Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

To Fox Animation

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

9781616205676_26fc3Published in July, the middle-grade novel, The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Workman/Algonquin Young Readers) received rapturous reviews, including stars from KirkusPublishers WeeklySchool Library Journal and Booklist plus the NYT Sunday Review, which wrote, “Kelly Barnhill’s wonderful fourth novel … educates about oppression, blind allegiance and challenging the status quo while immersing the reader in an exhilarating story full of magical creatures and derring-do.” It also has a large number of “Much Love” ratings from booksellers and librarians on Edelweiss.

Word has made it to Hollywood. Fox Animation has picked up the movie rights. Deadline reports, it  “is expected to be a hybrid live-action/animation.”

The script will be written by Marc Haimes, co-wrote the script for the well-received adaptation, Kubo and the Two Strings.

GUERNSEY Gets Another Lead

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

9780385340991 Downton Abbey favorite Lily James is set to star as Juliet Ashton in the film adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer (PR/Dial, 2008), reports Deadline Hollywood.

Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Love in the Time of Cholera) will direct the film, re-titled Guernsey.

Don’t  make plans for a popcorn themed book club meeting just yet. This is at least the third set of actors/directors associated with the somewhat troubled adaptation.

In 2013 the BBC reported that a project helmed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Kate Winslet had been tabled with Simon Curits taking over direction and a new, unnamed, actress replacing Winslet.

As we noted in February, the project has had several big names attached with little outcome. Rosamund Pike was reportedly in talks to star at the start of the year.

Filming for this latest attempt has yet to begin. The project currently has a 2018 completion date according to IMDb.

Hitting Screens, Week of
October 24, 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016

mv5bmtuznte2ntkzmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdazotuymdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Only one book related film comes out this week, but it is a big one, the adaptation of Dan Brown’s Inferno.

Ron Howard and Tom Hanks both return to the film series with Howard directing and Hanks starring once more as Robert Langdon. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything, Rogue One), Irrfan Khan (Jurassic World, Life of Pi), Omar Sy (The Intouchables), and Ben Foster (Lone Survivor) also star.

Thus far reviews are not great. The Guardian calls it “horrifically dull” and “fantastically boring” and adds the “story and character … are as flat as old, cold pancakes.”

Variety agrees, writing “the film more or less goes through the popcorn motions, but with less technical finesse (and even less mischievous irony) than one might expect from the Howard imprint.”

The Wrap says “Absurdity outweighs the thrills in Ron Howard‘s lifeless three-quel, a movie that’s not at all good — but never so bad as to be entertaining.”

In a pan of both book and film, The Telegraph writes “Ron Howard and Tom Hanks do perfect justice to Dan Brown’s book – tragically.”

9781101974117_345a0There are multiple tie-ins:

Inferno (Movie Tie-in Edition), Dan Brown
Trade Paperback, (PRH/Anchor)
Mass Market, (PRH/Anchor)
Audio CD (PRH/Random House Audio)
Inferno (Movie Tie-in edition en Espanyol), (PRH/ Vintage Espanyol)

As we have previously posted, Brown’s next Robert Langdon book will be Origin (PRH/Doubleday; Sep 26, 2017; ISBN 9780385514231), the fifth in the series.

The movie premieres on October 28, 2016.

Gets Greenlight

Friday, October 21st, 2016

9780385679053_355a8In 2013 we wrote that the production company behind The Hunger Games had bought film rights to the satiric debut novel Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (RH/Doubleday).

The Hollywood trades are now reporting that Warner Bros has given the greenlight to the film with John M Chu (Now You See Me 2) to direct. Deadline Hollywood says that the production team plans to have “a fully Asian cast … a first for a Hollywood studio.”

The first book in a trilogy, New York Times reviewer Janet Maslin called it a “a dizzily shopaholic comedy of crass manners,” that “offers refreshing nouveau voyeurism to readers who long ago burned out on American and English aspirational fantasies.”

9780804172066_c16b7The second book is China Rich Girlfriend (RH/Doubleday, 2015). The third, Rich People Problems, is part of a new two-book deal Kwan signed with Doubleday, reports Entertainment Weekly, and is expected in 2017.

