Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of July 25

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two adaptations open this week, one based on a 2008 Philip Roth novel and the other on a 2012 YA novel by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve.

Nerve, opening nationwide on July 27, sports the first Pokémon Go  promotional tie-in. Producer Lionsgate is sponsoring PokéStop locations outside movie theaters in several U.S. cities.

The fast-paced YA SF thriller is about an online, voyeuristic, game of truth or dare, which according to Kirkus, reflects themes from another book Lionsgate successfully adapted,  The Hunger Games. Nerve stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis.

A tie-in came out a week ago, Nerve Movie Tie-In, Jeanne Ryan (PRH/Speak; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).

9780525432845_5e494Indignation, adapted from Philip Roth’s 2008 novel, starring Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, and Tracy Letts, opens on July 29 in NYC and LA.

It premiered at Sundance this year to mixed reviews. The Hollywood Reporter says it is “A warmly satisfying screen translation of a work by an author who has rarely been served well on film” and the NYT listed Gadon as one of their “Breakthrough Performances.” The Guardian, however, writes, “For a first-time feature, Indignation is undoubtedly accomplished, with handsome production values, stellar performances, and [a] … tour-de-force scene that bodes of great things to come from the budding film-maker. Unfortunately, on the whole, Schamus’ debut feels too self-serious to fully engage.”

A tie-in comes out next week, Indignation, Philip Roth (PRH/Vintage).


Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Making its debut at this week’s Comic-Con in San Diego, is a new, longer trailer for  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on a spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise.

The film, starring Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, as well as Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston. is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films. It is scheduled to release on November 18, 2016.

The screenplay, written by Rowling, will be released as a book the day after the movie debuts, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).

New Trailer

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

A new, longer trailer for the film adaptation of The Girl on the Train reminds fans that it will arrive in theaters on October 7th.

Vanity Fair sees similarities to another adaptation of a book with “Girl” in the title.

Tie-ins in trade paperback, mass market (PRH/Riverhead) and audio (Penguin Audio) are set for release on August 23. A trade paperback reprint was released last week.


Thursday, July 21st, 2016

MV5BMjEyOTI3NDQwN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjExOTIwODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,647,1000_AL_According to Variety, the Divergent series is likely to move to the small screen as disappointing box office is leading the studio Lionsgate to consider skipping the big screen ending.

Instead the plan appears to be the release of a made-for-TV movie, using it to launch a spin-off series.

Although nothing has been finalized or confirmed, according to Variety it is likely that Ascendant will not open in June 2017 as planned and it remains unclear “if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the Ascendant television movie.”

The first two films did well at the box office but the third film sank, leading to the possible change of plans. Deadline states there is a “decreasing interest in the property from its core audience at the box office each year.”

THE KICKS Series Adaptation

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Girls’ soccer gets the spotlight from Amazon Studios, which just announced the launch of a new series based on the middle grade novls by U.S. Women’s National Team star player Alex Morgan. Like the books, the series is titled The Kicks. The pilot, which was released last year as part of Amazon’s kids pilot season, is still available on Amazon. All nine live-action episodes will be avail on Aug. 26 for Prime members.

Morgan introduces the series in the trailer:

Proclaims lead character, Devin Burke, played by  newcomer Sixx Orange, “I am NOT a princess, I am a soccer BEAST!”

No tie-ins are listed. but the trade paperback reprints now carry bursts reading “Now an Amazon Original Series!”

9781442485716_0c1fc  9781442485761_eb79f  9781442485822_aa70a

9781481450966_86c70  9781481451017_56591  9781481451055_55a63


Monday, July 18th, 2016

MV5BOTAzODEzNDAzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDU1MTgzNzE@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_AL_ In a coup of galactic proportions, the cable network Starz acquired the TV rights to the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will premiere the movie beginning September 10, reports Deadline Hollywood.

The next Star Wars film, a stand-alone spin-off, Rogue One, debuts in theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.

9780345511492_69ed9Following the precedent set by The Force Awakens, the official novelizations for Rogue One will not be released until at least a month after the film premieres. Edelweiss currently lists adult and junior novelizations.

Releasing in November is a prequel to Rogue One, 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. At the time of the movie, several companion books as well as childrens titles will be released, see our list of tie-ins to upcoming movies.

