As we noted at the time it hit shelves, the LibraryReads selection generated media attention. It debuted on the NYT Hardcover Fiction list at #1 and is currently at #8 after 14 weeks.
NPR Weekend Edition Saturday featured the author, opening with a gripping summary:
“Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a hospital in Connecticut … is barred from tending to a newborn baby by the baby’s parents. Ruth Jefferson is African-American. Brittany and Turk Bauer are white supremacists. But Davis, their baby, goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is on duty, briefly alone in the nursery. Should she disobey the order she’s been given by the hospital or touch the baby to try to save him? And does her slight hesitation doom the newborn boy?”
I Am Not Your Negro is a documentary based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House, which reflects on the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Samuel L. Jackson narrates.
The film is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category and opens on Feb. 3.
Daphne du Maurier’s moody Gothic romances have been adapted by many directors. Alfred Hicthock was a particular fan, basing two of his movies on her novels RebeccaandJamaica Innand a third, TheBirds on one of her short stories.
One that escaped him was 1951’s My Cousin Rachel (republished in 2009 by Sourcebooks Landmark; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample). Adapted as a film in 1954, it starred Olivia de Havilland and Richard Burton, winning him a Golden Globe award as “Most Promising Newcomer, Male.”
The international trailer for a new adaptation, set to debut on July 14, has just been released.
Variety summarizes the Cornwall-set story as that “of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.” As Slate notes, the sex between cousins angle was toned down for 1950’s sensibilities. It seems that will not be an issue this time around.
Netflix’s new series 13 Reasons Why will premiere on March 31. Singer/actress Selena Gomez, an executive producer for the show, posted a clip on Instagram Thursday, which quickly took off. It is now the #1 trending video on YouTube:
The series is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 YA novel TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY, (Penguin/RazorBill; Listening Library; OverDrive Sample), about a high school student who commits suicide and leaves behind several tapes, telling classmates how each contributed to her decision. The novel is a YALSA Best Books of 2008, and was a NYT best seller in hardcover for over two years.
It stars a relatively unknown cast, including Katherine Langford, Christian Navarro. and Michael Sadler. Oscar Winner Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) directs. Tony and Pulitzer Prize Winner Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal) wrote the script.
A tie-in comes out in March:
13 Reasons Why, Jay Asher
Razorbill (Penguin Publishing Group)
On Sale Date: March 7, 2017
ISBN 9780451478290, 0451478290
Trade Paperback | 336 pages
$10.99 USD, $14.99 CAD
Variety says the film depicts the “dire consequences of a warming earth — from flooding in Miami and the Philippines, to the worst drought on record in Syria, bringing human suffering there that predated the ongoing civil war, to air pollution so bad in some parts of China that life expectancy has declined by six years.”
Critical reaction to the screening is mostly positive. Slashfilm says “If An Inconvenient Truth was an eye-opening disaster movie, then An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is the heartbreaking post-apocalyptic follow-up … You can sense Al Gore’s frustration, and he is certainly angrier this time around, but still as passionate as he ever has been.” The Hollywood Reporter adds “this fine film is a match for the first.”
Adaptations coming this week include three to the small screen, plus a troubled theatrical opening.
Debuting in theaters on January 27th is A Dog’s Purpose, a tearjerker about a dog named Bailey who comes back to life again and again (each time remembering his past).
The book was first published in hardcover in 2010 and spent over a year on the New York Times hardcover and trade paperback best seller lists. Anticipation of the movie has brought the title back to best seller lists. It is currently #1 on the USA Today list, up from #3 last week.
The film stars Dennis Quaid, Britt Robertson, Josh Gad, Peggy Lipton, and some great dogs. Unfortunately, it recently received unwanted attention due to accusations that one of the dogs was treated cruelly on set. Author Bruce Cameron has defended the production, but threats of boycotts by PETA caused Universal to cancel last week’s scheduled premiere. The general theatrical release is going forward.
New on TV is the debut of the live-action adaptation of the Archie comics, Riverdale.
Den of Geek! says of the CW show, it is “not a sitcom” as readers of the comic might expect, “but a one-hour drama inspired by Twin Peaks.” Praising its casting and its production team, (it is written by Archie comics’ Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and is executive produced by Greg Berlanti who also produced Arrow and Flash) the site says the show has its “finger on the pop culture pulse.”