Kwan also told Entertainment Weekly that he loves the screenplay for Crazy Rich Asians, saying “I’m overjoyed by how they adapted the book. It was making me laugh so much I almost spat out my tea several times.”

WOLVERINE, The Golden Years

Friday, October 21st, 2016

After several variations on the superhero genre, comes the latest, the grim and aging superhero.

The final in the Wolverine X-Men spinoff movies, Logan arrives on March 3rd. Entertainment Weekly unpacks 5 takeaways from the brief trailer.

9781302904630_9cee2Following the release of the trailer yesterday, a collection of the comics the film is based on by Mark Millar soared up Amazon’s sales rankings. Originally released in 2010, it is being reissued next year.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven, (Hachette/Marvel; reissue of 2010, pub date, 2/14/17)

Vol. 2 Sneak Peek

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Marvel’s quirky 2014 superhero film, Guardians of the Galaxy, was such a surprise hit that it required a sequel so fans can be hooked on even more feelings.

The first look sneak peek debuted today:

It lit up the Internet with commentary.

E News says the second in the series “picks up two months after 2014’s original Guardians chronicled their mission to stop an intergalactic force from destroying the universe.” CinemaBlend expands on that, saying the plot features “Peter Quill a.k.a. Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) reunited with his father … [the] script will hit on important subjects regarding family, where you come from, and how that affects who you are.”

Director James Gunn makes it clear that the 90 seconds dropped today is just the start, tweeting, “To make it clear: the sneak peek just released is NOT a teaser-for-the-trailer; it’s a totally separate piece from the eventual trailer(s).”

mv5bmtu5ntgxmzq1of5bml5banbnxkftztgwnja3mtczmdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The new movie poster also drew comments for its style, “it’s downright dripping in the kind of confident, throwback attitude audiences expect” says ScreenRant.

Expect vol. 2 to also be a moneymaker. Says Forbes, “anyone betting against Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 being one of the summer’s very biggest hits is playing a fool’s game.”

Marvel is publishing tie-ins, including the following (for a full list see our catalog of current and upcoming tie-ins).

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Prelude, Marvel Comics, Ages 9 And Up, Grades 4 to 17 (Hachette/Marvel; April 18, 2017).

MARVEL’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Deluxe Junior Novel, Marvel , Ages 8 to 12, Grades 3 to 7, (Hachette/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; April 4, 2017)

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic Outlaws, Nick Jones,  Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5 (PRH/DK; April 4, 2017)

9780785198345_38148The comics series has been through many iterations and different teams of Guardians over the last 40 years. The movies are based on the 2008 series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Screenwriter Nicole Perlman, interviewed on Marvel’s Web site, recounted how, as part of  Marvel Studios writer’s program, she picked the obscure series to develop because it was “more like a space opera, and a very funny, sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek version of this kind of genre.” As a result, she became the first woman to receive screenwriting credit for a Marvel movie.

A new collection of Abnett/Lanning series will be published in May. In addition, DK is publishing a history of the comics from their introduction in 1969:

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy: The Ultimate Guide to the Cosmic OutlawsNick Jones, Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5, (PRH/DK) — a history of the comics series.

The Boss Baby Will See You Now

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Boss BabySomeone had amazing foresight when they decided to hire Alec Baldwin to voice the Baby in DreamWorks Animation’s adaptation of Marla Frazee’s Boss Baby (S&S/Beach Lane, 2010).

The trailer has just been released and, naturally, allusions are being made to the host of The Apprentice.

Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), it also features the voices of Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow as the Baby’s parents. It is set for release well after the election, on March 31.

The movie is described as “inspired” by Frazee’s picture book and adds several story lines. The tie-in, coming in February, is a novelization of the movie script:

The Boss Baby Junior Novelization
Tracey West
S&S/ Simon Spotlight
February 14, 2017
Hardcover and trade paperback

Hitting Screens, Week of October 17, 2016

Monday, October 17th, 2016

9780399593260_eb228Three films open this coming weekend, including Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise, in the second adaptation of Lee Child’s Reacher series.

The first Reacher film, One Shot, was not well reviewed, and many considered Cruise mis-cast, but it did well enough at the box office to keep the series going.

