Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Hollywood Lands On NEVERHOME

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

9780316370134_320fbPraising Laird Hunt’s Neverhome, (Hachette/ Little Brown; Blackstone Audio) for its historical accuracy, Ron Charles in the Washington Post says the author not only avoids anachronisms, but gives the reader a feel for the psyches of his Civil War characters.

Charles notes that an important factor is the voices, “historically distant, like a foreign cousin of our own era.” He warns, “I suspect Hollywood is already circling around this story, trying to figure out how [one of the characters], Constance can be stripped of her irreducible oddness and transformed into a Civil War Lara Croft. (Resist, Mr. Hunt, resist!)”

Too late. Hollywood has not only circled, but landed, with director Lenny Abrahamson on board. Fortunately, Abrahamson seems comfortable with oddness. In his latest movie, Frank, he directed Michael Fassbinder wearing an oversized papier-mâché head throughout the film.

Before turning his attention to Neverhome, Abrahamson needs to finish his adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s Room, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 2010), starring Brie Larson as Ma, which is about to begin filming in  Canada.

Below are updates on other recent significant movie adaptations (check our Books to Movies & TV spreadsheet for a complete listing):

The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion, (S&S, 2013) — In development.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012) — Ang Lee (Life of Pi) will direct 

The Bridge and A Time to Dance, Karen Kingsbury — Part of a deal with the Hallmark Channel  to adapt several of Kingsbury’s novels; the first two are planned for 2015.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs, (Quirk, 2013) — Asa Butterfield (Hugo; Ender’s Game) may star as Jacob Portman. Eva Green is set to play Miss Peregrine. Production to begin, Feb., 2015, with release scheduled for March 4, 2016.  Directed by Tim Burton It will be titled simply, Miss Peregrine’s Home.

The Humbling, Philip Roth, (HMH, 2009) — Starring Al Pacino and directed by Barry Levinson, expected for release by end of 2014, to qualify for the Oscars.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen, Seth Grahame-Smith, (Quirk Books, 2009) — New cast members have been added, so it looks like it is actually happening.

11/22/63, Stephen King, (S&S/Scribner, 2011) —  Hulu orders 9-hour series, with J.J. Abrams directing.

The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman, (S&S/Scribner, 2013) — Production has begun in Marlborough, NZ

Serena, Ron Rash (HarperCollins/Ecco) — release date finally announced. VOD, 2/26/15, followed by limited theatrical release, 3/27/15

Paper Towns, John Green, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile, 2008) — to be filmed in North Carolina.

MAZE RUNNER Gets Sequel

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Maze Runner   9780385738750_5f9b4   9780385738774_74e1e

Dystopia is not over.

Even before  the film adaptation of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner  became #1 at the box office this weekend, Fox anointed it an official success by announcing that the sequel is in pre-production in New Mexico, with the director, Wes Ball returning, as well as the lead, Dylan O’Brien.

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, also the title of the second book in the series (RH/Delaccorte). is scheduled to debut in theaters in one year, on Sept. 18, 2015.

No announcement has been made about whether the third title in the trilogy, The Death Cure, will also be adapted, but that seems highly likely.

After the box office disappointment of The Giver, with no sequel in sight. this may hearten those behind other potential series, like The Seventh Son, based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch, the first in a series by Joseph Delaney, scheduled for release on Feb. 6 next year and The 5th Wave, based on the first in a series by Rick Yancey, scheduled for release on Jan. 29, 2016.

GONE GIRL Unchanged

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Gone GirlReviews of David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl are arriving, in advance of its premiere on Friday at the New York Film Festival. Word is strong, with Rolling Stone calling it “shockingly good” and ” the date-night movie of the decade,” some seeing Oscars on the horizon. There are, of course, a naysayer or two (“bait too slick,” Village Voice).

One thing the reviews agree upon; the ending has not been changed. Still, New York magazine says there are reasons to read the book first.

The movie opens in theaters on Oct. 3.

Opening This Weekend

Friday, September 19th, 2014

9780142181713_1f7c1  9781101872451_12c49

Adam Driver appears in two movies adapted from books this weekend. Getting the most promotion is the one based on Jonathan Tropper’s comic family novel, This Is Where I Leave You, (Penguin/Dutton, 2009), also starring Tina Fey, Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda.

The other, Tracks, is based on the 1980 memoir by Australian Robyn Davidson of her solo trip through the outback. It may not be getting the same level of promotion, but it ranks at #4 in the week’s People Picks, while This Is Where I Leave You  is at #10.