In their rave review of the first four episodes, Den of Geek! also calls it “highly addictive” and writes “Yes, this is a show that mixes sex and murder and noir with Archie, but it does so in a way that is self-aware and instantly ready to shatter expectations … And you know what? It is magnificent.”
The show is set to premiere on Thursday, Jan. 26. A tie-in comes out at the end of the month: Road to Riverdale, Mark Waid, Chip Zdarsky, Adam Hughes, Marguerite Bennett (PRH/Random House; OverDrive Sample).
Also new, and streaming on Amazon, is Z: The Beginning of Everything, a mix of costume drama and bio-pic detailing the life of Zelda Fitzgerald (played by Christina Ricci) and her legendary marriage to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
It is based on on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler (Macmillan/ St. Martin’s Griffin; OverDrive Sample). The trade paperback bears a sticker tying it to the series. It starts streaming on January 27.
The Sundance Film Festival highlighting independent films, begins today. Among them are a number of adaptations. LitHubprovides a complete rundown but keep an eye out for four in particular, each based on a well-known title:
Before I Fall, based on Lauren Oliver’s 2010 bestselling and critically praised YA novel about a teen who relives the last day of her life over and over again, is already scheduled to open in theaters on March 3, starring Zoey Deutch.
The film adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s Mudbound (Workman/Algonquin; OverDrive Sample) also premieres at Sundance. Variety says it is one of the “must sees” of the festival and predicts it will be picked up for distribution:
“The adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel focuses on a black and white family living and working together in the segregated South. Some agents and studio executives believe it will launch writer-director Dee Rees (Bessie) onto the A-list and could score her a trip to the Oscars.”
Variety also includes Yellow Birds in their listing of top picks, saying:
“The boatload of rising actors headlining this film has caught studios’ attention — Sheridan is on the cusp of big screen stardom in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One and Ehrenreich was just tapped to play a young Han Solo in the
next Star Wars spinoff. Plus it’s got
serious literary pedigree.”
Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jason Patric, Toni Collette, and Jennifer Aniston star. The book it is based on, The Yellow Birds (Hachette/Little, Brown; OverDrive Sample) by Kevin Powers was a finalist for the National Book Award and a best seller. It won a PEN Award.
Daniel Clowes’s 2010 graphic novel Wilson has been adapted as a film starring Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, and Judy Greer. It is set for distribution. to arrive in theaters on March 24.
The sequel to the 2015 Goosebumps movie, based on the bestselling book series by R.L. Stine, now has a premiere date: January 26, 2018.
According to ComingSoon, fans should expect a smooth transition to the second film as most of the major players are returning including director Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) and screenwriter Darren Lemke (Turbo). Although star Jack Black is expected to return as star, he hasn’t yet signed on.
The first film did well enough in theaters to justify a sequel, and did even better on home video. Sony wasn’t waiting for box office confirmation, however, having planned a series from the start, as sites such as Movieweb and Screen Rant report, with pre-production underway even before the first film opened nationwide.
We posted a story on the possible bump for the books with the first film, pointing out tie-in editions and the reissue of Classic Goosebumps (with the line “Now a Major Motion Picture” on the covers).
Also look out for Goosebumps: Most Wanted, another series reissuing the most “notorious, creepiest, ghouliest Goosebumps characters.” The most recent is Lizard of Oz(Goosebumps: Most Wanted #10) by R.L. Stine (Scholastic, Sept. 2016; OverDrive Sample).
Expect the same attention to tie-ins and re-releases once the second film gets further along.
As a reminder, here is the trailer from the first film:
One of the biggest names in Fantasy is going to the movies.
Brandon Sanderson’s YA series, The Reckoners, has just been bought by 20th Century Fox in what Deadline Hollywood calls “a hotly contested” deal. Both Steelheart and Firefight, the first two books in the series, will be adapted.
Deadline describes the series:
“a burst in the sky gave ordinary people extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics, but with incredible gifts came the desire to rule. In what was once Chicago, an … Epic named Steelheart installed himself as emperor. Nobody fights back but the Reckoners, a shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.”
“can create a snapshot of a specific day in time. The experiences people have, the paths they follow — all of them are real again for one day in the snapshot. All for the purposes of investigation by the court. The cop uses it as a way to find where a criminal dumped a weapon or what really happened in a domestic dispute. It’s drudgery, until the day the cop investigates the memory of a call that was never logged, and he makes a horrifying discovery.”