Tie-in: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Movie Tie-in Edition), Lee Child (PRH/Bantam; RH Audio/BOT; also in Mass Market; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432838_3d31bActor Ewan McGregor makes his directorial debut with an adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1997 novel, American Pastoral. McGregor also stars along with Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans and Valorie Curry. After a limited release this weekend, it will open in more theaters on Oct. 28,

IndieWire‘s critical roundup reports “Critics have described the film as yet another ill-advised Roth adaptation and more proof that the writer’s work doesn’t translate well to the screen, save for James Schamus’ Indignation released earlier this year.”

But Deadline Hollywood is more positive saying, the film is “unquestionably is awards bait –a remarkable directorial debut for Scottish-born McGregor, who brings a unique outsider’s view to an especially turbulent time in America. Fanning will surprise fans with a performance that is different than anything we have seen from her before. Having gotten an early look at the film I can attest it is sure to spark talk.”

Tie-in: American Pastoral (MTI): American Trilogy (1), Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage; OverDrive Sample).

mv5bmtg2nti5mtmwnl5bml5banbnxkftztgwodm5mdy1ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_The Handmaiden an adaptation of the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, transports the British Victorian setting to 1930s Korea.

It stars Ha Jung-woo, Kim Min-hee, Jo Jin-woong and Kim Tae-ri and is directed by Park Chan-wook.

Variety says it is “clever, heady and sensually lavish to a fault … Boasting more tangled plots and bodies than an octopus has tentacles, South Korean auteur Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is a bodice-ripper about a pickpocket who poses as a maid to swindle a sequestered heiress. His first Korean-language fiction feature since 2009’s Thirst, it’s sybaritic, cruel and luridly mesmerizing.”

A tie-in has not been released.

This is the second adaptation of the novel. The first was a 2005 BBC production. It has also been produced as a stage play.

9781501164675_a1626Two TV series begin this week as well, starting with Chance, a new Hulu series based on Kem Nunn’s novel of the same title.

It has some powerhouse names attached says Slashfilm: Hugh Laurie stars. Lenny Abrahamson (Room) is the executive producer and directed some episodes. Nunn and Alexandra Cunningham (Desperate Housewives) created the series.

Laurie plays Dr. Eldon Chance, a San Francisco-based forensic neuropsychiatrist, who, says Slashfilm “ventures outside of his area of expertise with a stolen identity plot, corrupt police, and a mysterious patient (Gretchen Mol).”

CNN says the show “owes a spiritual debt to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo” and that it is “mildly watchable and tense, but well short of riveting.”

Ethan Suplee (The Wolf of Wall Street), Clarke Peters (Treme), Paul Adelstein (Intolerable Cruelty), and Greta Lee (Homeless Heidi from High Maintenance) co-star.

Hulu has ordered two seasons. USA Today reports the first season, running 10 episodes, is based on the novel. Nunn told the paper, “The book has a lot of good jumping-off places in it … It’s a voyage of discovery.”

A tie-in came out last week: Chance MTI, Kem Nunn (S&S/Scribner; Dreamscape Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The series premieres on Oct. 19.

mv5bmtu3mdkznzm5nf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmzeyntgymdi-_v1_Airing on Oct. 22nd is Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. The BBC America series stars Elijah Wood and Samuel Barnett and follows the pair as they investigate supernatural cases.

It is an adaptation of Douglas Adams’s 1987 humorous detective novel of the same name.

The series creator and screenwriter Max Landis told Entertainment Weekly that “this show is about someone who doesn’t really know what he’s doing.” Showrunner Robert Cooper said “It’s a combination of Supernatural, Sherlock, and Doctor Who. We’re like, Super-Sher-Who.”

There are several connected titles available, but the nearest to a tie-in is: Dirk Gently’s Big Holistic Graphic Novel, Chris Ryall, Arvind Ethan David, Tony Akins, and Ilias Kyriazis (IDW).


Monday, October 17th, 2016

mv5bmjqxotkxoduyn15bml5banbnxkftztgwntu3ntm3ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Originally scheduled for release in mid-January, the film adaptation Hidden Figures will arrive in theaters earlier, opening in limited release on Christmas Day indicating the producers think it has a shot at the Oscars.

