Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK Closer to Screen

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

9780060885595_f2155Casting is about to begin for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about a group of soldiers returning home from Iraq, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012), set to start production in mid-April.

Applauded for the use of 3D in his adaptation of Life of Pi, the press release promises even more for Billy Lynn, “The film will explore new methods, both technological and artistic, with the goal of further engaging the audience.  Lee … envisions creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”

A debut novel, it was the winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Awards. The Washington Post called it, “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel … a razor-sharp, darkly comic novel — a worthy neighbor to Catch-22 on the bookshelf of war fiction.”

JOBS Begins Shooting

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

We envy this headline from New York magazine’s Vulture blog, “Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie Begins Filming With Cast Full of People Who Haven’t Dropped Out Yet.”

Steve JobsYes, the movie based on Walter Isaacson’s biography has suffered through many changes. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were breathlessly announced as stars, only to drop out. It has also changed studios (from Sony to Universal) and directors (from David Fincher to Danny Boyle) and had to endure another film being released with a similar title, Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher.

Universal’s announcement this week that production has begun in San Francisco may raise skepticism, but the company insists that Michael Fassbender is set to play Jobs, with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as former Macintosh marketing head Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley. Boyle is still directing.

GOING CLEAR Doc. Stirs the Waters

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Called the “The [Sundance Film] festival’s most hotly anticipated documentary,” by USA TodayGoing Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is getting a chilly reception from the film’s subject after its Sunday premiere. Entertainment Weekly reports the Church is responding “aggressively,” through social media and ads in the New York Times.

Going ClearBased on the 2013 book by Lawrence Wright (RH/Knopf), who also is a producer on the film, it is set to air on HBO on March 16. The book itself is called a “a masterpiece of in-depth reporting packed to the brim with insane details and shocking revelations,” this week in Salon.

The film’s claims are getting attention in a wide range of news sources, from People magazine and USA Today to NPR’s Morning Edition.

Trailer: CHILD 44

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Before it was published in 2008, Ridley Scott bought the film rights to the heavily promoted, and well-received debut Cold War era thriller, Child 44, (Hachette/Grand Central), by Tom Rob Smith. A trailer was just released for the resulting film that will land in theaters on April 17

Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), it stars Tom Hardy as a demoted Russian secret police agent battling both his superiors and his unhappy wife, played by Noomi Rapace, as he tries to track down a serial killer who targets children.

The book was the first in a trilogy, followed by The Secret Speech (2009) and  Agent 6, (2012).

Tie-in (for other movie tie-ins, check our Edelweiss collection; for other upcoming book adaptations, check our listing):

Child 44
Tom Rob Smith
Hachette/Grand Central: March 31, 2015
Trade Paperback

Emma Watson is BEAUTY

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Disney’s live-action musical of Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle; Emma Watson, who began her movie career at age eleven playing Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, has signed on for the lead.

9780062290366_9a172It is set to be directed by  Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Watson in the adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, (S&S/MTV Books, 2012).

No news on whether she is still committed to star in Warner Brothers’ adaptation of Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper, July, 2014).

 

STILL ALICE, Oscar Bump

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Behind American Sniper, a second, quieter film did well at the box office this weekend. Also the recipient of good timing  Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, expanded nationwide this weekend and was able to capitalize on the movie’s star, Julianne Moore, becoming the front-runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar.

It’s a Cinderella story for both the book and the movie. Unable to get an agent for the book, Genova self-published it. Her guerrilla marketing was so successful that she then landed an agent and a mainstream publisher, Simon & Schuster. Released as an original trade paperback in 2009, it went on to become a best seller. Appropriately, as the author recently told the Boston Globe, for the film rights, the she took a chance on a “very small new production company,” because she felt, “they really understood the intent of the story.”

In libraries we checked, Still Alice is neck-and-neck in holds with American Sniper.

Genova, a neuroscientist, has published two novels since, both dealing with brain disorders. Left Neglected is about the results of a brain injury and Love Anthony, about autism. In her next novel, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; 4/7/14), she writes about a family dealing with Huntington’s Disease.

