Oh, my Mr. Grey, I can’t LEGO of your playroom!
(Click here for a less interesting version).
Oh, my Mr. Grey, I can’t LEGO of your playroom!
(Click here for a less interesting version).
The movie that went through so many changes that many wondered if it would ever become a reality, Steve Jobs, based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of the same title (S&S, 2011), is now set for release on Oct 9, a date that, as Variety notes, is “just in time for awards season.”
Currently shooting in the San Francisco area, it stars Michael Fassbender as Jobs, in a role originally intended for Leonardo DiCaprio and then for Christian Bale. Seth Rogen plays Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet, former Macintosh marketing head Joanna Hoffman, and Jeff Daniels, Apple CEO John Sculley.
The film rights for Meg Wolitzer’s sixth novel, The Wife, (S&S/Scribner, 2003) were signed years ago, but the project is just now heating up.
Last May, it was announced that Glenn Close had signed as the lead with Swedish filmmaker Bjorn Runge directing.
The main cast was recently announced:
Joan Castleman — Glenn Close
Joe Castleman — Jonathan Pryce
David Cattleman, their son — Logan Lerman
Nathaniel Bone, Joe Castleman’s biographer — Christian Slater
Young Joan Castleman — Brit Marling
McDormand her mentor — Frances McDormand
The novel is about a woman who puts aside her own writing career to support her husband’s. He then rewards her by philandering and ignoring their children. It was described in a New York Times review as “a near heartbreaking document of feminist realpolitik.” The feminist angle may have been lost on the movie’s director who calls it, “the story of love, creativity and a secret larger than life itself that the main characters, Joan and Joe, are carrying.”
Shooting is expected to begin this spring.
Casting is about to begin for Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel about a group of soldiers returning home from Iraq, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 2012), set to start production in mid-April.
Applauded for the use of 3D in his adaptation of Life of Pi, the press release promises even more for Billy Lynn, “The film will explore new methods, both technological and artistic, with the goal of further engaging the audience. Lee … envisions creating a new way for audiences to experience drama, including the heightened sensation that soldiers really feel on the battlefield and on the home front.”
A debut novel, it was the winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award and a finalist for the National Book Awards. The Washington Post called it, “a masterful gut-punch of a debut novel … a razor-sharp, darkly comic novel — a worthy neighbor to Catch-22 on the bookshelf of war fiction.”
We envy this headline from New York magazine’s Vulture blog, “Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Movie Begins Filming With Cast Full of People Who Haven’t Dropped Out Yet.”
Yes, the movie based on Walter Isaacson’s biography has suffered through many changes. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were breathlessly announced as stars, only to drop out. It has also changed studios (from Sony to Universal) and directors (from David Fincher to Danny Boyle) and had to endure another film being released with a similar title, Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher.
Universal’s announcement this week that production has begun in San Francisco may raise skepticism, but the company insists that Michael Fassbender is set to play Jobs, with Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as former Macintosh marketing head Joanna Hoffman, Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley. Boyle is still directing.
Called the “The [Sundance Film] festival’s most hotly anticipated documentary,” by USA Today, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is getting a chilly reception from the film’s subject after its Sunday premiere. Entertainment Weekly reports the Church is responding “aggressively,” through social media and ads in the New York Times.
Based on the 2013 book by Lawrence Wright (RH/Knopf), who also is a producer on the film, it is set to air on HBO on March 16. The book itself is called a “a masterpiece of in-depth reporting packed to the brim with insane details and shocking revelations,” this week in Salon.
Before it was published in 2008, Ridley Scott bought the film rights to the heavily promoted, and well-received debut Cold War era thriller, Child 44, (Hachette/Grand Central), by Tom Rob Smith. A trailer was just released for the resulting film that will land in theaters on April 17
Directed by Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), it stars Tom Hardy as a demoted Russian secret police agent battling both his superiors and his unhappy wife, played by Noomi Rapace, as he tries to track down a serial killer who targets children.
Tom Rob Smith
Hachette/Grand Central: March 31, 2015
Disney’s live-action musical of Beauty and the Beast has found its Belle; Emma Watson, who began her movie career at age eleven playing Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, has signed on for the lead.
It is set to be directed by Stephen Chbosky, who also directed Watson in the adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, (S&S/MTV Books, 2012).
Behind American Sniper, a second, quieter film did well at the box office this weekend. Also the recipient of good timing Still Alice, based on the novel by Lisa Genova, expanded nationwide this weekend and was able to capitalize on the movie’s star, Julianne Moore, becoming the front-runner for this year’s Best Actress Oscar.
It’s a Cinderella story for both the book and the movie. Unable to get an agent for the book, Genova self-published it. Her guerrilla marketing was so successful that she then landed an agent and a mainstream publisher, Simon & Schuster. Released as an original trade paperback in 2009, it went on to become a best seller. Appropriately, as the author recently told the Boston Globe, for the film rights, the she took a chance on a “very small new production company,” because she felt, “they really understood the intent of the story.”
In libraries we checked, Still Alice is neck-and-neck in holds with American Sniper.
Genova, a neuroscientist, has published two novels since, both dealing with brain disorders. Left Neglected is about the results of a brain injury and Love Anthony, about autism. In her next novel, Inside the O’Briens, (S&S/Gallery; S&S Audio; 4/7/14), she writes about a family dealing with Huntington’s Disease.
Still Alice, Lisa Genova
S&S.Gallery: December 16, 2014
Mass Market, S&S/Pocket Books
Audio CD, &S Audio
The Clint Eastwood movie American Sniper, based on Chris Kyle’s autobiography, was a big winner at the box office this weekend, giving the movie industry much-needed hope.The timing of the film’s wide release, immediately after the Oscar nominations were announced, is considered a big factor in its success.