As we earlier noted, the film stars Taraji P. Henson (whose newly-released memoir, Around the Way Girl, S&S/Atria, is making Hollywood news), Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a group of African American women who worked at NASA in Langley, Virginia on the mission that sent John Glenn into space in 1962. Also in the cast are Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell.

9780062363596_b2357Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), hit the NYT Nonfiction list at #7 in September with the paper featuring the author in  “The Story Behind This Week’s Best Sellers,” quoting Shetterly on her experience growing up: “I knew so many African-Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did.”

The film was the subject of a clever bit of creative marketing during the recent Toronto International Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter, where a special concert with “Pharrell Williams and other performing artists involved with the movie’s soundtrack” accompanied a screening of “exclusive footage” and a Q&A session with the high powered stars.

The book will be released in paperback in December. Two young readers editions, for ages 8 to 12,  are also scheduled, in hardcover and paperback.


Friday, October 14th, 2016

jmcoetzee_waitingforthebarbariansIn what might be some consolation for not making it to the Booker shortlist this year, J.M. Coetzee’s award-winning novel, Waiting For The Barbarians (PRH/Penguin) is being adapted as a feature film.

Coetzee won the Booker Prize in 1983 for Life & Times of Michael K and in 1999 for Disgrace. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003. This year,  The Schooldays of Jesus (PRH/Viking; Feb. 2017) was on the longlist, but did not make the cut to the shortlist.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Coetzee adapted his novel for the film. Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) will star and Oscar nominated director Ciro Guerra, who earned praise for Embrace of the Serpent, will helm the project says the trade source.

In their review of the book, the NYT wrote “Mr. Coetzee tells the story of an imaginary Empire, set in an unspecified place and time, yet recognizable as a ‘universalized’ version of South Africa. This allows Mr. Coetzee some esthetic distance from his subject, for even while remaining locked with the history of his moment, he isn’t completely at the mercy of its local chaos and ugliness. The result is a realistic fable, at once stark, exciting and economical.”

NPR brought new focus on the novel in 2014 when they named it “This Week’s Must Read” after the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its report about the “brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA after Sept 11.”

ROGUE One, Final Trailer

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

The trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One debuted today on CBS This Morning.

9780345511492_69ed9The two and a half minute trailer is examined for clues to the story line by The Verge noting, “Disney has been careful to downplay its expectations for Rogue One. It’s the first major film set outside of the traditional saga, and has been characterized as ‘an experiment’ by the company’s CEO, Bob Iger.”

There are several tie-ins, of course but, following the precedent set by The Force Awakens, the official novelizations for Rogue One will not be released until after the film premieres on Dec. 16, 2016, to avoid spoilers.

Arriving ahead of the movie is a prequel, the Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel, (PRH/Del Rey, Nov. 15, 2016) written by James Luceno, the author of a number of earlier Star Wars titles.

See our downloadable list here. Our full list of upcoming tie-ins here.

Hitting Screens,
Week of Oct 10, 2016

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Despite fears about Hurricane Matthew closing many theaters, Girl on the Train rolled to its expected major box office opening over the weekend. On the other hand, The Birth of a Nation, about a slave uprising, considered a major Oscar contender, did not do as well as expected.

mv5bmjiyoty0mjcxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxmte5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Next week, two film adaptations open, one in theaters and the other on TV, and a new BBC series begins on PBS Masterpiece.

Set in Montana and opening in limited release on Oct. 14 is Certain Women, which the Toronto Film Festival site describes as “a tripartite portrait of striving, independent women whose lives intersect in suggestive and powerful ways.”

It is getting strong reviews. Calling the director among the “great American filmmakers,” Variety said few “can do quite as much with quiet as Kelly Reichardt. Superficially empty soundscapes are layered so intricately with the rustle of nature, the brooding of weather and the breathing of preoccupied people that her films come to seem positively noisy to a sympathetic ear. So it is in the marvelous Certain Women, where the storytelling has a similarly latent impact.”

It stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Lily Gladstone and is based on short stories from Maile Meloy’s collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (PRH/Riverhead, 2009), specifically, says Variety “Tome,” “Native Sandstone” and “Travis B.”