Even more Stars Wars related titles are being released, as outlined by

A special, not yet public clip featured at the just-concluded “Star Wars Celebration” fan conference held in London, confirms that Darth Vader is in the film, reports Deadline Hollywood, (not a big surprise, since he is listed in the credits). Below is the recently released “Celebration” trailer (sans Vadar).

It follows the first teaser trailer, released in April:

If, like us, the long-running and multiple story lines make your heads spin, B&N offers a guide to what to read (or suggest) while waiting for Rogue One to appear.


Monday, July 18th, 2016

9781400052172_1e7daRose Byrne (Damages) will play Rebecca Skloot, starring opposite Oprah Winfrey in HBO Films production of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, reports Deadline Hollywood.

As we noted earlier,  Oprah will play Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter and the character through whom the story is told.

Skloot is the author of the bestselling nonfiction account and her character in the book forms what Deadline calls “a close bond” with the character Oprah plays.

George C. Wolfe (Angels In America) wrote the adaptation and will direct, also reports Deadline. With these critical roles filled, the film is moving closer to full production.

Hitting Screens, Week of July 18

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The major theatrical release this week is the family movie Ice Age: Collision Course, opening Friday July 22. The fifth in the series, it features all the usual characters, plus a few more, as they try to save the world from an asteroid collision (and do battle at the box office with The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory).

There’s a wide range of tie-ins which we wrote about in Titles to Know for the week of June 6.

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Key titles include Ice Age: Collision Course: The Junior Novel, J.E. Bright (S&S/little bee books), the storybook Volcano to the Rescue!, Mike Teitelbaum (S&S/little bee books) and two leveled readers by Suzy Capozzi: Scrat’s Space Adventure (S&S/little bee books; also in paperback) and Welcome to Geotopia (S&S/little bee books; also in paperback).

MV5BMTg4MDkzNDMxMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTE3ODg4ODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_Also coming is Into the Forrest, an adaptation of Jean Hegland’s 1996 novel about two sisters trying to survive after a massive power outage. When it premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival Variety called it “heartfelt but under-realized,” and did not think much of its commercial prospects. It did not get picked up for a major release. Instead it premieres on DirectTV on June 23 (and in NY/LA theaters) before opening in wider release at the end of the month.

No tie-in for this one.


Monday, July 18th, 2016

9780375869020_1035eTony-winning Daveed Diggs, who earned the coveted statue for his origination of the roles of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton, is heading to the Stephen Chbosky film Wonder, based on the long-running middle-grade bestseller by R.J. Palacio, Wonder (RH/ Knopf Young Readers, 2012).

The critically acclaimed novel is about a 10 year-old boy with facial abnormalities who has been homeschooled and what happens when he enters a public school. Diggs will play Mr. Browne, says Deadline Hollywood, “an English teacher at the school whose approach to literature is to teach what it means to be human.”

He will star alongside Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts.

The novel is still on the NYT bestseller list, currently #3 on the Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover list.


Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The new trailer for the adaptation of Patrick Ness’s YA novel A Monster Calls is drawing kudos from a wide range of publications from Gizmodo to the Rolling Stone.

Vanity Fair comments that the trailer gives hope that the movie will live up to the book’s heart-wrenching story and beautiful illustrations.

The movie  debuts on October 21st.

Candlewick is releasing two tie-ins, including a hardcover “Special Collector’s Edition” that, in addition to the original illustrated YA novel, includes new essays by Ness, who worked on the screenplay, previously unpublished early sketches by illustrator Jim Kay and interviews with the director, cast, and crew.

9780763692155_4718c  9780763692384_a53fb

A Monster Calls: Special Collectors’ Edition (Movie Tie-in): Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness, Jim Kay, (Candlewick, October 4, 2016)

A Monster Calls: A Novel (Movie Tie-in): Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd, Patrick Ness, Jim Kay (Candlewick, August 2, 2016, Trade Paperback)

Hitting Screens, Week of July 11

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

MV5BODEwM2EzOTgtNGRkNi00NTVjLTg5N2EtOWI1OWYyNDVhMTI4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTQzOTc3MTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_9780385334921_4d720Just nine days before it was scheduled to debut in theaters, the adaptation of Tulip Fever has been moved to Feb. 2017.

Variety reports that  no explanation was offered as to why the film was pushed back, even though it was “thought to be a potential awards contender.” Playlist writes that the move signals a lack of faith in the final product.