Tie-ins:

9781501107733_6d66bStill AliceLisa Genova
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
Trade Paperback

Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Books

Audio CD, &S Audio

 

AMERICAN SNIPER
Storms Box Office

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, was a big winner at the box office this weekend, giving the movie industry much-needed hope.The timing of the film’s wide release, immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, is considered a big factor in its success.

Another is the film’s patriotic appeal, although that is being question by several who object to the movie making a hero of a man who said in his book, “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”

The movie’s subject, the late Chris Kyle is getting renewed attention, including this story on NBC’s Nightly News:

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9780062238863_986cb  9780062376336_4cf40  9780062290793_498b1

As a result, his book, which has been a long-running best seller, now occupies three spots on the Amazon top 10, with another editions is at #64:

#1 —   Mass market ed. with original cover, (Harper, 2013)
#5 —   Trade pbk tie-in (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2014)
#8 —   Hardcover memorial edition (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2013)
#64 — Mass market. tie-in, (Harper, 2014)

Oscar Noms, Book Adaptations

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

 

Commenting on the slate of Oscar nominations announced yesterday, Entertertainment Weekly notes,

“Well, it’s certainly going to be one white, male Oscars.

With no people of color nominated in the acting categories, no stories about women included in the best picture race, and even Gone Girl novelist/screenwriter … Gillian Flynn omitted from the best adapted screenplay category, the Academy demonstrated its lack of diversity today in a big way.”

Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, was not nominated for either Best Picture or  Best Director. It only received nominations for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Neither is Unbroken nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The nominees in that category are:

American Sniper, Jason Hall — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper,  (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)

The Imitation Game, Graham Moore — Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)

Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson — Pynchon, Thomas, Inherent Vice, (Penguin Press, 2009)

The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)

Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

If you’re wondering about the latter, so are many others, including the film’s creators. The Academy decided that since writer/director Damian Chazelle released another short film on the same subject in 2013, also called Whiplash, the feature film technically falls into the category of being “based on material previously published or produced.”

The other major nominations for book adaptations are:

American Sniper, Best Picture, Actor (Bradley Cooper), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)

The Imitation Game, Best Picture, Director, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actress (Keira Knightley), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, Production Design– Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)

The Theory of Everything, Best Picture, Actor (Eddie Redmayne), Actress (Felicity Jones), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)

Still Alice, Best Actress (Julianne Moore) — Genova, Lisa, Still Alice, (S&S/Pocket Books, 2009)

Gone Girl, Best Actress (Rosamund Pike) — Flynn, Gillian, Gone Girl, (2012)

Wild, Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon), Supporting Actress (Laura Dern) — Strayed, Cheryl, Wild, (RH/Knopf 2012)

The following has a book tie-in, which was released around the same time as the movie:

Foxcatcher, Best Director, Actor (Steve Carell), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay — Mark Schultz & David Thomas, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, (Penguin/Dutton, 11/4/14).

Why is Foxcatcher getting a nomination for Original Screenplay? It’s a complicated story, but it seems that Schultz sent the unpublished book to the filmmakers. The movie they made was based on the story, with Schultz consulting, but not technically the book, which was published later.

For Best Animated Feature, three of the nominations are adapted from print sources:

Big Hero 6 — Seagle, Steven T. and Duncan Rouleau, comics (Marvel)

The Boxtrolls — Alan Snow, Here Be Monsters!(Atheneum, 2008, rereleased 8/5/14)

How to Train Your Dragon 2 — characters by Cressida Crowell

Later for IN THE HEART OF THE SEA

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Never underestimated the importance of the Oscars to a movie’s bottom line.

Just a few months after the release of the first trailer for Ron Howard’s adaptation of  Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea and the announcement of a March 13 release, comes a change in date to, you guessed it, one that falls right in the awards season sweet spot, Dec. 11, 2015.

