Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category
It was inevitable that the movie Everest would renew the controversy surrounding the various accounts of the 1996 fatal climb.
As we wrote earlier, there are several books on the disaster. Jon Krakauer wrote the most successful and well-known version, his blockbuster Into Thin Air. He is a character in the Everest film, played by House of Card’s Michael Kelly and is far from happy about how he is represented, telling the L.A. Times, “It’s total bull, anyone who goes to that movie and wants a fact-based account should read Into Thin Air.”
Krakauer’s book is not the basis for this film (it was adapted as a TV movie in 1997, which he also disliked intensely) and no one connected to the script consulted him. He tells the paper that he considers the film a personal affront from director Kormákur and is particularly unhappy with a scene in which he refuses to help in a rescue attempt, “I never had that conversation … I’m not saying I could have, or would have. What I’m saying is, no one came to my tent and asked.”
Krakauer himself has taken criticism for his account of the events. Objecting to his portrayal in Into Thin Air, one of the Russian guides, Anatoli Boukreev wrote his own version, The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest. He is also a character in the movie, played by Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson.
Krakauer is not one of those authors who is unhappy with every film version of his work. He was so pleased with Sean Penn’s adaptation of another of his bestsellers, Into the Wild, that “When [Sean] showed me the rough cut, I wanted to kiss him, I was so happy.”
After a strong box office at IMAX theaters, Everest slipped when it opened last week in regular theaters. Reviews have not been stellar. The L.A. Times even encouraged viewers to turn to other films instead: “documentaries like Meru and The Summit will take you higher than Everest, world-class visuals and all.”
The NYT says the movie “never seems to get anywhere, taking up space and time without managing to be especially memorable or imposing,” while The Telegraph ventures it is a “pulverising tale of real-life tragedy on the mountain [that] never quite hits the heights.”
It seemed inevitable that Paul McLain’s bestseller Circling the Sun, (RH/Ballantine), with its echoes of Out of Africa, would be a candidate for film treatment. Now, The Hollywood Reporter announces that the book has been optioned.
Says producer Lauren Sanchez, “”She was a pioneer for women,” says Sanchez. “Everyone says Hollywood is looking for female-driven roles and stories — this is one of them.”
The only question: what took them so long?
Based on the memoir by 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes, Truth And Duty: The Press, The President, And The Privilege Of Power, the movie Truth tells the story of the news team reporting on allegations that then President George Bush had avoided military service. It was later proved that the story was based on faulty documents. Those involved were fired and CBS News anchor Dan Rather stepped down.
The movie stars Robert Redford as Rather and Cate Blanchett as Mapes. The trailer was just released for the movie that opens in a limited number of theaters on Oct. 16, followed by a wider release.
Rather himself endorsed the movie earlier this month at the Toronto Film Festival.
Truth : The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power
Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin
Trade pbk; October 13, 2015
Get ready for another film version of a book about financial shenanigans. Following in the footsteps of The Wolf of Wall Street is a film adaptation of Michael Lewis’s best seller The Big Short, (Norton, 2011). It was just announced that it will be released on Christmas Day, after opening in a limited number of theaters
on Dec. 11.
Because of the sudden announcement and the timing, Deadline is calling it a “Surprise Oscar Entry” saying it “adds another film to what is shaping up to be the most competitive year-end movie market in recent memory.”
The trailer for the film that stars Brad Pitt, Steve Carrell, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling was released today.
More financial skullduggery is on its way, with two TV adaptations of books about Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.
Recently released was a first look at Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. Based on the book of the same title by Diana Henriques (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin; Tantor Audio) with additional material from Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell (Hachette/Little Brown), it is directed by Barry Levinson. It is expected to air in 2016.
ABC recently wrapped production on Madoff a limited series starring Richard Dreyfuss in the title role with Blythe Danner as his wife, Ruth Madoff. It is also expected to debut next year.
Perhaps capitalizing on the attention, trailers of two other movies based on dystopian novels were released this week, even though the movies themselves won’t appear until next year.
The first official trailer for The 5th Wave, starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Maika Monroe was released for the movie that opens on January 15th. The first in a planned series, it is based on the book by Rick Yancey. Movie tie-ins will be published in both trade paperback and hardcover (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile).
The second book in the series, The Infinite Sea, was published last year.
The third movie in The Divergent Series, Allegiant, starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James arrives on March 16 next year. Of course, this final book is being made in to two movies. Part 2, titled Ascendant is scheduled for release in 2017, around the same time as the third Maze Runner movie, The Death Cure,
According to Deadline, Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises is putting the deal together and hopes to bring the screenwriting team behind The Fault in Our Stars on board. Redford will produce with Netflix backing the project and planning to stream it as well as making it available to theaters.
Haruf’s quiet and bittersweet final novel (he died in 2014) is set in the same small Colorado town as his Plainsong trilogy. It features two 70-year-olds who spend platonic nights together for company and conversation – until the judgments of the town and the displeasure of their families get in the way. Hollywood sees it through their own filter. Deadline reports, “the vision of the movie is similar in spirit to the Clint Eastwood-Meryl Streep-starrer Bridges of Madison County.”
Director Steven Spielberg has found his female lead, Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and The Dying Girl, Bates Motel). According to The Hollywood Reporter, she beat out Elle Fanning and Lola Kirke for the role of Art3mis and is currently in negotiations to finalize the deal. THR comments, “The role is major breakthrough for Cooke, a rising talent who’s been working mostly in the indie world,” Meanwhile, the search for a male lead continues.