The film adaptation of Hidden Figures continued to do well at the box office in its second week of wide release, boosting sales of both the original hardcover and the tie-in (now at #5 on USA Today‘s list). On TV, Netflix’s major launch of the adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events is flying high, with strong reviews (example, the New York Times) and the expectation that there will be a season two.
Unfortunately, the news was not good for the wide release of Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night, which failed to do well with critics as well as audiences.
This week, Lifetime brings back Beaches, as a TV movie on Jan. 21. Idina Menzel (Frozen) and Nia Long (The Best Man Holiday) star in the revival of the 1988 Garry Marshall film that Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey made famous. The weepy is based on the Iris Rainer Dart novel of the same name, published in 1985. There is no tie-in but the book is still in print (HaperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2004).
For those that do not know the story, E! News offers a summary: “Beaches follows the serendipitous meeting of two young girls … who, despite vastly different lifestyles, maintain an unexpected, yet lifelong friendship. CC (Menzel) is an aspiring singer trying to make it work in Los Angeles until she’s discovered by a director who gives her big break, while Hillary (Long) is the daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny.”
Menzel, known for her award-winning voice, admitted to E! News she was worried about stepping into Midler’s shoes, saying if “I’m being completely honest, I was terrified to do it at first because I love the movie, it’s a beautiful, beautiful movie and both of those women—especially Bette Midler, for me—were idol[s] my whole life.”
The book features author H.G. Wells who creates an actual version of the apparatus featured in his novel The Time Machine, which is used by Jack the Ripper to escape to 1970’s era San Fransicso, with Wells on his heels (the Kirkus review gives an amusing summary of the convoluted plot).
For the TV series, the US location was changed to present-day New York.
A trailer for the pilot came out in May. Since then the female lead has been recast with Nicole Ari Parker as the character played by Regina Taylor.
No tie-in has been scheduled, but the book is still available, in a 2010 paperback reprint (Forge Books, 978-0765326225; OverDrive Sample).
Elle won Best Motion Picture in the Foreign Language with its star Isabelle Huppert winning for best actress, drama. The film is based on Oh…by Philippe Djian (Gallimard, 2012; not published in the US).
After its limited release opening on Christmas Day, Live by Night expands nationwide this Friday. Based on Dennis Lehane’s Live by Night (Harper/ Morrow; Harperluxe; HarperAudio), starring Ben Affleck who also directs.
The first Friday the 13th of the year offers an auspicious start to a beloved series best known for its unfortunateness. The long-awaited adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket (HarperCollins, 1999 – 2006), begins streaming on Netflix.
The show stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith as Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire.
A.V. Club says “A fairy tale for macabre bookworms who’ve graduated from Roald Dahl but aren’t ready for Edward Gorey … This blend of tragedy and twee … [is] Kids stuff with adult sophistication, driven by two-part stories, outrageous visuals, and the scenery-chewing of big-name guest stars.”
The horror film Bye Bye Man, based on a chapter in the 2005 nonfiction book The President’s Vampire: Strange-but-True Tales of the United States of America by Robert Damon Schneck (Anomalist Books, 2005), also opens on the 13th.
The film stars Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount, and Douglas Jones and tells the supposedly true story of three friends who get into trouble when they mess around with a Ouija board.
As NPR reported at that time, Fallada was a best selling author between WWI and II, with his books picked as book-of-the-month-club selections and adapted into Hollywood films (which got him blacklisted by the Nazis).
However, Every Man Dies Alone wasn’t published in English until 2009, after Melville House publisher Dennis Johnson heard about the book from the fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg and tracked it down.
When it finally did come out here, it was a best seller and became a NYT‘s Notable Book and one of The New Yorker‘s Favorite Fiction Books of the year.
There’s much to choose from. As PopSugar points out, the warrior princess has her roots in the 1940s so there is a long list of print titles detailing her adventures. WorldCat shows over 4,000 titles in libraries. For introductions and reading guides to the various series, turn to Comic Book Herald and Den of Geek!
EW gave in an A, saying it is “a great read. It has nearly everything you might want in a page-turner: tales of S&M, skeletons in the closet, a believe-it-or-not weirdness in its biographical details, and something else that secretly powers even the most ”serious” feminist history — fun.”
The book will be published simultaneously in print and as a Pottermore eBook edition.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library Book)
Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling
Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
On Sale Date: March 14, 2017
ISBN 9781338132311, 1338132318
Hardcover | 128 pages |$12.99 USD