As a result, the tie-ins are likely to be moved to a later release date.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Movie Tie-in)
Nathaniel Philbrick
Penguin, Trade Paperback Feb. 24, 2015
9780143126812, 0143126814

Audio: Feb. 24, 2015
Nathaniel Philbrick, Scott Brick
9781611763577, 1611763576

BIG SHORT, Big Stars

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

9780393338829Talk about your moneyball. The film version of Michael Lewis’s best seller about the financial meltdown, The Big Short, (Norton, 2011).has attracted some big stars, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling, will star according to Variety. Pitt is producing.

Pitt, of course, starred in an adaptation of another title by Lewis, Moneyball, (Norton, 2003).

Before that, the movie based on his 2006 book,  The Blind Side, (Norton), was also a hit.

Aaron Sorkin, who was wrote the screenplay for  Moneyball, bought the rights to Lewis most recent title, Flash Boys, (Norton, 2014) and it was reported to be on his “front burner” after his success with Newsroon, but hacked Sony emails indicate he has passed on the project.

New FIFTY SHADES Trailer

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Amid protests that the “R” rating for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is too mild, a new trailer debuted during the broadcast of the Golden Globes awards. This one offers a glimpse of a new “Grey,” Marcia Gay Harden as Christian’s mother.

The movie, of course, will be released on Valentine’s Day weekend.

NIGHT MANAGER Coming To AMC

Monday, January 12th, 2015

ibg.common.titledetail.imageloader-2AMC has landed the rights to a TV mini-series adaptation of The Night Manager, based on the 1993 novel by by John le Carré. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House), it will be directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World) and is set to begin shooting this spring.

The author’s first post-Cold War novel, it was a best seller, but is no longer in print and is not on recent critics’s lists of the author’s best works:

John le Carré Starter Kit – Dwight Garner, NY Times

Which Is the Best John le Carré Novel?  David Denby, The New Yorker

6 Classic le Carré Novels to Read After A Most Wanted Man, New York magazine

Top 10 John le Carré novelsTelegraph

Shooting has wrapped on a movie adaptation of another le Carre novel, Our Kind of Traitor, (Penguin/Viking, 2010), starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis, directed by Susanna White. A U.S. release date has not been announced.

Zamperini A Best Seller Times Four

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

9780062368331_d7f56

The film adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller Unbroken has served to keep that book on the NYT Best Seller List in hardcover for 189 weeks. In addition, the tie-in is #1 on the paperback list after 23 weeks and YA version is #8 on that list after 8 weeks.

Now a new title joins the pack, Zamperini’s own, which he finished just before his death at 97 last year. Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini, David Rensin, (HarperCollins/Dey Street Books; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample) debuts on the new hardcover nonfiction list at #9.

Reviewing it when it came out in November, USA Today warned that other than shedding “more light on the reality of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), which afflicted Zamperini,” it doesn’t go much beyond Hillenbrand’s book. It does, however, exude “the nothing-to-lose honesty of a nonagenarian whose to-hell-and-back history results in a spiritual self-satisfaction.”

Holds are light in most libraries.

Geniuses Hit the Best Seller Lists

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

9780691164724_d3ecc 9780553109535_bd987

Unbroken isn’t the only movie causing a rise in sales for related books.

Debuting on this week’s NYT paperback nonfiction list at #10 is Alan Turing: The Enigma, by Andrew Hodges, (Princeton U.P.), the basis for The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing.

9781846883477_45c3aIt joins Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time (RH/Bantam), at #5 after six weeks, returning to the lists after its original publication in 1988 as a result of the movie, The Theory of Everything, which is actually based on the memoir by Hawking’s wife Jane from 2007, now re-eeleased as a tie-in, Travelling to Infinity: The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything by Jane Hawking, (Alma Books, November 7, 2014). NOTE: Thanks to Kate Hull for the update on the tie-in.

From Superhero to Caregiver

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Actor Paul Rudd will appear this summer as the diminutive superhero, Ant-Man.

9781616200398_151f4He’s also set to star, reports Variety, in an adaptation of a novel that librarians embraced, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (Workman/Algonquin; Highbridge Audio; Thorndike Large Print).

Shooting is scheduled to begin this month.