Holds are still strong in many libraries, with some still topping a 3:1 ratio. At other libraries, all copies are in circulation.
This is the fall of the return of Star Wars, but a number of other tentpole movies as well as Oscar contenders are based on books, including Everest, Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, The Martian, Steve Jobs and, of course, Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.
Below are links to some of the major movie previews.
The movie adaptation of Bill Bryson’s A Walk In the Woods opens on Wednesday, starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson.
It is already gaining a following. The New York Times Magazine reports at the beginning of an interview with Bryson that “Park rangers along the Appalachian Trail are preparing for a huge influx of visitors, thanks to the release of A Walk in the Woods.”
Holds, on both the print and audiobook versions of Bryson’s memoir/travel tale, are growing at several libraries across the country as well, indicating that readers might be similarly inspired by the movie.
The NYT interview includes questions about bears, science, and politics, which Bryson answers in his trademark blend of clarity and wit.
We posted a story earlier, when the trailer for the movie was released, with details of the movie-tie in edition.
A Walk in the Woods (Movie Tie-In): Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, Bill Bryson
RH/Broadway, July 28, 2015
Trade Paperback; 9781101905494, 1101905492; $15.99 USD
Mass Market Pbk; 9781101970881, 110197088X; $7.99 USD
After The Hunger Games and Divergent where do you turn for your next franchise?
Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment will move from the dystopian future to the historical past, reports Deadline, with a potential trilogy about Julius Caesar, based on Conn Iggulden’s Emperor novels.
The series consists of five books.
The author recently began a new series about England dynastic wars. The second in the series was published this year, Wars of the Roses: Margaret of Anjou (Penguin/Putnam, 6/16/15).
Along with his brother Hal Iggulden, he also published the surprise best seller, The Dangerous Book for Boys (Collins, 2007). In the fall NBC bought the rights to a series based on the book to be produced by Bryan Cranston.
Legend starring Tom Hardy (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises) is set to hit theaters in early October, based on The Profession of Violence by John Pearson, a 1972 nonfiction account of the Kray twins who ran the organized crime scene of London’s East End during the 50s and 60s.
The two also owned a nightclub in the swanky West End and hobnobbed with celebrities and politicians, by all accounts living a glittering existence, enjoying the money they raked in through extortion, robbery, arson, assault, and murder. They were arrested and jailed in 1969 and sentenced to life in prison.
Brian Helgeland, a director (42, A Knight’s Tale) and screenwriter (Mystic River, L.A. Confidential) directs. Hardy plays both twins. The cast also includes Emily Browning and Paul Bettany. A movie-tie in edition is due on Sept. 8.
As we reported in 2013, the on-again/off-again movie adaptation has been bumpy, with everyone from Brad Pitt to Benedict Cumberbatch cited as possible stars but the project ended up shelved multiple times.
Now Deadline reports that the next actor to play Spider-Man, Tom Holland, will join the cast that already includes Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, and Charlie Hunnam. Flming has begun in Belfast and will continue in Colombia in the fall.
The book grew out of a New Yorker article by David Grann, (Doubleday, Feb, 2009), about British explorer, Percy Fawcett, who disappeared int the Amazon in 1935, during an attempt to prove his claim that a highly sophisticated city, which he called the City of Z, was hidden in the jungle. At the time it was published, the NYT critic Michiko Kakutani gave it a rare rave, “at once a biography, a detective story and a wonderfully vivid piece of travel writing that combines Bruce Chatwinesque powers of observation with a Waugh-like sense of the absurd,” adding, “it reads with all the pace and excitement of a movie thriller and all the verisimilitude and detail of firsthand reportage.” It ended up topping most of the year’s best books lists.
As originally planned, James Gray (We Own the Night) is directing and Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B is overseeing the project.
The setting of The Girl on the Train will be switched for the movie adaptation from the novel’s England to upstate New York, but the lead is still British.
Emily Blunt has recently completed negotiations for the starring role of Rachel. Deadline reports that Swedish actress Rebecca Ferguson is currently in negotiations to play Rachel’s former husband’s wife, Anna.
Ferguson recently made her name by co-starring in an action movie with Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Blunt has had a similar experience, co-starring with Cruise in last year’s Edge of Tomorrow. Both actresses will draw on a different set of skills for this tale of psychological suspense.
There’s still several roles to be cast, including that of Rachel’s ex-husband Tom. Entertainment Weekly makes their suggestions (Tom Cruise is not one of them).
Tate Taylor (The Help) is directing the movie based on the novel by Paula Hawkins that is still at the top of best seller lists after 31 weeks.
UPDATE, 6/24/15: The third female lead has been cast. American actress Haley Bennett is set to play Megan, the woman Rachel watches from the train each morning until she suddenly disappears, drawing Rachel in to the search for her.
Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds) is developing the project and Anne Hathaway has agreed to both star and produce. Hathaway’s shine should help give the proposed limited series some juice but the project is not yet attached to a network.
The novel relates the story of the kidnapping of the wife of an ambassador posted in the Middle East. PW ‘s review calls it “a well-crafted, fast-paced novel, packed with ample suspense to keep the pages turning.” The Seattle Times adds it is “brilliantly drawn and deeply troubling.” Steil, a journalist, is in fact also the wife of an ambassador.
Gordon told The Wrap “The Ambassador’s Wife is an incredible story that pulls you in immediately and resonates with all of us based on the images and news headlines that are pervasive in our lives today. We are so fortunate to have Anne starring in this timely, gripping, and compassionate drama. She is in a league all her own and we cannot think of anyone who can better portray Steil’s complex heroine.”