A tie-in edition has not been released.

mv5bnzq3zjm1ntctognjzc00mgywltkwodatnwu3ndmyytywotnixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntezmzqznzq-_v1_sy1000_cr0010371000_al_Coming to Masterpiece, The Durrells in Corfu. It is a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels says PBS.

It airs Sundays, October 16th through November 20th and stars Keeley Hawes from Upstairs Downstairs “as the an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21.”

A hit across the pond, ITV reports the show will run in the UK for its second season.

There is a tie-in:
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell (PRH/Penguin).

mv5bmtcznzk2mzawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwntkxmtu5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_Also airing on TV is The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, based on the Charlaine Harris character of a crime-solving librarian. The series began in 2007 with Real Murders, the most recent is the 2016 title All the Little Liars.

Hallmark has previously aired episodes based on the first three novels in the series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse.

The newest adapts the fourth novel, The Julius House. All star Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure.

New tie-ins have not been issued.


PATRIOTS DAY, First Trailer

Friday, October 7th, 2016

mv5bodyxmdc0ntg2nl5bml5banbnxkftztgwnjy0ndyzote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_The film Patriots Day deals with a sensitive subject, the terrorist bombing during the 2013 Boston marathon.

The movie is open to objections that it exploits painful events relatively soon after they took place. As a result, the NYT reports CBS films is to rolling out the trailer with care. Just released today, it is muted, focusing on the collective strength that the Boston police force and the city showed in the face of the bombing rather than the event itself.

9781611685596_f90c1Based on the nonfiction title, Boston Strong: A City’s Triumph over Tragedy by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge (UP New England/ForeEdge), it follows the events of the bombing and the citywide manhunt to find the terrorists.

Directed by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Lone Survivor) it stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and Michelle Monaghan. The film will open in limited release on December 21, 2016 (qualifying it for the 2017 Oscar race) with a wide release on January 13, 2017.


Get Your Game Face On

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

mv5bmtk4mdgzmdk2nv5bml5banbnxkftztgwmdqzntqwmdi-_v1_sy1000_cr006421000_al_In a twist on the movie trailer, Dan Brown, Google, and Sony Entertainment have partnered to create a puzzle game for fans of Robert Langdon.

USA Today reports the three-week run of games, called Inferno Journey Through Hell, is designed to increase interest in the forthcoming film, Inferno, opening October 28.

Brown told the paper that “It’s always been of interest to me to create a treasure hunt online where people who don’t have the opportunity to travel can take the quest virtually and interact with real works of art and locations and have the experience from their living room or office.”

It is also a giant product placement for Google as the clues needed to solve the puzzles are “hidden in various Google products such as Google Maps, Gmail, Google Search and Google Play as well as on social-media platforms,” reports USA Today.  Players can win weekly prizes including a trip to Florence, Venice, Rome and Milan.

Brown serves as an executive producer for the film and says that director Ron Howard and lead actor Tom Hanks “very generously pretend I’m relevant, but once the screenplay’s done, my part in the movie is complete and I can just watch what really becomes a different telling of my story.”

Traditional forms of marketing are also being unleashed, including a series of trailers. The latest below:

And several tie-ins:

9781101974117_345a0Inferno (Movie Tie-in Edition), Dan Brown

Trade Paperback, (PRH/Anchor)
Mass Market, (PRH/Anchor)
Audio CD (PRH/Random House Audio)
Inferno (Movie Tie-in edition en Espanol), (PRH/ Vintage Espanol)



Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

9780060839789_2a833An all-star cast is set to bring one of Simon Winchester’s most beloved nonfiction accounts to the the screen, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (HC/Harper Perennial, 1998; OverDrive Sample).

Mel Gibson and Sean Penn will star in the film about James Murray, the 19th century professor who compiled the OED.

Deadline Hollywood reports that Gibson will play Murray and that the project is a passion of his. He has been working on getting the adaptation made for “nearly two decades.” Penn will play Dr. W.C. Minor, the “madman” who contributed thousands of entries to the dictionary.

Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four) is set to join the cast and Entertainment Weekly reports that Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) will also feature in the film.

This is another turn in what may count as a comeback for Gibson. He is “fresh off the back of Venice Film Festival hit Hacksaw Ridge, a World War II drama” says Deadline, and he got strong reviews for this year’s Blood Father.

A premiere date has not been announced.