In the film, Mia Wasikowska plays Robyn and Driver, the real-life National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, who took stunning photos of the journey. Smolan talks about that project in the following interview.and how eerie it was to go on set with Robyn, who is still a friend, and watch the actors recreate their younger selves.

Those who remember the heady days of CD-Rom may also remember that Smolan’s 1992 book, From Alice to Ocean included the first CD-Rom for the general public. That book is about to be re-released, with updated technology. Readers can point their smart phones at the photos to see how each scene plays out in the movie.

9781454912941_e44ad

Inside Tracks : Robyn Davidson’s Solo Journey Across the Outback
Rick Smolan
Against All Odds Productions (Sterling) October 21, 2014

Davidson’s book, which is still available in trade paperback, has also been released as a tie-in:

Tracks (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback
Robyn Davidson
RH/Vintage: August 26, 2014

First Full Mockingjay Trailer Released

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

After several teasers, the first full trailer has arrived (Forbes analyzes Lionsgate’s spoiler-free advertising campaign). Released Monday, it’s already been viewed over 7 million times.

Entertainment Weekly analyzes what the 1:48 minutes reveal.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, releases on Nov. 21. Part 2 arrives a year later.

Tie-in (for other upcoming movie tie-ins, check our catalog on Edelweiss)

9780545796682_b3b9bMockingjay: Movie Tie-In Edition
Suzanne Collins
Scholastic: September 30, 2014
9780545796682, 0545796687
$12.99 USD

“Q” Finds Margo

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Paper TownsModel/actress Cara Delevingne is in talks to star as Margo, the mysterious girl next door, in the adaptation of  John Green’s novel Paper Towns, (Penguin/Dutton, 2008)

Nat Wolff, who played a supporting role in TFIOS, will star as Quentin “Q” Jacobsen, who has been in love with her from afar for years.

Green, who is an executive producer on the film, tweeted yesterday, “Cara Delevigne’s audition blew everyone away (including me!) and she understands Margo profoundly. I am so excited!”

The movie is scheduled for theatrical release on 7/31/15.

In other Y.A. adaptation news, a new version of Lois Duncan’s I Know What You Did Last Summer (1973) is in the works. The 1997 adaptation starred Jennifer Love Hewitt. Sarah Michelle Gellar and Anne Heche. No stars or director have been named for this version. Duncan’s Down a Dark Hall (1972) is also in the works and is being proceeded by Stephenie Meyer. Lionsgate recently acquired the rights.

We report on only the most significant adaptation stories here. Our database of adaptations in the works, Books to Movies and TV now includes information on over 300 titles, with more than 80 updated in the last month.

To The Screen: WAIT TILL HELEN COMES

Monday, September 15th, 2014

helen-lg“Mary Downing Hahn is the Stephen King of late middle grade fiction. Her haunting chilling tales are just right for those 4th graders who have outgrown Goosebumps and sophisticated enough to surprise the most jaded 7th grader,” says EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek.

A former school librarian from Maryland, Hahn has written dozens of novels for young readers.  Wait Till Helen Comes, (HMH Books for Young Readers; Brilliance Audio), has been continuously in print since 1986 and is now set for its screen debut, reports Variety. Maria Bello will star, with sisters Sophie Nelisse (The Book Thief) and Isabelle Nelisse (Mama). Shooting is set to begin at the end of the month in Winnipeg, Canada.

SERENA Trailer Finally Debuts

Monday, September 15th, 2014

In March 2012, right after Silver Linings Playbook wrapped, stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper joined forces again for another book adaptation, Serena, based on the novel by Ron Rash, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2008).

Over two years later, the movie has yet to be released, even though Lawrence has since become a major star via The Hunger Games and the Lawrence/Cooper combo proved to be magic in both Silver Linings and the subsequent American Hustle.

A spokesperson for the production company has said not to worry, however, the delay is simply a result of Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier’s perfectionism. The L.A. Times takes that with a grain of salt, “Bier took a year and a half to complete the film, and protracted productions rarely bode well for the final product.”

It is finally set to premiere at the BFI London Film Festival next month and will open in the U.K. on Oct. 24. Magnolia Pictures has the U.S. distribution rights, but doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, planning to release it “sometime next year.”

At this point, a movie based on another book by Rash, The World Made Straight, (Macmillan/Holt, 2006), which was shot a year later, may beat it. It’s scheduled for release some time in February.

Meanwhile, a trailer has just been released:

Tie-in:

Serena tie-in: A Novel
Ron Rash
HarperCollins/Ecco
November 4, 2014 (publisher says this is now postponed indefinitely)
9780062292667, 0062292668

Rash’s next novel, Above the Waterfall, (HarperCollins/Ecco) is scheduled for publication next year.

