The graphic novel trilogy, created by award-winning Hatke, follows the adventures of Zita as she learns to be brave and navigate her far out world. Bleeding Cool lists it as one of the “Essential 8 Comics For Kids,” writing:
“… everything I love about comic books; adventure, humor, humanity and a big heaping dose of wonder … Hatke has made something really special here … original and fun. It’s completely appropriate for kids but like the best stories, I think everyone will appreciate it.”
Weiner will serve as executive producer. Chris Bender (We’re the Millers) and Jennifer’s brother Jake Weiner (A History of Violence) will create the feature with 20th Century Fox Animation. Keeping it all in the family, brother Joe Weiner, negotiated the deal.
Pre-publication reviews are strong. Publishers Weekly described it as a “witty story of outcasts coming together,” adding, “Well-drawn characters, high comedy, and an open-ended finale will leave readers eager for the next installment.”
The Scottish production company Synchronicity Films, known in the UK as the force behind Not Another Happy Ending, has bought the rights.
Originally published by a tiny 2-person house Saraband, the novel earned praise from The Guardian, which said “The book’s pretense at veracity, as well as being a literary jeux d’esprit, brings an extraordinary historical period into focus.”
If the projects make it to screens, they will follow in the footsteps of adaptations of previous Booker titles. Hilary Mantel’s two winners Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies were made into a BBC/PBS Masterpiece series. Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally became the now iconic 1993 film Schindler’s List. Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and Yann Martel’s Life of Pi were also successfully adapted.
Filming begins in Baltimore this week on the Oprah Winfrey vehicle, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on Rebecca Skloot’s book of the same title. The book is still on the NYT Nonfiction Paperback list after 184 weeks, following over a year on the hardcover list.
The events in the book took place in Baltimore and the film will include sites around the John Hopkins hospital, the location where Lacks’s cells were taken without her knowledge and used to create the cell line used by scientist in such medical advances as the polio vaccine.
WJZ, the station where Oprah once worked as a news anchor, reports on the upcoming locations, interviewing residents, one of which says “It’s a story that needs to be told. Needs to be told, I think in the context of things that are still happening today, that still violate peoples rights, and people’s property and their own being.”
Lacks’s legacy is extending beyond the scientific uses of her cells. In Vancouver, WA a special school named in her honor is training students who want to be medical researchers, the Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School. The president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recently visited the school and said that Lacks’s “legacy is not a cell line she left us … Her legacy is the people like you who train here … Looking ahead, I can’t imagine what you might go on to do.”
The book was published in the U.S. for the first time last year, when it was expected that the film would get its U.S. release, The Dressmaker, Rosalie Ham (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio; Thorndike Large Print; OverDrive Sample).
Disney’s big movie, Queen of Katwe opens in limited release Sept. 23rd, expanding to more theaters the next week. Starring Lupita Wyong’o, who won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, David Oyelowo (Selma), and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, it is directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).
Goat also opens on the 23rd. Directed by Andrew Neel, starring Ben Schnetzer, Nick Jonas, and Gus Halper, it is a college fraternity film that traces a series of brutal induction rituals and the strain they place on two brothers. The Hollywood Reporter calls it “A harsh but gripping study in uncontrolled male aggression.”
The series stars Alfonso Herrera, Ben Daniels, and Geena Davis. A tie-in has not been released but 2011 marked the release of the 40th Anniversary Edition (HC).
On the 25th Poldark, Season 2, begins airing on PBS Masterpiece, starring Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Heida Reed. Of season one, The New York Times wrote:
“Sweeping, stirring, rousing, lush. These are the sorts of adjectives suggested by Poldark … It’s the kind of show in which every plot twist appears to require a shot of someone pounding on horseback along the Cornish coast, close to the cliffs and outlined against the sun … Another adjective that comes to mind is shameless, in the sense of nonstop audience-pandering melodrama. But there’s good shameless and bad shameless, and Poldark is reasonably good stuff, milking the emotions and pleasing the eye without unduly insulting the intelligence.”
