Last night’s Royal performance in London of the film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, (Hachette/Little, Brown; 1994), starring Idris Elba, was overshadowed by the news that Mandela had died. Moments before receiving the dreaded phone call, Mandela’s daughter Zindzi, interviewed on the red carpet, said that her father, although frail, was doing well. She and her sister Zenani asked that the showing continue.
The movie debuted in limited release in the U.S. on Nov. 29.
Philbrick won the National Book Award in Nonfiction in 2000 forIn the Heart of the Sea, about the Essex, a Nantucket ship hunting whale in the South Pacific in 1819, was stalked and eventually sunk by a sperm whale setting the crew adrift for 90 days.
The movie, starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy and Ben Whishaw, is set to release on March 13, 2015.
Called one of the best war movies ever by two people you wouldn’t expect to see eye-to-eye, Tina Brown and Glenn Beck, Lone Survivor is based on the long-running 2007 bestseller by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Hachette/Little, Brown). The promo for the movie is bringing new attention to the book, sending it back on to the 12/8/13 NYT Paperback Nonfiction list at #5.
Mark Wahlberg, who plays Luttrell, along with costars Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch, appeared on the Today Show this morning. Directed by Peter Berg (Battleship and Friday Night Lights), the movie opens on Christmas Day in NY and LA only, followed by a nationwide release on Jan. 10.
The movie stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Rose Byrne and Kathryn Hahn and is directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum; Date Night). Tropper is the screenwriter.
The novel, Tropper’s fifth, topped many 2009 best books lists and was a NYT best seller. About a family coming together reluctantly to sit shiva for their father, Carolyn See praised it in the Washington Post, “This is a beautiful novel about men — their lust and rage and sweetness. Read it — or take it as a gift — when you next go on a dreaded family holiday.”
Below is the first full-length trailer for the adaptation of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, the first in the series by Richelle Mead (Penguin/Razorbill). It comes with a terrific tagline, “They Suck at School.”
Given the tone, it’s no surprise that it’s directed by Mark Waters, who also directed Mean Girls. Adding to the darkly comic sensibility, the screenplay is by Daniel Waters, who also wrote Heathers).
Unfortunately, Mr. Affleck, who stars in the movie, is not particularly forthcoming, saying he doesn’t want to give away too much, “But I will say that Gillian [Flynn] adapted it and I think it’s very, very faithful to her book. If you read the book and liked it, you will definitely like the movie.”
The article adds that filming, which is currently under way, will wrap in February (the movie is scheduled for release on Oct. 3 next year).
A film based on an earlier title by Flynn, Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, wrapped earlier this month and may make it into theaters first. IMDB lists its release date as Sept. 1 next year.
Two heavily heralded movie adaptations open this Friday. Getting the most press, of course, is the second Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire. People magazine not only calls it “richer and deeper than last year’s The Hunger Games,” but also has the effrontery to claim it’s better than the book, “adding heft to a story that felt on the page like it was biding its time before the finale.”
It was touch and go as to whether Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Streetcould be pared down from its 3-hour first cut in time to hit theaters on Christmas Day, but it looks like the editing process is now complete. Based on the memoir by Wall Street trader Jordan Belfort, and called ”the most audacious movie about Wall Street ever made” by the Wall Street Journal, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin and the Absolutely FabulousJoanna Lumley.
The trade paperback tie-in (RH/Bantam) arrives next week; an audio read by Boardwalk Empire‘s Bobby Cannavale, (RH Audio) is listed for release on Dec 17.
Easily confused with the TV show Homeland, the movie Homefront is based on the novel by Chuck Logan, adapted by Sylvester Stallone, starring Jason Statham, and releases Nov. 27. The Hollywood Reporter calls the script “ham-fisted” but says the movie is “sufficiently silly and low-down to be entertaining on a certain marginal level.” Hogan’s earlier movel, Prince of Thieves was adapted as The Town by Ben Affleck.
Filming began in Massachusetts in October. The book is set in Maine, but Massachusetts may have been chosen for its favorable tax incentives to filmmakers.
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are All Right), with Tom Hanks and Frances McDormand producing, the following roles have already been cast:
Frances McDormand … Olive Kitteridge
Richard Jenkins … Henry Kitteridge (Olive’s husband)
John Gallagher Jr. … Christopher Kitteridge, (Olive and Henry’s son)
Cory Michael Smith … Kevin Coulson, (Olive’s former student)
Zoe Kazan … Denise Thibodeau, (works with Henry at the pharmacy)
Brady Corbet … Henry Thibodeau, (married to Denise)
Rosemarie DeWitt … Rachel Coulson
Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, (Harper, 2012) appeared on most of the best books lists last year. The audio was also picked as one of the year’s best and a film is in the works.
Imogen Poots has signed on to star, reports Deadline. Directed by Todd Field, who won acclaim for the film version of Tom Perotta’s Little Children, production is set to begin in Italy in May. Author Walter and director Field are co-writing the screenplay.
