Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

P.P. & Z. Back In Play

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Pride Prejudice ZombiesWe’re trying desperately to avoid all the “back from the dead” cliches, but there’s proof that we’ve fallen prey to them in the past.

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:

Philip Roth, American Pastoral, (Houghton Mifflin, 1997) — to begin filming in Pittsburgh in March, starring Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly.

Kevin Wilson, The Family Fang, (HarperCollins/ Ecco, 2011) — finally filming, as proven by shots of Nicole Kidman on the set.

Maziar Bahari, Then They Came For Me, (Random House, 2011) — Jon Stewart took a hiatus last year to direct this adaptation, titled Rosewater. The release date is now set for 11/7/2014.

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).

A WRINKLE IN TIME Set for A New Adaptation

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

9780312367541The 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.

The book was adapted previously as a TV movie, to middling success. In an interview with Newsweek, L’Engle was asked if the film “met her expectations.”

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.”

Another children’s classic is getting a new look. Universal is adapting Clifford The Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell (Scholastic, 1963) as a live-actio, 3D movie, scheduled for release on April 8, 2016. It was loosely adapted in 2004 as the animated Clifford’s Really Big Movie and as a PBS series.

Universal also announced that they have bought the rights to the best selling picture book, The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, (Penguin/Philomel, 2013).

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, Trailer

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The trailer for a new adaptation of Vera Brittain’s classic WWI memoir, Testament Of Youth (1933) was recently released.

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).

 

YA Films: Dystopian Meets Grounded

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Fault in Our Stars, MTI    VS    9780062289841_34df1

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.

9780385755887_fe810The category is so hot, that a Y.A. novel that won’t be published until January,  All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven, (RH/Knopf Young Readers), has not only been optioned, but Elle Fanning is already set to star.

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.

Tim Burton is at work on Miss Peregrine’s Home, with the title shortened from the book by Ransom Riggs, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Pecular Children(Quirk Books, 2011)Eve Green is set to star, with release scheduled for 3/4/16.

For the latest on upcoming movies, check our spreadsheet, EarlyWord, Books to Movies.

First Full Trailer for Part One of Third Hunger Games Movie

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

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:

9780545788298_96321Mockingjay (The Final Book of the Hunger Games): Movie Tie-in Edition
Suzanne Collins
Scholastic: September 30, 2014
9780545788298, 0545788293
Paperback / softback
$12.99 USD

First Trailer for Third Hobbit Movie

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The title of the third and final Hobbit movie was changed in April from the rather passive There and Back Again to one that promises more action, The Battle of the Five Armies.

The first trailer was released yesterday and already has nearly 3 million views on YouTube. The movie opens on Dec. 17

FIFTY SHADES NS For Morning TV

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Fifty Shades of GreyThe 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.

UPDATE: below is the full trailer.

A truncated version was shown on the Today Show, along with a giddy interview with the stars conducted by a pregnant woman:

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ME BEFORE YOU Movie Set for Next Year

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Me Before YouJojo Moyes’s 2012 best seller, Me Before You, (Viking/Pamela Dorman) is being adapted as a film that has just been set for release next year, on August 21.

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.

UNBROKEN Trailer Released

Friday, July 11th, 2014

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).

A second boost is likely to come from the just-released trailer for the movie adaptation.

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
Laura Hillenbrand
Random House: July 29, 2014
9780812974492, 0812974492
Trade paperback

WILD Trailer

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Based on the trailer, released today, Wild, adapted from Cheryl Strayed’s brutally honest memoir is already being called an Ocsar contender.

That may not be such a leap. Wild‘s director, Jean-Marc Vallee did pretty well at the Oscars last year with The Dallas Buyers Club.

It opens Dec. 5th.

Tie-in:

Wild (Movie Tie-in Edition): From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Cheryl Strayed
RH/Knopf: November 18, 2014
9781101873441, 1101873442
Trade paperback

MOCKINGJAY, New Teaser

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

People, prepare for a long marketing campaign.

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)

Diana Gabaldon On OUTLANDER

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

A preview for the upcoming Outlander series for Starz, based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, features the author as well as an answer to the eternal question — what do men wear under their kilts?

The series begins on Aug. 9. UPDATE: Starz announced that the first episode will be available free  online beginning on Aug. 2.

Official Web Site: Starz.com/Originals/Outlander

Tie-ins:

NewImage

Outlander (Starz Tie-in Edition)
Diana Gabaldon

RH/Bantam: July 1, 2014
9780553393705, 0553393707
Trade paperback
$18.00 USD

RH/Dell: July 1, 2014
9780553393699, 0553393693
Mass market paperback
$9.99 USD

GONE GIRL, New Trailer

Monday, July 7th, 2014

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).

The movie opens in theaters on October 3.

Tie-ins:

Gone Girl (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Gillian Flynn
RH/Broadway; August 26, 2014

Trade paperback

Mass market (rack) paperback

Gone Girl (Audio Tie-In Edition)
Narrators: Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne

CASUAL VACANCY Begins Filming Today

Monday, July 7th, 2014

9780316228534The adaptation of  J.K. Rowling’s first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, (Hachette/Little, Brown), begins shooting in Gloucestershire today. The three-part series, a joint production between the BBC and HBO, is expected to begin airing later this year.

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.

Louis Zamperini Dies

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

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.

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