STILL ALICE Gets Raves

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Still AliceOscar predictions are in rolling in for Julianne Moore’s starring role in the film adaptation of Still Alice by Lisa Genova (S&S/Gallery, 2009). Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, Moore is lauded for her understated portrayal of a woman dealing with early onset Alzheimers.

Variety praises the directors for refusing “to milk the family’s situation for easy tears. Instead, the idea is to put us inside Alice’s head. We experience disorientation as she would, suggested by a shallow depth of field where things shown out of focus appear to be just beyond her comprehension.”

The Hollywood Reporter acknowledges that some might be put off by the subject, but that “word of mouth should provide the strongest incentive for audiences leery of the topic.”

Also starring in the film are Alec Baldwin as Alice’s husband with Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish as their three grown children.

No clips are available yet and a theatrical release has not yet been announced.

The book, originally self-published through iUniverse, was picked up by Simon and Schuster and went on to a long run on the New York Times trade paperback best seller list. 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,. Her next book, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery” S&S Audio, 4/7/14) is about a man dealing with Huntington’s Disease.

PAPER TOWNS Gets Director

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Paper TownsThe film adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns already has a release date,  July 31, 2015. Now it has a director, as Green announced on Twitter last week.

It will be Jake Schrieber’s second feature film, after Robot & Frank.

Nat Wolff, who had the supporting role of Isaac in The Fault in Our Stars, will play Paper Town‘s lead, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen. Green will act as executive producer. Love interest Margo has not yet been cast.

HOLLYWOOD “Hits the Books”

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Books are big this fall, at least on movie screens. As USA Today notes, in a feature headlined, “Hollywood Hits The Books Hard This Fall,” over two dozen book adaptations will arrive in September and October. By our count, over a dozen more arrive by the end of the year (see our listing and check on the links to the right of this page for trailers).

Which adaptations will cause the books to rise? Judging from USA Today‘s own best seller list, it doesn’t matter how well the films are received. Both The Book Thief and The Giver were regarded as box office failures, but the books they were based on enjoyed unprecedented success. In many cases, the marketing of a movie alone can make the book soar, as in the case of The Maze Runner, which has been steadily rising on best seller lists, weeks in advance of the movie’s Sept. 19 release. It seems that name recognition is key; like the old adage about how to make $2 million, more success comes to those books that have had it already.

To help you prepare for the fall onslaught, we’ve created an Edelweiss collection of over 70 tie-ins to upcoming movies & TV.

9780553418361_ecb60   9780062353887_8cc50  9780545796682_34bce

It contains plenty of titles with major name recognition, led by Gone Girl and Unbroken, and, of course, Mockingjay, all of which continue to be such big sellers that we may not even notice a bump from the movies.  Attention will also return to previous long-running best sellers Wild, American Sniper and Before I Go to Sleep, and we expect HBO’s Olive Kitteridge to remind people that they meant to read Elizabeth’s Strout’s book when it won a Pulitzer.

9780736431880_02c54   9780062356802_1fb50

Among kids tie-ins, however, a relative unknown may dominate. The team behind Disney’s phenomenon Frozen has created Big Hero 6, releasing in November, based on a Marvel comic series that is no longer in print. Many tie-ins, however, are coming from Random House/Disney. Hachette’s Yen imprint made a stir this week when they announced they will publish an English-language version of the Kodansha manga series, Haruki Ueno’s Baymax, which features the robot from the movie.

Come Christmas, we look to the more familiar, as a new incarnation of Paddington hits the screens (sorry, he is not voiced by Colin Firth who was deemed too “mature” for the part).

9781481427623_97874-2  9780316332644_338b1

Later this month, we’ll see if the Boxtrolls brings more readers to Alan Snow’s nearly 550-page book, Here Be Monsters! (Atheneum, 2008, rereleased 8/5/14), or if attention will be focused on the much short tie ins.

Happy ordering.

ROSEWATER Trailer Released

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

31cover_lores_a_pWith the release of the first trailer for the movie Rosewater,  we now have a glimpse of what Jon Stewart was up to when he went on hiatus from the Daily Show last summer to direct his first movie.

The movie is based on a book Then They Came For Me by Maziar Bahari, (Random House, 2011; Tantor Audio), the author’s account of his imprisionment in Iran, in part because of a Daily Show piece.

Variety gives the film a rave:

“The punishing ordeal of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari — imprisoned for 118 days on charges of espionage — is brought to the screen with impressive tact and intelligence by writer-director Jon Stewart in Rosewater, an alternately somber and darkly funny drama that may occupy the same geographic terrain as Argo (to which it will inevitably be compared), but in most other respects could hardly be more different.

