxe Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HarperCollins/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample; also in a pbk. edition)

Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HarperCollins; OverDrive Sample)

Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HarperCollins; OverDrive Sample)

It’s also a good time to pull out the 2014 title, The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Fourth graders Harold Hutchins and George Beard, along with Captain Underpants himself, fly into movie theaters on June 2, when the animated film version of Captain Underpants premieres. It is based on the best selling 12-book series by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic) and stars Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Kristen Schaal.

PW offers a feature on the series and its path to the movies. No reviews are available yet but there has been plenty of media attention for the theme song by “Weird Al” Yankovic.

In addition to the many books in the series, the Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample) was recently released.

On the small screen, Still Star-Crossed premieres on ABC Monday, May 29. A new Shonda Rhimes project, it is a costume historical set in the world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The story picks up after the deaths of the two lovers, as their families continue to battle one another and is a departure for the hitmaker behind such very contemporary shows as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.

It is based on the novel Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub (PRH/Delacorte, 2013 – currently listed as OP). Kirkus gave the YA novel a starred review, calling it “A perfect blend of the intimate and the epic, the story both honors its origin and works in its own right … [a] spectacular sequel.”

Critics have not been as kind to the TV version.

Entertainment Weekly gives it a C, calling it “a sluggish, stilted mess.”

Variety says it is “too wispy and indistinct to make much of an impression … The show has all the earnest energy — and stilted moments —you’d expect to find in a high-school play, albeit one with a uniformly swoon-worthy cast and an exceptional budget for candles and corsets.”

CNN has already written it off, saying it “feels like an over-reach, a show for English lit majors whose parting won’t evoke much sorrow, sweet or otherwise.”

No tie-in has been announced.