Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category


Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

9780385542364_94521Barry 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.”

The Underground Railroad is a massive job,” he told the the LA Times. “Right now, I’m thinking I want to do that over six or seven hours, and that will take a lot of time and consideration because it absolutely has to be done the right way. It’s a landmark work.”

Consequence of Sound reports “Jenkins has been working on the project since September, just one month after Colson’s book was released.”

It is early days, so there is no word on an air date or casting.


Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

9780385340991Bing 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

Ferdinand Gets a Trailer

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The first trailer for a new animated adaptation of Leaf Munro‘s 1936 classic The Story of Ferdinand made its “exclusive” debut on the Today Show this morning. It opens on December 15.

9780670674244A tie-in has not been announced.

The original is still available in both hardcover and paperback (Penguin Young Readers/Puffin).

A Board Book edition is coming in August.


Hitting Screens, Week of March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Beauty and the Beast‘s box office juggernaut continued over the weekend. Even the release of the Power Rangers reboot could not break the spell, coming in a distant second.

Six screen adaptations come out this week:

MV5BYTFmNzRlNWYtMmFmNi00ZTFiLWJhODgtOGM5ODQ5NTgxZWUwL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTExNDQ2MTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31.

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.

The trailer debut alone was enough to send the book soaring on Amazon. A new featurette is out:

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.”

Variety writes “13 Reasons Why [will] pull viewers into a suspenseful tale that will keep most of them engaged until the final scene fades out.”

A tie-in came out earlier this month: 13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher Razorbill (PRH/Razorbill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample).


Alec Baldwin stars in DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Marla Frazee’s Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010), opening on March 31.

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), it also features the voices of Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow.

As we posted earlier, the movie is described as “inspired” by Frazee’s picture book and adds several story lines. The tie-in, which came out in February, is a novelization of the movie script, The Boss Baby Junior Novelization by Tracey West (S&S/Simon Spotlight; also in trade pbk; OverDrive Sample).

Early reviews were glowing. Variety reported from the Annecy film festival that it “had the audience in stitches” and brought “whoops of applause.”

However, more recent reviews are not as strong. IndieWire headlines “The Boss Baby Might Pacify Kids, But This Dirty Diaper of a Movie Is Further Proof Hollywood Animation Needs a Change.”

The Wrap says “The Boss Baby runs in the opposite direction of real feeling in favor of bombast. There’s so much to like in this movie, but its best qualities are ultimately subsumed in formula. And not the nutritious kind.”

MV5BMzJiNTI3MjItMGJiMy00YzA1LTg2MTItZmE1ZmRhOWQ0NGY1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyOTk4MTM0NQ@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_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.

There are few reviews thus far but the NYT offers a feature on the many incarnations of the story.

There are multiple tie-ins. See here and here.

MV5BNTY3YmZmYmMtZjc3Zi00N2VjLWE5ZGMtN2M0ODkzOGQ5M2UyL2ltYWdlL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk1MTQ3NDI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,647,1000_AL_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.

Reviews are not great. The Guardian says it “suffers from an uneven script” while Den of Geek says it is “hurt by erratic pacing.”

The Wrap writes, “Turning an incredible true story of a couple who sheltered Jews into bland historical fare is the most noteworthy of the film’s shortcomings.”

The best-selling tie-in came out in February: The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, Diane Ackerman (W. W. Norton; Blackstone; OverDrive Sample).

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).

MV5BMjMxMTQ2ODgwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjQyODY2MTI@._V1_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 Hollywood Reporter calls it “a well-intentioned but imperfect young-adult-skewing comedy-drama … this often tritely plotted tale is not half as clever or cute as it thinks it is.”

Variety says “this is awfully soft stuff, its naval-gazing protagonist not nearly as unusual or delightful as we’re meant to think despite the high IQ she can’t stop referencing … For a story about a supposed genius, it’s not all that clever or complicated.”

The Guardian was much more favorable, giving it 4 out of 5 stars and calling it an “ambitious, upbeat and surprising comedy.”

There is no tie-in.

MV5BNTI5ZWFhOTAtMTRlNC00ZTA3LTk4NTctZjhjMmM3Y2JiMDE3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzI1NjQ1MTU@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,714,1000_AL_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.”

There is no tie-in.


Monday, March 27th, 2017

9781250121462_c1182The film version of David Finkel’s Thank You For Your Service opens on October 27, 2017. As Variety reports, the release date is timed for awards season.