Storm Reid, described by Entertainment Weekly as an “up-and-coming actress.” will star in Ava DuVernay’s film adaptation of A Wrinkle in Timeas the young protagonist, Meg Murry. Reid’s previous roles were in 12 Years a Slave, an American Girl movie Lea to the Rescue, and Sleight.
Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will star as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who in the Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved novel, filling the roles of the helpful celestial beings.
As Entertainment Weekly notes, this will make “DuVernay the first woman of color to direct a live-action movie with a budget of more than $100 million.” The Hollywood Reporter writes that “DuVernay is hoping to break ground with the movie, making a big tentpole with a cast that is multicultural” and that the producers are looking for a non-white actor to play Meg’s friend, Calvin O’Keefe.
It appears the movie will bring new readers to the book. Based on just the casting news, it jumped nearly 100 places on Amzaon’s sales rankings, from #356 to #263.
Mezrich, known for his juicy, edgy, social science books such as Bringing Down the House(adapted as the 2008 movie 21) and The Accidental Billionaires (adapted as the 2010 movie The Social Network) turns away from accounts of college kids making money to focus his attention on a very different type of speculation, whether extraterrestrials exist and the story of a real life alien hunter.
In the interview with CBS, Mezrich says he went into the project as a non-believer, but in the course of investigating the tales of unexplained happenings along what is essential the UFO Highway (a 3,000 mile strip across the middle of the country), he now knows “that at least once something happened that still has not been explained” and that “the impediments to believing have dissapeared.”
He says there is a “enormous amount of evidence” and he hopes readers will consider it.
Like his previous books, this one is already in the process of being adapted into a movie.
Tom Hanks’s turn as Sully in Clint Eastwood’s movie about the hero pilot is scoring with audiences, based on today’s box office. The tie-in continues on best seller lists, enjoying the promotion from the movie’s advance publicity.
Also doing well is the series Queen Sugar on Oprah’s OWN channel. It’s two-night premiere was a ratings high for the network. The novel it is based on, Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin/Pamela Dorman;see our chat with the author just prior to the book’s publication), has also been rising on Amazon’s sales rankings.
Opening on Sept 16 is Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third in the franchise based on Helen Fielding;s character.
Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth reprise their roles as Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy and Patrick Dempsey stars a dishy American love interest. Emma Thompson features in the new role as Bridget’s ob-gyn.
Fielding, along with Thompson and David Nicholls wrote the script.
The producers unsurprisingly feel that, fifteen years after the first film in the series arrived and ten years after the most recent one, viewers might need a refresher course. To help that cause they have made an orientation featurette:
Never published as a novel, the tie-in will come out after the film premieres, Bridget Jones’s Baby (PRH/Knopf, Oct. 11, 2016; RH Audio/BOT), presumable to avoid spilling the beans on who fathered Bridget’s baby.
It may not matter if viewers remember the earlier movies. Placing it at #1 on their “Must List” for the week, Entertainment Weekly asserts, “it’s the rom-com romp fans have been waiting for.”
Below is the full trailer:
Also opening on the 16th is Oliver Stone’s Snowden. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Olyphant also star.
The big film opening next week is Sully, based on Highest Dutyby Chesley Sullenberger (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2009), a memoir by the man who piloted an airplane to safety on New York’s Hudson River after its engines were disabled by a bird strike.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Tom Hanks in the lead role, with Laura Linney as his wife, it opens on Friday, Sept. 9.
Tie-in: Sully : My Search for What Really Matters, Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III, Jeffrey Zaslow (HarperCollins/Morrow, August 30, 2016). It is currently at #5 on the NYT paperback nonfiction best seller list, two weeks.
Queen Sugar begins airing on Oprah’s OWN channel Sept. 6 and 7th in a two-night premiere.
The series is the number one People pick for the week, called an “unusually fine, seductive new series.” Entertainment Weekly gives it a B, recommending it for people tired of the usual melodramas, because it offers “a refreshing point of difference: a family saga on which loved ones labor together for individual and shared redemption.”