It is based on the novel by Deborah Moggach, who also wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) wrote the screenplay and the film stars Alicia Vikander, Zach Galifianakis, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz. A tie-in has not yet been issued, although the paperback edition is headlined with “Now a Major Motion Picture.”

Here is the preview:

9780316077521_505ffDefinitely opening this week is The Infiltrator, recounting the true crime story of the take down of one of the world’s most notorious drug kingpins.

Playing an undercover agent, Bryan Cranston moves from cooking drugs on the small screen in his hit show Breaking Bad, to trying to shut down their production on the big screen. He is joined by John Leguizamo and Diane Kruger.

Reviews are strong thus far. Variety says, “Bryan Cranston gets a film role worthy of his ability to break bad in a tensely exciting true-life drama.”

The Wrap calls it “addictive,” and while The Hollywood Reporter has some issues with the “boilerplate crime drama,” it praises “Cranston’s ace performance.”

The film opens July 13. The tie-in came out on June 21, The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel, Robert Mazur (Hachette/Back Bay).

MV5BNzAzODQ1NTk4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIwOTIwODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_The adaptation of the hit 1984 movie Ghostbusters opens July 15, featuring the all-female cast of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. The remake has been dogged by haters on the internet, who don’t want to see the classic tampered with. An early review from Variety duns the movie for being an overly reverent remake.

There’s a range of tie-in titles, listed in the June 13th Titles to Know column. Already on shelves are two novelizations, a version written for ages 8-12, Ghostbusters Movie Novelization, Stacia Deutsch (S&S/Simon Spotlight), and the full novelization, issued by a different publisher, Ghostbusters, Nancy Holder (Macmillan/Tor; OverDrive Sample).

Additional tie-ins include the Ghostbuster’s Handbook, Daphne Pendergrass (S&S/Simon Spotlight) and two leveled readers Proud to Be a Ghostbuster (S&S/Simon Spotlight; OverDrive Sample; also in pbk.) and Who You Gonna Call? (S&S/Simon Spotlight; OverDrive Sample; also in pbk.) both by David Lewman.

See our Tie-ins catalog for full details.

Nine-Year-Old’s Book Deal May Lead to Movies/TV

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Back when she was eight years old, Hilde Lysiak, founder and publisher of The Orange Street News got major media attention, featured on the Today Show.

Lysiak went on to scoop older reporters on a murder case, bringing controversy over whether a child should be involved in such activities, even more national media coverage, and a 2016 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award from the Tribeca Film Festival.

Now, the news that she has a deal to write four books for Scholastic and has brought interest in film and TV rights to her story.

The first in the book series, titled Hilde Cracks the Case, will be published in 2017, under Scholastic’s early chapter books imprint, Branches.


Hitting Screens, Week of July 4, 2016

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

Coming off the long holiday weekend, the media is wondering what went wrong at the box office for Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed The BFG., based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Opening this week is a childrens movie that is the opposite of The BFG, panned by critics, but expected to do very well.

MV5BMjIzMzA1OTkzNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODE3MjM4NzE@._V1_Secret Life of Pets opens July 8. The animated film follows the adventures of pets when no owners are watching. It stars the voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart.

Reviews are generally flat for the comic romp created by the same team that made “the ultra-successful Despicable Me and Minions movies.”  The Guardian gives it 3 out of 5 stars and calls it “silly but funny.” Indiewire gives it a B-, saying “It may be technically impeccable, but it’s something less than a feeling.” The reviewer for Den of Geek says, “I’m sure it’ll make lots and lots of money … I’m less sure that lots and lots of people will love it.”

It is not based on a book but there are tie-ins, as we reported in the May 30 Titles to Know.

MV5BMjM4NDIxNzI5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTg4NTY5NzE@._V1_SX214_AL_The other wide-release film this week is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. The raucous and bawdy comedy came out first as a memoir, written by brothers Mike and Dave Stangle with the intent of using it as a bid to get a movie contract.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s review is damning, but it is expected to be a blockbuster, starring as it does Zac Efron and Adam DeVine opposite Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. A tie-in came out on June 21.

MV5BMTEzNTQ2OTYxMjheQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDc0OTkzNzgx._V1_Already disappointing horror fans is the film version of Stephen King’s Cell. Even though King adapted his own novel, working on the screenplay with Adam Alleca (The Last House on the Left), reviews are not good.