Another is the film’s patriotic appeal, although that is being question by several who object to the movie making a hero of a man who said in his book, “The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.”
The movie’s subject, the late Chris Kyle is getting renewed attention, including this story on NBC’s Nightly News:
As a result, his book, which has been a long-running best seller, now occupies three spots on the Amazon top 10, with another editions is at #64:
#1 — Mass market ed. with original cover, (Harper, 2013)
#5 — Trade pbk tie-in (HarperCollins/Morrow Paperbacks, 2014)
#8 — Hardcover memorial edition (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2013)
#64 — Mass market. tie-in, (Harper, 2014)
“Well, it’s certainly going to be one white, male Oscars.
With no people of color nominated in the acting categories, no stories about women included in the best picture race, and even Gone Girl novelist/screenwriter … Gillian Flynn omitted from the best adapted screenplay category, the Academy demonstrated its lack of diversity today in a big way.”
Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand, was not nominated for either Best Picture or Best Director. It only received nominations for Best Cinematography, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.
Neither is Unbroken nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. The nominees in that category are:
American Sniper, Jason Hall — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore — Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson — Pynchon, Thomas, Inherent Vice, (Penguin Press, 2009)
The Theory of Everything, Anthony McCarten — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle
If you’re wondering about the latter, so are many others, including the film’s creators. The Academy decided that since writer/director Damian Chazelle released another short film on the same subject in 2013, also called Whiplash, the feature film technically falls into the category of being “based on material previously published or produced.”
The other major nominations for book adaptations are:
American Sniper, Best Picture, Actor (Bradley Cooper), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing — based on Kyle, Chris, American Sniper, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012)
The Imitation Game, Best Picture, Director, Actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), Supporting Actress (Keira Knightley), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, Production Design– Hodges, Andrew, Alan Turing: The Enigma, (S&S, 1983; re-released by Princeton U. Press, 2012)
The Theory of Everything, Best Picture, Actor (Eddie Redmayne), Actress (Felicity Jones), Adapted Screenplay, Original Score — Hawking, Jane, Traveling To Infinity: My Life With Stephen, (Alma Books, 2007)
Still Alice, Best Actress (Julianne Moore) — Genova, Lisa, Still Alice, (S&S/Pocket Books, 2009)
Gone Girl, Best Actress (Rosamund Pike) — Flynn, Gillian, Gone Girl, (2012)
Wild, Best Actress (Reese Witherspoon), Supporting Actress (Laura Dern) — Strayed, Cheryl, Wild, (RH/Knopf 2012)
The following has a book tie-in, which was released around the same time as the movie:
Foxcatcher, Best Director, Actor (Steve Carell), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay — Mark Schultz & David Thomas, Foxcatcher: The True Story of My Brother’s Murder, John du Pont’s Madness, and the Quest for Olympic Gold, (Penguin/Dutton, 11/4/14).
Why is Foxcatcher getting a nomination for Original Screenplay? It’s a complicated story, but it seems that Schultz sent the unpublished book to the filmmakers. The movie they made was based on the story, with Schultz consulting, but not technically the book, which was published later.
For Best Animated Feature, three of the nominations are adapted from print sources:
Big Hero 6 — Seagle, Steven T. and Duncan Rouleau, comics (Marvel)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 — characters by Cressida Crowell
Never underestimated the importance of the Oscars to a movie’s bottom line.
Just a few months after the release of the first trailer for Ron Howard’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea and the announcement of a March 13 release, comes a change in date to, you guessed it, one that falls right in the awards season sweet spot, Dec. 11, 2015.
As a result, the tie-ins are likely to be moved to a later release date.
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Movie Tie-in)
Penguin, Trade Paperback Feb. 24, 2015
Audio: Feb. 24, 2015
Nathaniel Philbrick, Scott Brick
Talk about your moneyball. The film version of Michael Lewis’s best seller about the financial meltdown, The Big Short, (Norton, 2011).has attracted some big stars, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Ryan Gosling, will star according to Variety. Pitt is producing.
Pitt, of course, starred in an adaptation of another title by Lewis, Moneyball, (Norton, 2003).
Before that, the movie based on his 2006 book, The Blind Side, (Norton), was also a hit.
Aaron Sorkin, who was wrote the screenplay for Moneyball, bought the rights to Lewis most recent title, Flash Boys, (Norton, 2014) and it was reported to be on his “front burner” after his success with Newsroon, but hacked Sony emails indicate he has passed on the project.
Amid protests that the “R” rating for the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey is too mild, a new trailer debuted during the broadcast of the Golden Globes awards. This one offers a glimpse of a new “Grey,” Marcia Gay Harden as Christian’s mother.
The movie, of course, will be released on Valentine’s Day weekend.
AMC has landed the rights to a TV mini-series adaptation of The Night Manager, based on the 1993 novel by by John le Carré. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Hugh Laurie (House), it will be directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier (In a Better World) and is set to begin shooting this spring.
The author’s first post-Cold War novel, it was a best seller, but is no longer in print and is not on recent critics’s lists of the author’s best works:
John le Carré Starter Kit – Dwight Garner, NY Times
Which Is the Best John le Carré Novel? David Denby, The New Yorker
6 Classic le Carré Novels to Read After A Most Wanted Man, New York magazine
Top 10 John le Carré novels – Telegraph
Shooting has wrapped on a movie adaptation of another le Carre novel, Our Kind of Traitor, (Penguin/Viking, 2010), starring Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris and Damian Lewis, directed by Susanna White. A U.S. release date has not been announced.