Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Movie/TV Adaptations, Updates

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Although EarlyWord is no longer publishing on a daily basis, we continue to update the resources listed on the right

Since July 3rd, we have added new information on 60 projects to our spreadsheet of Upcoming Movies & TV Based on Books. Download a spreadsheet to browse just the newest lists here, Adaptation Updates.

The most intriguing book and TV news doesn’t appear on that list, however, since it’s not an adaptation. It’s PBS’s announcement last week of “The Great American Read” (working title), an eight-part series, with the ambitious goal of getting people to vote for  “America’s Best Loved Book,” set to kick off in May, 2018

Also not based on a book, but arriving with several tie-ins, as well as plenty of display opportunities, is Ken Burns’s documentary The Vietnam War which debuts on PBS on 9/17/17 (included in our catalog of tie-ins here).

Hitting Screens, Week of July 3, 2017

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Only one film opens this week but it is expected to be a blockbuster, Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Fans of the Captain America: Civil War movie already got a look at the new Spidey played by Tom Holland; he stole every scene he was in.

Now Holland gets his own film, one The Verge describes as “a joyous celebration, not just of the MCU’s [Marvel Comic Universe] usual crowd-winning balance of humor and action, but of a little guy’s ability to make a difference, even when, for once, the fate of the world isn’t on the line.”

Reviews are generally strong. Vanity Fair says it is a film of “easy, abounding charm” that makes viewers want even more to follow. The Guardian calls it a “razor-sharp reboot” and “a crowd-pleasing triumph.” io9 says it is “great” and USA Today calls it “remarkable and refreshing.”

Not all the reviews are glowing but most acknowledge its pleasures. Entertainment Weekly, in its B+ review, says “Homecoming comes off as loose and sweet and light on its feet.” The NYT says it is “likable, amusing.” Most critical, The Hollywood Reporter writes it is “occasionally exciting but often frustrating … a creative misstep for the studio.”

There have been five previous films since 2002, each making less money than the one before. Marvel clearly hopes this is the reboot that puts the character and the franchise back on track. Polygon reports that the film launches a trilogy. The next stand-alone feature will be July 5, 2019. Before that the webbed crusader will appear in Avengers: Infinity War.

Spider-Man: Homecoming premieres July 7th. It stars Holland along with Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. Several tie-ins are out, see our posts here and here.

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, it stars 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).