Horrorfreak News says it is an “absolute disaster … A disappointment and an embarrassment – for all those involved … With all of the mega-talent surrounding this production, I have to ask, “Seriously, what happened here?’”

BloodyDisgusting says “Given the absurdity of the premise, you’d think Cell would be an entertaining ride. It’s not. It’s gratuitously grim and gloomy, with no real message to drive this misery home … The story packs absolutely no punch and the solid stable of actors look bored.”

The film was released on June 10th on VOD and opens, without much promotion, in a limited run of theaters on July 8. A tie-in came out last week.

MV5BMjE0MjYyMjQ4OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjk5ODI2ODE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Our Little Sister, a Japanese film with subtitles, is opening in LA and NYC on July 8, to be followed by a wider release later. It is based on the manga series Umimachi Diary by Akimi Yoshida.

It received modest to glowing reviews when it aired at Cannes. The Guardian said the “sweetly tender movie … is superbly unforced and unassuming, finding delicate notes of affirmation and optimism and discreetly celebrating the beauty of nature and family love. It is watercolour cinema with nothing watery about it.”

The Hollywood Reporter, on the other hand, sums it up as “Generous spirited, pristinely shot and, quite frankly, somewhat dull.”

No tie-in edition was issued and the series was not published in the US. The author wrote the Banana Fish series, published in the U.S. by Viz Media.

TARZAN And George?

Friday, July 1st, 2016

MV5BMzY3OTI0OTcyMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjkxNTAwOTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_Amid mixed to downright terrible reviews, and questions about whether it’s possible to make a non-racist version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, the latest incarnation, The Legend of Tarzan is bringing new attention to a fascinating real-life character, 19th C black human rights advocate, George Washington Williams. Played by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, which opens on Friday, he travels with Tarzan to Africa.

Williams actually did travel to the Congo in 1890 (but did not encounter the fictional Tarzan). Appalled by what he saw there, he tried to shame King Leopold of Belgium in a long open letter about the horrors the Congolese were suffering under Belgian rule (more on Williams from MoviePilot).

Both Jackson and director David Yates tell Variety that Williams deserves a film of his own. Unfortunately, however, this movie may not make the best case for it. The LA Times writes, “Part comic relief, part valued ally, Williams is an altogether puzzling script component, and Jackson’s habit of sounding like he just stepped out of Pulp Fiction does not help things.”

For more about Williams and this period, two backlist titles are available:

GWW  9780618001903

George Washington Williams: A Biography, written by the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient John Hope Franklin (Duke UP, 1998)

King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa, Adam Hochschild (HMH/Mariner; OverDrive Sample)

An award-winning best seller, it was the basis for a 2006 documentary.

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS Trailer Brings New Attention to Book

Friday, July 1st, 2016

9780316278157_66d11Pop culture sites are full of excited reactions to the trailer for the Warner adaptation of The Girl With All The Gifts, a zombie novel published in 2014 by M.R. Carey (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio/Blackstone; OverDrive Sample). The book is also rising on Amazon’s sales rankings as a result of the attention.

io9 says “The Girl With All the Gifts looks unlike any zombie movie we’ve ever seen—and if it’s half as good as the book, it’ll be a genre standout for sure.”

ars technica says “At last, a new zombie movie that looks original and compelling … Pop culture may be reaching peak zombie, but stories like The Girl with All the Gifts prove that even the most tired tropes can feel vital again if they’re done right.”

Librarians may recall the novel was an Indie Next pick and made the USA Today bestseller list. The short story version (“Iphigenia in Aulis”) was a finalist for the 2013 Edgar Awards.

The film staring Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close, is directed by Colm McCarthy, who has run several hit British TV shows including Sherlock, Doctor Who, and The Tudors.

M.R. Carey is a lightly disguised pen name for Mike Carey who is best known in the comics world (he has worked on both Marvel and DC series) and wrote The Unwritten (PRH/Vertigo; coming in hardback in a collected edition Dec. 2016). Under the Mike Carey name he is also known for the Felix Castor novel series (The Devil You Know [Hachette/Orbit] is the first).

M.R. Carey’s “second” book, Fellside, another Indie Next pick, was published this spring (Hachette/Orbit; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).