The Hollywood Reporter‘s reviewer, however, is not so impressed, saying, “if this very same film had been made by an unknown director, it would pass in the night with only scant notice.”

The tables are now being turned on Stewart, as he begins to promote his own film. The Hollywood Reporter is his first stop, with a cover interview (too bad about that review). On his own show on Thursday night, he presented two new clips.

The movie opens in theaters on Nov. 7.

Tie-in:

Rosewater: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival
Maziar Bahari, Aimee Molloy, Jon Meacham (Foreword by)
Random House Trade Paperbacks October 21, 2014

SEVENTH SON, Second Trailer

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Jeff Bridges’s long-awaited adaptation of The Giver is considered a flop by Hollywood standards, but it’s a huge success by publishing standards, causing the book to soar to #2 on the USA Today‘s Best Selling Books list, its highest spot to date.

What does this portend for the next big dystopian adaptation, The Maze Runner, based on the the book by James Dashner? Variety is already predicting that it will be a hit when it opens on Sept. 19. The book is currently #4 on USA Today‘s list, also its highest spot to date.

Meanwhile, one of the much-touted “grounded” Y.A. movies (translation: no expensive special effects required),  If I Stay, had a solid beginning at the box office last weekend. It is also brought a major boost to book sales. It is #1 on the USA Today list, followed close behind by the sequel, Where She Went, at #6.

Amidst all this discussion of what works in adaptations and what doesn’t, the second trailer for another long-delayed YA adaptation, starring Bridges was just released. Seventh Son, opening in February, is based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2005). Set in the 1700’s, it co-stars Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin, “the most evil witch in the world” with Bridges as the mentor to a young apprentice played by Ben Barnes.

Tie-in:

0062209701_95326The Last Apprentice: Seventh Son: Book 1 and Book 2

Joseph Delaney

(HarperCollins/Greenwillow; December 23, 2014

Paperback; $9.99 USD / $11.99 CAD

Jungle Book vs. Jungle Book: Origins

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
One of many editions of the classic, this one has an intro by Neil Gaiman (RH Young Readers(

One of many editions of the classic, this one with an intro. by
Neil Gaiman
(RH Young Readers)

There’s been a few film adaptations of  Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, The Jungle Book over the years.  Two new ones are in the works and are set to arrive in theaters within a year of each other.

The Disney version, scheduled for release Oct 15 next year, has most of the cast in place and is ready to begin production.

There’s been little news about the Warner Bros. version, titled Jungle Book: Origins, to be released on Oct 12, 2016, until now. The Hollywood Reporter announces the first cast member, Benedict Cumberbatch is in place, indicating that it is moving forward as well.

Cumberbatch will be the voice of the villain Shere Khan, a man-eating tiger. In the Disney version, directed by Jon Favreau, he is set to be voiced by Idris Elba. Entertainment Tonight has fun doing a face-off between the two, but you could go even further. How about a face-off with the gravelly malevolent voice of  George Sanders (who was Shere Khan In Disney’s 1967 version) or with Bombay, the actual Bengal tiger in Disney’s 1994 live-action version?

UPDATE: A few hours after we finished this story, more cast members were announced for the Warner Bros. version, so now you can enjoy and even larger face-off.

Mowgli
Warner: Rohan Chand (Bad Words star)
vs.
Disney:  newcomer, Neel Sethi

Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger
Warner: Benedict Cumberbatch
vs.
Disney:  Idris Elba

Baloo, the bear
Warner: Andy Serkis (the film’s director)
vs.
Disney:  Bill Murray

Kaa, the python
Warner: Cate Blanchett
vs.
Disney:  Scarlett Johansson

Bagheera, the panther
Warner: Christian Bale
vs.
Disney:  Ben Kingsley

To The Movies: A MONSTER CALLS

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

9780763655594_0d347Things are moving quickly for the film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Y.A. novel, A Monster Calls, (illus. by Jim Kay, Candlewick, 2011).

The Hollywood Reporter announces that Sigourney Weaver has just oined the cast. Focus Features bought the rights to the book in March and shortly after set a release date of Oct. 14, 2016.

About a 13-year boy, Conor, who is dealing with his mother’s death, bullying at school, and then a monster in his back yard, Ness wrote it based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, who died before she could complete the project (read Ness’s tribute to her in a sample from OverDrive).

Ness, who wrote the screenplay, and illustrator Jim Kay went on to win Britain’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the book.

Weaver will play the boy’s grandmother, Felicity Jones his mother and Liam Neeson, the monster. The crucial role of Conor has not been cast yet.