The series is based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile (Penguin/Pamela Dorman; Thorndike; 2014; see our chat with the author just prior to the book’s publication). As we wrote earlier, the story takes place in Southern Louisiana and features three sibling who inherit their father’s sugar cane plantation. It was selected as a book of the week by Oprah’s O magazine, saying, “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile.”
Given its big name star line up, it might have expected a better reception. It is directed by Meg Ryan, written by Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) and based on by William Saroyan’s 1943 novel The Human Comedy. It stars Alex Neustaedter, Jack Quaid, Meg Ryan, Sam Shepard, Hamish Linklater and Tom Hanks.
Originally scheduled for release on October 21, the film adaptation of the childrens fantasy, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, has been moved to a later release. It’s now scheduled for a limited release (10 cities, 20 theaters) on December 23 which still qualifies it for Oscar nominations, but just barely, followed by a wide release January 6 (1,500 theaters).
Deadline notes that the earlier date was “a complete nightmare in regards to competition, and the pic’s new date gives it ample time to breathe and spur word-of-mouth during the year-end holidays and into 2017.”
The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10.
The third, most recent trailer was released in July.
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.
Burton said in a press release “It’s an almost indescribable thrill to know the characters and story I invented in The Miniaturist are going to be given a new life in such an exciting way. John Brownlow’s script is perfect. Short of actually being published, it’s the best news I’ve ever had.” (Brownlow wrote the screenplay for the Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle about Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Ted and Sylvia, aka Sylvia).
Need a refresher on the plot? Elizabeth Angelastro of Manlius Library, Manlius, NY provided the LibraryReads annotation:
“A dollhouse whose figures and furnishings foretell life events, mysterious notes, family secrets and the powerful guild and church of 1686 Amsterdam. All these elements combine for an engaging story of a young bride’s struggle to be the ‘architect of her own fortune.’”
Kicking off the long holiday weekend, The Light Between Oceans opens on Sept. 2, based on the best-selling phenomenon (nearly a year on the NYT hardcover list, it is still on the trade paperback list after 63 weeks), it stars Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender as a married couple who live in a remote lighthouse. When they discover a baby, they decide to keep her and raise her as their own. The tie-in edition, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (S&S/Scribner; HighBridge; OverDrive Sample; mass market), came out a few weeks ago.
Rising on Amazon’s sales rankings is A Dog’s Purpose, by W. Bruce Cameron (Macmillan/Forge; Tantor Media; OverDrive Sample), jumping from just outside the top 300 to solidly in the top 20.
The rise coincides with the release of the tear-tearjerking first trailer for the film adaptation, starring Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad and Peggy Lipton (for those of you who remember the TV series Mod Squad, she was the star. For the rest of you, she is the mother of Rashida Jones).
About a dog named Bailey who comes back to life as many other dogs (remembering each of his past lives), the book was published in hardcover in 2010 and spent over a year on the New York Times hardcover and trade paperback best seller lists.
Cameron is the author of several other titles, including spin-offs of A Dog’s Purpose. and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, the basis for the ABC sitcom (2002 -2005).
A memoir of an amazing journey of loss and recovery, Saroo Brierley’s A Long Way Home, (PRH/Viking, 2014, trade paperback, 2015) is headed to the silver screen, starring Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, and David Wenham. They join a cast of actors well-known in India, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Priyanka Bose, and Tannishtha Chatterjee. The inspirational tear-jerker is directed by Garth Davis (Top of the Lake).
In the book, Brierley recounts how he was separated from his family in rural India at age 4, when he climbed aboard a train and was carried over a thousand miles away to a city he did not know. He wound up in an orphanage, was adopted and relocated to Tasmania.
Interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered when the book was published, Brierley describes how he tried to find his way home by studying Google Earth looking for a familiar landscape — a river, a waterfall, and a fountain. He says the moment he finally found his mother “was like a nuclear fusion.”
The tie-in uses the film’s title, Lion, Saroo Brierley (PRH/Berkley; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample).
Below is the recently released trailer, followed by Brierley giving a speech about his journey, and the NPR interview.