After several years in development, with multiple actresses announced for the lead (Natalie Portman — who is still attached as a producer — Emma Stone, Anne Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska and Rooney Mara), the adaptation of the godmother of the mashup genre, Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009) is set to begin filming in September, with Lily James as Elizabeth Bennett, Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy and Bella Heathcote as Elizabeth’s sister. The box office disaster of that other mashup adaptation, Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, put the studios off for a while, but now it seems that the success of various zombie vehicles have made them forget all that.
Below are some other book-to-movie projects that are getting new life:
Joe Hill, Horns, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2010) — U.S. release date of 10/31/2014 finally announced (it hit theaters in the U.K. last year), sending the book up Amazon’s sales ranking.
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, (1871) — titled Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to the 2010 live-action Alice in Wonderland, is currently filming and scheduled for release on 5/27/2016, with returning cast, Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, Matt Lucas as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and Mia Wasikowska as Alice Kingsleigh, as well as new actors, Sacha Baron Cohen as Time, Rhys Ifans as the Mad Hatter’s father and Ed Speelers as James Harcourt.
For more on upcoming adaptations, check our spreadsheet, EarlyWord, Books to Movies (download and sort by date for the latest stories).
The 1963 Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle (Macmillan/FSG BYR) is set for a new adaptation. Disney just announced that Jennifer Lee who wrote and co-directed the animated mega-hit, Frozen, will write the adaptation.
She replied, “Yes, I expected it to be bad, and it is.”
The interview was conducted when L’Engle was 85, and therefore felt she could “say what I want” and she did, letting loose on fundamentalists and saying of the Harry Potter series, “I read one of them. It’s a nice story but there’s nothing underneath it.”
Alicia Vikander stars as Brittain in the film which is scheduled to open in January in the U.K. (the U.S. date has not yet been set).
Book-to-movie fans will be seeing a lot of Vikander, a Swedish actress, in the future. She has a supporting role in the upcoming Seventh Son (opening Feb. 6, based on Joseph, Delaney’s Revenge of the Witch), stars in Tulip Fever (based on the book by Deborah Moggach, currently filming), and has signed to star in The Light Between Oceans (based on the 2012 best seller by M.L. Stedman), as well as The Danish Girl, (based on the 2002 book by David Ebershoff),
Co-starring is Kit Harington (the heart-throb from Game of Thrones, he will also appear with Vikander in Seventh Son) as Brittain’s fiancé, who dies in the war).
The unexpected success of the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars (unexpected by Hollywood, that is. Librarians saw it coming) has turned producers’ heads to “grounded teen movies,” or “stories that resemble the modern young adult experience.” The real attraction, however, is probably economic, since these films don’t require expensive special effects.
Nevertheless, dystopia will continue to reign in theaters and not just via the sequels to already established hits, The Hunger Games and Divergent. Coming August 15 is the long-awaited adaptation of the godmother of the genre, The Giver, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning novel (Lowry talks about how Y.A. literature has changed since she first published the book in today’s NYT Magazine). Twenty years after her book was first published, Lowry had the fun of appearing on a Comic-Con panel with Jeff Bridges last week (click through to see how happy she looks as Bridges gives her a squeeze).
Close on its heels, The Maze Runner based on the book by James Dasher, (RH/Delacorte, 2009), will arrive on Sept. 19. A new trailer was released on Tuesday (official Web site — TheMazeRunnerMovie.com)
Following in February, Bridges again stars in a Y.A. film, this time a fantasy, The Seventh Son, based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2005). Originally scheduled for release in February, 2013, it has been postponed so often that many began to wonder if it was ever going to arrive, but it now appears that the date is firm. If successful, it could be the beginning of a new franchise. The producers have a plenty of material to draw on, the 13th and final volume in the series is coming in April, 2015.
Looking further ahead, another potential franchise is in the works, with the adaptation of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave is in the midst of casting. Chloe Grace Moretz is set to star as Cassie Sullivan, a 16-year-old trying to save her brother after a series of alien invasions. Production is scheduled to begin in September.
Moretz has already completed work on the more “grounded” Y.A. movie, If I Stay, based on the novel by Gayle Forman. Like fellow YA movie star Shailene Woodley, who plays the lead in both the “grounded” The Fault in Our Stars and the dystopian franchise, Divergent, this places Moretz’s feet in both camps. A new trailer was released last week, which amps up the romance over the first one:
The trailer brought new attention to the book’s sequel, Where She Went, (Penguin/Dutton, 2011), which spiked on Amazon’s sales rankings after it was released.
As far as other “grounded” YA titles on the horizon, if one John Green adaptation is a hit, how about another? His 2008 novel, Paper Towns, is in preproduction with TFIOS actor Nat Wolff signed to star. A release date of 7/31/15 has just been set.
Lionsgate is “close to hiring a director” for an adaptation of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio (RH/Knopf Young Readers). Describing his hopes for it in Hollywood speak, co-president of the company, Erik Feig said, “If Fault is the Love Story of now, Wonder is the Mask of now.”
Two other Y.A. adaptations in the works are less classifiable. Director Edgar Wright has been hired to adapt Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle (Panguin/Dutton, Feb. 2014), which will require some interesting special effects to portray those six-foot tall copulating praying mantises.
After several teasers, Lionsgate debuted the first full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 this weekend at Comic-Con. It was released it online early yesterday and currently has 6 million views.
The movie opens on Nov. 21, followed by Part 2, the final movie in the series, on Nov. 20, 2015.
A tie-in edition will be published at the end of September:
The trailer for the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey was set to debut on the Today Show this morning, but the network has decided to air just a portion of it, saying that the full trailer is not appropriate for morning television (somewhere, the movie’s marketing firm is smiling).
The full trailer, however, will be available on NBC.com following this morning’s broadcast, which will include an interview with the stars, Jamie Dornan, (Christian Grey) and Dakota Johnson’s (Anastasia Steele). Tomorrow morning, the show will feature a behind-the-scenes tour if the film set.
The movie is still seven months away, scheduled to debut in theaters on February 13, 2015.
In April, it was announced that Thea Sharrock, who directed the BBC’s series, Call the Midwife, as well as several Broadway plays, would take it on as her first time directing a film. Moyes wrote the script. No stars have been announced.
British author Moyes broke on to U.S. best seller lists with this, her ninth title, a novel about the relationship between a quadriplegic and his caregiver that also looks at the issue of assisted suicide. It was such a departure for the author, known for more traditional romances, that she worried it would be a tough sell. Instead, it brought her a wider readership.
The author’s most recent book, One Plus One, (Viking/Pamela Dorman), a contemporary, romance, was published in May.
The death last week of Louis Zamperini brought renewed attention to Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 book about the Olympian and WWII hero, Unbroken, causing it to rise on best seller lists (from #88 on the USA Today list to #7).
The L.A. Times says it “bears many of the hallmarks of an awards-season contender, including an inspirational true story, a potential breakout performance and a pair of Oscar-winning screenwriters…The trailer provides a glimpse of what looks to be a fierce performance from newcomer Jack O’Connell as Zamperini .”
Directed by Angelina Jolie, the movie opens on Dec. 25
A paperback edition, with new photos and an interview with the author, will be published later this month.
Unbroken : A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Random House: July 29, 2014
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.