The opening salvo for part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay arrived two weeks ago with an unconventional teaser that doesn’t even include an image of star Jennifer Lawrence, but is simply a short chilling propaganda message by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The presence of a defeated-looking Peeta next to him is the only nod to fans about what has happened since Catching Fire.
The second teaser has just arrived, and again, no Jennifer Lawrence, no dramatic scenes, just one small hint about the plot understandable only to those familiar with the story.
If all goes according to Lionsgate’s plan, these will be viral, so we won’t need tell you about each new one.
There’s no official Web site yet, but Mockingjay.net is tracking all Mockingjay-related news (we’ve linked to them on the right, under Movies &TV Based on Books — Trailers, Official Web Sites)
A new trailer for the feature film adaptation of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn appeared online today. More extensive than the first one that appeared in April, it gives a better sense of the plot (but still doesn’t reveal the ending, which the director David Fincher has hinted will be different from the book’s).
Gloucestershire’s village of Stroud, with its cobbled market square, will stand in for the fictional English village of Pagford. The series stars Michael Gambon (who replaced actor Richard Harris as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies), as delicatessen owner Howard Mollison.
In addition, more Harry Potter is on its way. Warner Bros. just announced that production of a feature adaptation of the HP companion book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, (Scholastic, 2001), will take place in their studios near London. Planned as a trilogy, Rowling has written the adaptation based on the fictional Hogwarts textbook. The first film is set to be released in November of 2016.
The hero of Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, has died at 97 of pneumonia. A movie based on that book will be released in December.
Attempts to bring Zamperini’s remarkable life to the movies began over 55 years ago. Finally, Angelina Jolie took on the project, basing it on the 2010 book. In the process, she and Zamperini became friends. They appeared together earlier this year on NBC’s Today Show.
It’s been several months since three’s been news about the film adaptation of S.J. Watson’s domestic thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, (Harper, 2011), and making us fear it had disappeared into Production Limbo. Suddenly today, it was announced that it will be released in the U.S. on 9/12/14.
Before I Go to Sleep is about Christine, played by Nicole Kidman, who wakes up every morning, with no memory of the past. Each day, she discovers a diary she’s been keeping and uses it to try to piece together her life.
A trailer appeared online earlier today, but has since been inexplicably taken down. UPDATE: The U.K. trailer, below, became available a few days after we wrote this. In a significant change from the book, Christine keeps a video diary rather than a written one.
Colin Firth co-stars as Kidman’s husband and Mark Strong as her psychiatrist. The movie is produced by Ridley Scott, and directed by Rowan Joffe, (Brighton Rock, The American).
Before I Go to Sleep tie-in: A Novel
S. J. Watson
Harper Paperbacks; September 30, 2014
(with the announcement of the movie release date, the pub date may be moved up)
Paperback / softback
$14.99 USD / $18.50 CAD
So excited to announce that the brilliant filmmaker Sarah Polley will be writing and directing a film adaptation of Looking for Alaska. I’m a HUGE fan of Sarah’s movies, and her ideas about Looking for Alaska are really wonderful, and I am SO VERY EXCITED.
He has good reason to be excited. Polly wrote and directed the moving Away From Her, starring Julie Christie. She adapted it from Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Looking for Alaska, published in 2005, (Penguin/Dutton), was Green’s first novel, and it won the Printz Award.
Both Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska were optioned shortly after they were published, but it took the success of TFIOS to get the projects moving.
She is also being offered another coveted role, to star in The Danish Girl, based on the 2001 novel by David Ebershoff (Penguin), about one of the first men to have a sex-change operation, and his relationship with his wife. The project has has been in the works for several years, and other actresses having been announced for the role of the wife, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Charlize Theron. At one point, Nicole Kidman was set to play Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe, but earlier this year, it was announced that the film would take a different direction, with a male actor, Eddie Redmayne, taking on that role. Filming is expected to begin this fall.
Will there be more movies based on John Green novels?
Don’t bother answering that.
Now that The Fault in Our Stars is a certified hit, The Hollywood Reporter gives details on the “frenzy of interest” in his other novels.
The one most likely to hit screens first is Paper Towns, (Penguin/Speak), which has Nat Wolff, (Isaac in TFIOS), set to star. Fox 2000 is on the search for a director.
THR also reports on the “ripple effect” for other “grounded” Y.A. adaptations (which have the advantage of not requiring expensive special effects). On the heels of the success of TFIOS, Lionsgate says they are close to hiring a director for an adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, (RH/Knopf)
The movie doesn’t arrive until Valentine’s Day next year, but promo for the adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, began last November with an Entertainment Weekly cover, followed by the release of the first poster in January.
After many delays, the movie Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch, began shooting two weeks ago in Boston (for those in the area, On Location Vacations has scouted out the filming locations). It is now scheduled for release some time in October, 2015.
The film is based on the life of legendary Boston crime boss, Whitey Bulger. Now in his eighties, he was finally found guilty of multiple murders and other crimes last year. The Hollywood press greeted the verdict as providing an ending for the inevitable biopic.
As his nickname implies, Bulger was called that because of his white blonde hair, which was also balding. As a result, Depp has had to change his look.
There have been many books about Bulger, but this movie credit goes to Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, by former Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill (PublicAffairs, 2000; paperback, 2012) .
Published last year, Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice by Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy (Norton, 2/11/13) was featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and described as not only a fascinating story, but “just a great read.”
For the movie, Adam Rex’s chapter book, The True Meaning of Smekday, (Disney/Hyperion; Listening Library) has been changed to the more prosaic Home (following an earlier attempt to call it Happy Smekday!) and its world is very colorful, as shown by the first trailer:
The original received a rapturous review in The New York Times Book Review when it was published in 2007; “a story so original, so absorbing and so laugh-out-loud funny that the minute I read the last page, I want to start at the beginning again … [it] will captivate fans of the wordplay and characters in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and of the outrageously entertaining satire of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”
Written in the form of an essay for a time capsule by an 11-year-old girl nicknamed Tip (her real name is Gratuity), it begins after aliens called the Boov, have invaded the earth. They have changed the name Christmas to Smekday (after one of the Boov leaders). It was illustrator Adam Rex’s first novel (the sequel, Smek For President, is coming in Feb, 2015)
It happens that the rave review was written by EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek. As such a big fan of the book, we wondered how she’d feel about the trailer. Looks like it scores with her as well:
“I LOVE this! The animators really captured how the alien Boov should look. The section of the story featured in the trailer is exactly the one one that I read aloud when I book talk Smekday. I am really looking forward to this one.” The movie is scheduled for release on March 25, 2015.
The main character, Tip, is voiced by singer Rihanna and the Boov alien, named Oh, by Jim Parsons (star of The Big Bang Theory). Fans of the book will remember that character was originally named J.Lo In a twist worthy of the wordplay of the book, the real J.Lo, Jennifer Lopez, voices a different character in the movie.