Barry Jenkins, the writer and director of the Oscar-winning film Moonlight, will write and direct the adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad (PRH/Doubleday) as a series for Amazon.
“Going back to The Intuitionist, Colson’s writing has always defied convention, and The Underground Railroad is no different,” Jenkins said in a statement. “It’s a groundbreaking work that pays respect to our nation’s history while using the form to explore it in a thoughtful and original way.”
Bing called a “Downton Abbey Reunion,” the adaptation of Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society(PRH/Random House, 2008), currently filming in Australia, features four actors from the popular BBC series. Lily James, who played Downton‘s Lady Rose, is the movie’s lead. Recently joining the cast are Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton‘s Lady Sybil), Matthew Goode (Henry Talbot), and Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley).
Also recently added are Glen Powell (Hidden Figures), Michiel Huisman (The Age of Adeline, Game of Thrones), as well as Tom Courtenay (45 Years).
Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directs the re-titled Guernsey. Release is expected in 2018.
The epistolary novel set during WW II received strong reviews and was a long running best seller. No tie-in has been announced
Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, it is about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.
Thus far critics seem very happy with the show. Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+ and writes “A frank, authentically affecting portrait of what it feels like to be young, lost, and too fragile for the world.”
Ghost in the Shell, the live-action adaptation of Shirow Masamune’s SF manga series, which Movie Pilot calls “a pioneer of cyberpunk,” opens March 31. It stars Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt.
The Zookeeper’s Wife opens on March 31. It is is already selling books, taking Diane Ackerman’s nonfiction account of the heroic story of a zookeeper and his wife who harbored 300 Jews from the Nazis back to the best seller lists and rising on Amazon’s rankings.
The film stars Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton, and Daniel Brühl.
In more limited release are two films. While they will not air to a wide audience at first, they will eventually be released on DVD, making them accessible for libraries creating book-to-film collections (and displays).
Carrie Pilby opens in limited release on March 31 and will be followed by VOD on April 4. It is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Caren Lissner, Carrie Pilby: A hilarious and charming story (HC/Harlequin Teen; Harlequin Audio; OverDrive Sample).
The film stars Bel Powley, Nathan Lane, Gabriel Byrne, Jason Ritter, William Moseley, Vanessa Bayer, and Colin O’Donoghue.
The Devotion of Suspect X, a Chinese-language film, opens in very limited release on March 31, just 45 theaters. It stars stars Wang Kai, Zhang Luyi, and Ruby Lin. There are no reviews as of yet.
The novel on which it was based, The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino (Macmillan/Minotaur; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample), received attention when it was published. It was selected by the ALA/RUSA Reading List in 2012 for best Mystery and was nominated for an Edgar. It earned three star reviews, from LJ, PW, and Kirkus.
The Wall St. Journal says, “Whether it amounts to math, philosophy, psychology or cosmology, The Devotion of Suspect X is an elegant literary experiment. It suggests, among much else, that a lot of bad behavior is forgiven in the name of genius—and then even a genius can push the envelope just so far before it breaks.”
Oscar-nominated Jason Hall (for Best Adapted Screenplay, American Sniper) wrote the script and makes his directorial debut. Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train), and Miles Teller (War Dogs) are among the large cast.
The book follows a group of soldiers as they try to adjust to civilian life after returning home from fighting in Baghdad. A critical success, it was reviewed by the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, andThe Guardian, shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award and selected as a NYT‘s Notable Books of 2013.
A tie-in edition (Macmillan/Picador; Macmillan Audio) comes out in September.
Dylan O’Brien plays the lead, CIA operative Mitch Rapp. The actor also stars in the Maze Runner film trilogy, based on the YA series by James Dashner. He suffered a serious injury on the set of the final movie in the series, Maze Runner: Death Cure. As a result, shooting of that movie was delayed until he recovered. The release date, also delayed, is now set for January 12, 2018.
Michael Keaton (Birdman) is set for the role of Stan Hurley, Rapp’s CIA trainer. Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger, Homeland) directs. USA Today provides a few first look photos.
Although it is the eleventh in the book series, American Assassin moves back in time to depict Rapp’s first assignment, making it a good place to begin a possible movie series. A tie-in has yet to be announced. The paperback is still available (S&S/Pocket).
Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Mindsby Alexandra Bracken (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion).
The first in the YA dystopian trilogy, it features a group of teens with special powers who are persecuted by the government and are on the run hoping to find a sanctuary.
The cast already includes another fan favorite, Amanda Sternberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games. She also stars as Maddy Whittier in the upcoming adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s Everything, Everything, set for release in May.
