Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category

Jungle Book vs. Jungle Book: Origins

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
One of many editions of the classic, this one has an intro by Neil Gaiman (RH Young Readers(

One of many editions of the classic, this one with an intro. by
Neil Gaiman
(RH Young Readers)

There’s been a few film adaptations of  Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, The Jungle Book over the years.  Two new ones are in the works and are set to arrive in theaters within a year of each other.

The Disney version, scheduled for release Oct 15 next year, has most of the cast in place and is ready to begin production.

There’s been little news about the Warner Bros. version, titled Jungle Book: Origins, to be released on Oct 12, 2016, until now. The Hollywood Reporter announces the first cast member, Benedict Cumberbatch is in place, indicating that it is moving forward as well.

Cumberbatch will be the voice of the villain Shere Khan, a man-eating tiger. In the Disney version, directed by Jon Favreau, he is set to be voiced by Idris Elba. Entertainment Tonight has fun doing a face-off between the two, but you could go even further. How about a face-off with the gravelly malevolent voice of  George Sanders (who was Shere Khan In Disney’s 1967 version) or with Bombay, the actual Bengal tiger in Disney’s 1994 live-action version?

UPDATE: A few hours after we finished this story, more cast members were announced for the Warner Bros. version, so now you can enjoy and even larger face-off.

Mowgli
Warner: Rohan Chand (Bad Words star)
vs.
Disney:  newcomer, Neel Sethi

Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger
Warner: Benedict Cumberbatch
vs.
Disney:  Idris Elba

Baloo, the bear
Warner: Andy Serkis (the film’s director)
vs.
Disney:  Bill Murray

Kaa, the python
Warner: Cate Blanchett
vs.
Disney:  Scarlett Johansson

Bagheera, the panther
Warner: Christian Bale
vs.
Disney:  Ben Kingsley

To The Movies: A MONSTER CALLS

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

9780763655594_0d347Things are moving quickly for the film adaptation of Patrick Ness’s Y.A. novel, A Monster Calls, (illus. by Jim Kay, Candlewick, 2011).

The Hollywood Reporter announces that Sigourney Weaver has just oined the cast. Focus Features bought the rights to the book in March and shortly after set a release date of Oct. 14, 2016.

About a 13-year boy, Conor, who is dealing with his mother’s death, bullying at school, and then a monster in his back yard, Ness wrote it based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, who died before she could complete the project (read Ness’s tribute to her in a sample from OverDrive).

Ness, who wrote the screenplay, and illustrator Jim Kay went on to win Britain’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the book.

Weaver will play the boy’s grandmother, Felicity Jones his mother and Liam Neeson, the monster. The crucial role of Conor has not been cast yet.

Looking For DARK PLACES

Friday, August 15th, 2014

2332_top1It was going to be a fall that featured two major adaptations of Gillian Flynn novels.

Gone Girl, which arrives in theaters on Oct 3, is the focus of  Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Movie Preview (full story only available by subscription).

But the other adaptation, Dark Places, with an A-list cast headed by Charlize Theron, is nowhere to be found in the issue.

Originally scheduled for Sept. 1, that date has since disappeared from IMDb (if you’re headed to Norway in November, however, you can catch it there). The release of the movie tie-in has also been postponed, so we have to assume the movie is being held as well.

Meanwhile, as we noted earlier, Flynn’s first novel, Sharp Objects, is being adapted as a TV series.

Gone Girl director David Fincher upset fans earlier this year when he seemed to imply to Entertainment Weekly that the movie’s final act will different from the book’s. In the new issue, he claims the quote was taken out of context. When asked to clarify if anything has been changed, he says, “Everything and nothing … But at its core, it’s exactly what I think Gillian always intended” (see if you can make sense of the full quote here).

Kate DiCamillo On The Power of THE GIVER

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

9780544430785_b395aJeff Bridges’s long road to his dream of adapting Lois Lowry’s seminal YA dystopian novel, The Giver (HMH, 1993; winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal) has finally become reality. The movie premiered this week, amid a massive amount of publicity, and opens in theaters tomorrow.