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, and The Guardian, shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award and selected as a NYT‘s Notable Books of 2013.

tie-in edition (Macmillan/Picador; Macmillan Audio) comes out in September.


Monday, March 27th, 2017

american-assassin-9781416595199_lgCurrently filming, the adaptation of Vince Flynn’s thriller American Assassin, now has a premiere date of Sept. 15, 2017.

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).

Fan Favorites Set for DARKEST MINDS

Friday, March 24th, 2017

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Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Minds by 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 news, announced by the Hollywood Reporter, caused a flurry of excitement on fan sites.

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 Time magazine’s Most Influential Teens 2016, Sternberg is described as:

“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 …

Fans have more to look forward to. As theThe Hollywood Reporter notes, “a host of young up-and-comers [are] on the call sheet.”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) directs, in her live-action debut.

The movie, still in pre-production, is expected to premiere in September 2018.


Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Captain 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 and The 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.

Captain Underpants movie  9780545504928_153d8  0590846280

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.

DUMPLIN’ To Movies

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780062327192_15371Nearly 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.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, Hot Pursuit) will direct, “working from a script by Aniston’s longtime friend and collaborator Kristin Hahn [The Departed, The Time Traveler’s Wife].”

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.

BERNADETTE Begins Filming This Summer

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780316204262Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Where’d You Go, Bernadette starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will start filming July 2017, reports Austin360.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple (Hachette, 2012). Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars) wrote the screenplay.

Fans of the book will have to wait to find out who will play Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter, Bee Branch, the story’s narrator.

Semple won an Alex Award for the book in 2013. It spent a few weeks on the NYT Hardcover Bestseller list, and many more in trade paperback, hitting a high of #2.

As we noted earlier, Semple has another title headed to a screen. Julia Roberts will star in HBO’s adaptation of her newest novel, Today Will Be Different (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

No stranger to TV herself, Semple, who worked on Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development, will write the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Kids Movies Move Books

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The latest Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which opened this weekend, was the blockbuster the studio longed for. Weeks before it opened, it helped promote books, putting one of the tie-ins, Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Hachette/Disney Press) on the NYT Middle Grade Best Sellers List.

Disney is at work on many more live-action adaptations of previous animated hits, including a new version of Dumbo, with Tim Burton directing and Danny DeVito voicing the star.

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.

Also just released is a trailer for another sure-fire book-promoting hit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul!, based on Jeff Kinney’s book series.

Darrin Alert: the movie, and the trailer, feature a new cast.

It premieres May 19.

For a full listing of movie tie-ins, check our list of tie-ins to upcoming films, recently updated with tie-ins to 2017’s most anticipated kid’s movies.


Thursday, March 16th, 2017

HBO’s adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s long-running bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m. The first trailer was released yesterday.

Expected to be a major show for the cable network, the release is being heavily covered by the entertainment media. Jezebel says “it looks like it might do Henrietta’s story justice.” Elle says it “is certain to be compelling.” Slate, Entertainment Weekly, and RollingStone (which was the first to report Lacks’s story, in 1976) also covered the news.

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.

A tie-in comes out at the end of the month: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; March 28, 2017).


No Mara, No Craig, No Larsson

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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.

1487331620_MILLENNIUM-CROPPEDThe 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 Local describes 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.

A Wrinkle In Time Wraps

Monday, March 13th, 2017

MV5BMTBmMjdiMDgtOGMzMC00YTNmLTliYjYtZjYwY2RhNTgyZjNlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzMyMDAxNjg@._V1_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).

The film is currently scheduled to premiere April 6, 2018. Tie-in editions, in hardcover and trade paperback, arrive this November.

The 1963 Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time  (Macmillan/FSG BYR) was previously adapted by Disney as a TV movie.

Disney has had success revising earlier adaptations for a new era, remaking The Jungle Book and Cinderella to critical praise.

Hollywood Intersects with LibraryReads

Friday, March 10th, 2017

9780399184512_3767cAdd Kerry Washington to the list of Hollywood women seeing the possibilities in book adaptations. Variety reports she will produce the planned Warner Bros. feature based on Brit Bennett’s debut novel, The Mothers (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Bennett is on board to write the screenplay and will serve as an executive producer.

The Mothers was a LibraryReads selection for October 2016. Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO wrote the annotation:

“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 Mothers asks 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.

Bestseller performance aside, it was a literary hit, getting critical attention, glowing reviews, and several best book nods. It was also a Librarian Favorite of 2016, making the top 7 picks.

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.