“one of her generation’s leading social activists, especially regarding race, representation and gender identity. As a result, she’s earned some high-profile admirers. Among them: Gloria Steinem, who sat for a one-on-one interview with Stenberg for Teen Vogue, and Beyoncé …
The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’sCaptain Underpants, based on the best selling Dav Pilkey series (Scholastic), was released yesterday, arriving in time to be featured before the kids movies set to dominate theaters for the next two weekends, Power Rangers andThe Boss Baby.
Dropping a hint that this may be the first of series, Dreamworks adds the words The First Epic Movie to the title. It opens in theaters on June 2.
A tie-in is being released, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard on April 25, 2017 (Scholastic), but libraries may prefer to spend their money on additional copies of the original twelve-volume series.
Nearly two years after Disney acquired film rights to Julie Murphy’s YA novel Dumplin’ (HC/Balzer + Bray; HaperAudio; OverDrive Sample), the first star had been announced. Jennifer Aniston, is set to play Rosie, a former beauty queen who now runs a pageant and gave her overweight teenaged daughter the not-so-endearing nickname of the title.
It is early days yet and no other casting choices have been made. Refinery29 writes, “Aniston’s casting gives the film some A-list weight, but we’re more excited to see who lands the role of Will. Please don’t screw this up, Hollywood.”
Production will begin this summer.
Kirkus approvingly wrote the novel’s “plot arc, amazingly, avoids the all-too-common pitfall of having its fat protagonist lose weight.” It was named to the Amelia Bloomer List of recommended feminist literature and appeared on a number of end of year best lists.
Taking advantage of the Disney hit, DreamWorks Animation released a trailer for their adaptation of Marla Frazee’s The Boss Baby using the phrase, “A Tale NOT As Old As Time” and a couple of images to emphasize the reference.
Oprah Winfrey stars as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter. Rose Byrne (Damages) plays Skloot. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) plays Henrietta and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) plays con artist Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield. The Broadway superstar and Tony winning George C. Wolfe (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) wrote the screenplay and directs.
Many names will be missing from the second English-language adaptation of the Millennium series, following 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sony has announced that the movie will be released on October 5, 2018, but that neither of the two leads, Rooney Mara or Daniel Craig will return.
Also missing from the credits is the originator of the series of novels, Stieg Larsson. This second movie will be based on the fourth book in the series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz after Larsson’s death.
The date of the movie release was announced at a launch party for the fifth book in the Millennium series, also by Lagercrantz, titled in Swedish The Man who Chased His Shadow (Mannen som sökte sin skugga;cover at left), but listed in the US as Untitled Millennium Book 5(PRH/Knopf, 9/12/17).The Swedish publication The Localdescribes the plot,”[Lisbeth Salander] will begin the novel serving a short sentence at a women’s prison, where she is attempting to avoid conflicts between prisoners, and the tale will develop into a story of ‘state abuse, honour problems and shadows from a childhood that still haunts Salander’.”
There’s been no explanation about why the movie will skip ahead to the fourth book in the series, but Sony, whose options on the rights to the Larsson books ran out in 2015, may have decided to avoid dealing with Larsson’s famously contentious estate.
The director and stars of the Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book, A Wrinkle In Time. exuberantly high-fivied each other on social media over the weekend to celebrate the end of filming. Entertainment Weekly lists the well-wishes and selfies.
Oscar-nominated Ava DuVernay (Selma) directs the project. She is the first black woman to do so for a $100 million dollar studio feature, reports the magazine, and only “the fourth female director to have helmed a live-action movie with a budget of over $100 million, joining the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow (2002’s K-19: The Widowmaker), Lana Wachowski (2012’s Cloud Atlas, 2015’s Jupiter Ascending), and Patty Jenkins (this year’s Wonder Woman).”
The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave), described by Entertainment Weekly as an “up-and-coming actress,” stars as Meg Murry. Levi Miller, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Bellamy Young, Will McCormack, and Zach Galifianakis each have supporting roles. The screenplay is by Academy Award-winning Jennifer Lee (Frozen).
“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothersasks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.”
Bennett made waves last year and was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 authors for 2016. Her novel was a NYT bestseller for two weeks, starting in late October 2016 where it debuted at #18. It did better and stayed longer on the LA Times list, where it rose to #7 and lasted six non-consecutive weeks.
Kerry, known for her portrayal of the take-no-prisoners Olivia Pope in the hit TV show Scandal, is on the path to becoming “a Producing Powerhouse” wrote Vanity Fair last year, pointing out that she was the executive producer for HBO’s Confirmation. She also starred in the series, earring nominations for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.
The studio optioned the book just recently, so it will be a while before plans firm up, but naming the high-profile Washington to the project is a major step.