The computer-generated Paddington is voiced by Colin Firth. Featured in live roles are Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, and Julie Walters. Directed by Paul Smith, it is being produced by David Heyman, who also produced Gravity and Harry Potter.
The first “official trailer” for the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s YA novel Divergent was released at a live event on studio Summit’s YouTube channel yesterday. While remarkably similar to the “exclusive first look” trailer shown during the MTV Video awards in August, this one adds several new scenes.The movie releases on March 21.
Summit has also released is a featurette, “Factions,” that explains an important element of the story.
The tie-in editions will be published in February:
Divergent Movie Tie-in Edition
HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books
On Sale Date: February 11, 2014
Hardcover: 9780062289841, 0062289845
$17.99 US / $21.00 Can.
Paperback: 9780062289858, 0062289853
$9.99 US / $11.99 Can
As part of the full-court press to promote Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, “based on the untold true story” of the making of the movie, Mary Poppins, a video has been released with commentary by Tom Hanks, who plays Walt Disney, and Emma Thomspon, who plays PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, the book.
As they point out, the movie had to be made with Disney, a company notoriously fanatic about controlling rights. Any other studio would have had to figure out how to make a movie about Mary Poppins, without using images or music from the film. Says BuzzFeed,
Consider the irony here: If [scriptwriter Kelly] Marcel wanted to see her work on the big screen, she had to sell Disney her movie about an author who didn’t want to sell her book to Disney … In a way, it was just as Travers predicted: Mary Poppins became a property of Disney, even if she created the character.
BuzzFeed goes on to applaud the movie for being honest about Disney’s vices; he drank and smoked three packs a day and eventually died of lung cancer.
What they don’t mention is that, as Caitlin Flanagan wrote in “Becoming Mary Poppins,” published in the New Yorker in 2005, far from the movie’s portrayal of Disney using his personal charm to woo Travers, the real-life person didn’t even meet with her at first. Instead, he left town, palming her off on the two songwriters he had hired for an agonizing, week-long story meeting.
When Travers confronted Disney after the movie’s premiere, to which she hadn’t even been invited, and demanded some changes, says Flanagan,
Disney looked at her coolly. “Pamela,” he replied, “the ship has sailed.” And then he strode past her, toward a throng of well-wishers, and left her alone, an aging woman in a satin gown and evening gloves, who had travelled more than five thousand miles to attend a party where she was not wanted.
That hardly sounds like the warm-hearted conclusion promised in previews.
The movie arrives in selected theaters on Dec. 13, rolling out nationwide on Dec. 20.
The tie-in is a re-release of a biography of Travers, published in Australia in 1999 and released here in 2006, Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers, by Valerie Lawson (S&S).
Lawson is quoted in Entertainment Weekly’s 11/15 “Holiday Movie Preview” issue, describing how Travers felt about the movie, “She’d written Mary Poppins as a way of healing the wounds of her own childhood, so to have [the character] turned into someone rather more sprightly and cheerful than she desired was very difficult.”
The biggest film adaptation opening tomorrow is based on comics characters. Thor: The Dark World, is the second movie in the seriesbased on Marvel comics by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby. Reviews of the film are not kind, withUSA Today saying, “Unlike Iron Man and Captain America, Thor is too dull a character to pin a franchise on, though Chris Hemsworth certainly looks the part and the production design is striking,” but one writer begs to differ.
The adaptation of Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief debuts in a very limited Oscar-qualifying release, just four screens, with plans to roll it out more widely. How widely depends on whether it gets Oscar nods. Early reviews, which repeatedl yuse the lackluster term “earnest,” don’t bode well. The Forbes reviewer notes that it is based on a “somewhat popular novel” (guess 230 weeks on the NYT best seller fails to impress him). He’s also not impressed by the star power of Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and newcomer Sophie Nélisse as Liesel. The movie did, however, win over fellow YA novelist John Green and has brought new readers to the book, which has been moving up the USA Today best seller list to #15 as of the 11/7 list, its highest spot to date. Showtimes. Tie in: The Book Thief , (RH/Knopf YR)
In a less limited opening (over 60 theaters, as well as VOD), How I Live Now, starringSaoirse Ronan, is the adaptation of Meg Rosoff’s debut novel, a Printz Award winner published in 2004. Ronan is getting strong reviews for her performance. Showtimes. Tie-in: How I Live Now, (RH/Ember).
The indie movie, The Motel Lifeis the directorial debut of brothers Alan Polsky and Gabe Polsky. Fittingly, it is based on a novel about two brothers by Willy Vlautin. It stars Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, and Kris Kristofferson Showtimes. Tie-in: The Motel Life Movie Tie-in Edition, (HarperPerennial).
To view the trailers of these and other upcoming film adaptations, click on links at right, under Movies & TV Based on Books — Trailers.