Pop 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).
A trailer has just been released for the movie 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, Tom Hanks is in the lead role, with Laura Linney as his wife. The movie will be released on Sept. 9.
Two big-budget adaptations open this week, both based on classics.
Opening Friday is Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, based on the childrens novel by Roald Dahl. As we noted earlier, Deadline Hollywood reported that it got a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes film festival.
Despite the enthusiasm from audiences at Cannes, Variety, predicts disappointment at the box office, noting that Spielberg has not had a major hit in several years, “The man who ushered in the summer blockbuster era with Jaws hasn’t done as much escapist fare in recent years, preferring to spend his time on historical dramas such as last winter’s Bridge of Spies and War Horse. That may have been artistically fulfilling, but didn’t result in many financial windfall.” In addition, The BFG has to go up against Finding Dory, which continues to dominate box offices after two weeks in theaters.
Spielberg’s next project, an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, set for release in March, 2018, may reverse the trend, says Variety, since it is “appears to be more mainstream.” Seeming to prove that, each new casting announcement causes a spike in the book’s sales.
The Legend of Tarzanis the other big opening this week. In this live-action take on the familiar story, Tarzan has left Africa for the high life as an aristocrat in England, but is offered a job as a trade emissary to Congo that returns him to his jungle home and plenty of trouble. Variety predicts it will also be a disappointment, saying that “The failure of sequels such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Huntsman: Winter’s War has led some analysts to suggest that audiences are rejecting the overly familiar and are desperate for more original entertainment.”
The film stars Alexander Skarsgård in the title role, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent and Christoph Waltz.
There is no direct tie-in.
Also opening this week isLife, Animated, a Sundance award-winning documentary following the life of Owen Suskind (son of author Ron Suskind) who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Unable to speak as a child, Owen found a way to communicate through classic Disney animated films. Variety calls it “captivating” and The Hollywood Reporter says it is “radiant.”
A tie-in is set for release after the film opens, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell; on sale July 12). The original hardback was published in 2014.
Seth Meyers interviewed Neil Gaiman on Late Night yesterday about his first collection of nonfiction [video here] and the upcoming STARZ adaptation of American Gods, set to premiere in 2017 [video here] .
On compiling his nonfiction collection The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (HC/William Morrow; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample), Gaiman admitted he had difficulty locating some of the pieces. In one case. he even had to enlist the help of a super obsessive fan.
Gaiman is interviewed in more depth about the book in today’s L.A. Times.
Anticipation is building for the STARZ series adaptation of American Gods. Today, The Hollywood Reporter offers a get-up-to-speed guide (amusingly, they feel the need to tell their readers that it began life as a book). They also give kudos to the choice of director, Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls, Hannibal) saying. “His shows lean toward the supernatural and the visually sumptuous, so he’s the perfect person to bring American Gods to the small screen.”
A second full-length trailer for Tim Burton’sadaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has just been released. It gives a closer at some of the characters, including Barron, a villain created for the film and played by Samuel L. Jackson.
Starring Asa Butterfield as 16-year-old Jacob with Eva Green (star of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful) as Miss Peregrine and Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench, the movie opens.on Sept. 30.
The Free State of Jones leads the book-to-screen lineup this week with the Matthew McConaughey vehicle, set during the American Civil War, opening in wide release beginning June 23.
The movie recounts the true-life events of a Mississippi farmer who lead a band of rebels against the Confederate army. It is a rarity, an adaptation of a university press book, The Free State of Jones: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War, Victoria E. Bynum (U. of N. Carolina Press), with a tie-in featuring a new afterward by Bynum.
Also on June 23, Queen of the South starts its run on the USA Network, adapting Arturo Perez-Reverte’s story of female drug lords. The novel on which it is based, Queen of the South(PRH/Plume; OverDrive Sample), first published in 2005, now features new cover art advertising the show.
The novel has been adapted previously, as La Reina del Sur, which aired in 2011 on Telemundo (the American Spanish-language network owned by NBCUniversal).
The series is #4 on People magazine’s picks for the week, calling it a “satisfyingly pulpy melodrama.”
On June 24 The Fundamentals of Caring comes to Netflix. Staring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, and Selena Gomez, the film is based on The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison (Workman/Algonquin Books; OverDrive Sample). No new tie-in is available for the road-trip story of a teen with muscular dystrophy and his down-on-his-luck care giver, but the 2013 paperback now has cover art promoting the movie.
The film got nods at Sundance but as Variety reports, the market for indie self-actualization films has fallen: “Indie-comedy cliches get a crowdpleasing workout … but the theatrical market isn’t what it used to be … Already acquired by Netflix for SVOD [streaming video on demand] in a pricey pre-fest pick-up, that venue sounds like the best bet to connect with audiences.”
Following on the heels of the “unexpected” success of the adaptation Me Before You (is it possible that Hollywood underestimated the female-led production?), director Thea Shamrock has her next assignment, reports Variety, directing another adaptation, the best selling YA dystopian series The Selection by Kiera Cass, (HarperTeen, 2012) as a feature film for Warner Bros.
Fans don’t need the reminder. Back in 2012, as detailed by the site MoviePilot, the CW network ordered a pilot for a TV series based on the books. Not satisfied with the result, but not willing to give up, a new script was ordered and a new cast. The resulting pilot was also ultimately rejected. This may be the magic third time.
Directed by Tom McGrath (Madagascar), it features Alec Baldwin as the voice of the Baby, with Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow playing as his parents.
Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter praise the director’s use of CGI to mimic classic hand drawn cartoons. Variety reports that the screening “had the audience in stitches” and brought ” whoops of applause.”
The movie is described as “inspired” by Frazee’s picture book and adds several story lines. The tie-in, coming in January, is a novelization of the movie script:
Branagh is reportedly gathering an all-star cast and plans to play detective Hercule Poirot himself. He will also serve as producer, along side Ridley Scott and others. Michael Green (Blade Runner 2) is on board as screenwriter.
The Guardian reports that Jolie will fill the role of Mrs. Hubbard, one of the novel’s many suspects, most famously played by Lauren Bacall in Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version of the mystery.
No further news on the rest of the cast. Currently plans are to release the film on Nov. 22, 2017, well timed for the award season as Deadline points out.
The classic mystery’s most recent adaptation is the PBS Masterpiece episode starring David Suchet, Hugh Bonneville, and Jessica Chastain.
The most acclaimed film adaptation is Lumet’s production for Paramount. Albert Finney starred as Poirot, alongside Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Lauren Bacall, and Sean Connery.
Ron Howard is set to direct an adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s SF bestseller Seveneves (HC/William Morrow) says The Hollywood Reporter. Howard will team up once again with Bill Broyles (Apollo 13), who is writing the script.
In their laudatory but mixed review, NPR said “The experience of reading a modern Stephenson novel is like going out drinking with 20 or 30 of the smartest people on earth, and them all deciding to play that game where someone starts a story, tells one sentence of it, ends with a conjunction, and passes it along to the next person. Once upon a time, the moon blew up, and then …”
Others offered the same blend of praise and hesitation. Several critics called it uneven (Stephenson has a problem with endings says the LA Times) and the novel’s sheer density (NYT), concerns that could easily be cured in a film, especially in the hands of Howard, who proved in Apollo 13 that he can plot a tense moonshot ending.
No word yet on when the project will begin shooting.
Patrick Ness’s award-winning and best-selling YA post-apocalyptic trilogy is closer to screens with the news from The Hollywood Reporterthat Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Edge of Tomorrow) is in talks to direct the thriller for Lionsgate/Summit. Variety adds filming is expected to begin as early 2017.
The adaptation has been in the works for years without much to show for it, but seems to be on more solid footing now, with filming planned to begin in the fall and a high-powered director ready to take the reins.
Ness’s background suits the trilogy, an action filled and fast paced story following two central characters as they seek to survive in a world in which everyone can hear each other’s thoughts in a constant stream known as the “Noise.” Begun in 2008, the trilogy has since be reissued with associated short stories, all from Candlewick
As The Wrap points out, Summit is trying, as they have for a while, to keep profits rolling in from YA films, building on the success of the Twilight and Hunger Games series. The studio is also behind the Divergent films, but that series has not been nearly as successful.
Another adaptation of a Patrick Ness title, A Monster Calls, (Candlewick, 2011) is scheduled for release on Oct. 21 (recently moved forward a week from Oct. 14). See the trailer here.
The film adaptation of the best selling middle-grade novel Wonderby R.J. Palacio, (RH/ Knopf Young Readers, 2012), still on the NYT Hardcover Middle Grade list after 43 weeks. is now set for release on April 7, 2017. In the lead role is Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the Oscar-winning adaptation, Room. Julia Roberts will play his mother.
The movie is directed Stephen Chbosky, who wrote and directed The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
It’s a week with no new movie or TV adaptations, but Disney’s Finding Doryopening on Friday has several tie-ins.
Finding Dory: The Junior Novelization (RH Disney (PRH/Disney) is aimed at kids aged 7 to 10. Also available in paperback, the hardcover edition is called the “Deluxe” version.
There’s a picture book, Finding Dory (Picture Book): Three Little Words, Amy Novesky (Hachette/Disney Press) and the image-rich Disney Pixar Finding Dory: The Essential Guide, DK (PRH/Penguin/DK Children).
The two leveled readers are Ocean of Color (Disney/Pixar Finding Dory), Bill Scollon (RH/Disney) and Dory’s Story (Disney/Pixar Finding Dory), RH Disney (RH/Disney).
The film, which recounts the continued adventures of the fish Dory following Finding Nemo, features the voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, and Idris Elba.
On the news that casting is nearly complete for Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated adaptation of Ernest Cline’s SF debut Ready Player One (RH/Crown; Random House Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample), the novel rose on Amazon’s sales rankings, jumping from an already strong #125 to #80.
After a long search, as we wrote earlier, Spielberg found his lead in Tye Sheridan. Since then, he has added many more cast members. The latest is Win Morisaki for the role of Daito. Variety reports the “Japanese singer-actor … won the role after an extensive audition process.” It will be the first US film for Morisaki, the lead vocalist of the boy band PrizmaX.
Earlier, it was announced that T.J. Miller, of HBO’s Silicon Valley and the superhero film Deadpool, has also joined the cast, playing a bounty hunter.
In April Spielberg added Mark Rylance to the film’s roster, filling the role of James Donovan Halliday, the creator of OASIS, the game world at the heart of the film.
With other roles being filled by Olivia Cooke (as romantic lead Art3mis), Simon Pegg (as Ogden Morrow, co-creator of OASIS), and Ben Mendelsohn (as Nolan Sorrento, the chief villain of the film), Spielberg only needs to find a few more players for the game to begin.
The film is expected to open on March 30, 2018 and holds still remain strong on the book in many libraries we checked.