The Huffington Post proclaims that “The Giver Movie Is Quite Different From The Book You Remember … ” while on NPR station WBUR, the author herself says The Giver Stays True To Spirit Of Her Book, and also tells the Washington Post that the cast elevated her original novel.

Good news for that novel, it’s at #3 on the new USA Today best seller list, the highest ever for the book.

From the photos at the premiere, it seems that Lowry was having the most fun of anyone there.

EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek, got to see an early screening and calls the movie “spectacular.” Joining her for the screening was Kate DiCamillo (two time Newbery winner and National Ambassador for Children’s Literature), who said,

The Giver is a triumph for book-lovers and movie-goers. It is a movie that reminds us of the power of memory and books and stories and love. It shows us the privilege and the pain and joy of being alive, fully human.”

Don’t Weed Yet: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The Light Between Oceans, Trade PbkDreamWorks has announced that filming will begin in New Zealand and Australia next month for the long-running 2012 world-of-mouth best seller, The Light Between Oceans, M.L. Stedman’s debut novel, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio; Thorndike; trade pbk, 2013).

Starring in a role that, according to Deadline the “brightest young actresses … [were] trying for,”  is Swedish actress, Alicia Vikander. Just 25 years old, she has already appeared in several book-to-movie adaptations.  In 2012, she starred in A Royal Affair, based on the novel by Danish writer Bodil Steensen-Leth and had a supporting role in Anna Karenina. Upcoming, she will appear in Seventh Son, (based on the Joseph Delaney novels, opening in Feb), and star as Vera Brittain in Testament of Youth. She will also star in Tulip Fever, as well as in The Danish Girl.

Also starring in The Light Between Oceans, directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) are Michael Fassbender, and Rachel Weisz.

Other recent movie news, below (check our Books to Movies & TV spreadsheet for a complete listing of upcoming adaptations):

American Sniper – release date set for 12/25/14 – Based on Chris Kyle,’s American Sniper, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2012), directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Luke Grimes. It will probably not include the book’s passages about Jesse Ventura.

5th Wave — Maika Monroe to play Ringer — Based on Ricy Yancey’s The 5Th Wave, (Penguin/Putnam Juvenile, 2013), directed by J Blakeson, it stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Alex Roe, Maika Monroe with Liev Schreiber in negotiations to play the villain. Scheduled for release 1/29/16.

MortdecaiTrailer released  — Based on Kyril Bonfiglioli’s darkly comic detective books, the Charlie Mortdecai series, (published in the U.S. as The Mortdecai Trilogy, Overlook, 1991), it is directed by David Koepp, stars Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn and Paul Bettany and is scheduled for release on 2/6/2015.

The Sound and the Fury – To debut at the Venice film festival next month, based on the 1929 classic by William Faulkner, it is directed by James Franco, and stars Franco, Seth Rogen, and Danny McBride (no, they’re not playing it as a comedy).

BIG LITTLE LIES To Movies

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

big little lies  What Alice Forgot  The Husband's Secret

Following in the footsteps of Gillian Flynn, author Liane Moriarty has been discovered by Hollywood. Three of her six novels are now in development.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon’s production companies just joined forces to option her latest, Big Little Lies, (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn; Penguin Audio; Recorded Books; Thorndike). Released last week, it got a prepub rave from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, followed by another stellar review in the Washington Post. Unsurprisingly, given that her previous title, The Husband’s Secret, (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2013), only recently began dropping on best seller lists, it arrives at #3 on today’s USA Today list,.

Both actress/producers seem to have developed a taste for domestic thrillers. Kidman stars in Before I Go to Sleep, opening Sept. 12, based on the novel by S.J. Watson (Harper, 2011). She’s also bought the rights to The Silent Wife, by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin original trade pbk, 2013). Witherspoon is a producer for Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (RH/Crown, 2012), which releases on Oct. 2

It may be a race to see which Moriarity title makes it to the screen first. What Alice Forgot(Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2011) is in development, with David Frankel attached as director. Also in development, but with no director attached as yet, is The Husband’s Secret to be produced by CBS Films.

Moriarty talks about The Husband’s Secret below (the video was produced by the author’s U.K. publisher and therefore features the U.K. cover):

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:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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