Dylan O’Brien plays the lead, CIA operative Mitch Rapp. The actor also stars in the Maze Runner film trilogy, based on the YA series by James Dashner. He suffered a serious injury on the set of the final movie in the series, Maze Runner: Death Cure. As a result, shooting of that movie was delayed until he recovered. The release date, also delayed, is now set for January 12, 2018.
Michael Keaton (Birdman) is set for the role of Stan Hurley, Rapp’s CIA trainer. Michael Cuesta (Kill the Messenger, Homeland) directs. USA Today provides a few first look photos.
Although it is the eleventh in the book series, American Assassin moves back in time to depict Rapp’s first assignment, making it a good place to begin a possible movie series. A tie-in has yet to be announced. The paperback is still available (S&S/Pocket).
Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Mindsby Alexandra Bracken (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion).
The first in the YA dystopian trilogy, it features a group of teens with special powers who are persecuted by the government and are on the run hoping to find a sanctuary.
The cast already includes another fan favorite, Amanda Sternberg, who played Rue in The Hunger Games. She also stars as Maddy Whittier in the upcoming adaptation of Nicole Yoon’s Everything, Everything, set for release in May.
“one of her generation’s leading social activists, especially regarding race, representation and gender identity. As a result, she’s earned some high-profile admirers. Among them: Gloria Steinem, who sat for a one-on-one interview with Stenberg for Teen Vogue, and Beyoncé …
The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’sCaptain Underpants, based on the best selling Dav Pilkey series (Scholastic), was released yesterday, arriving in time to be featured before the kids movies set to dominate theaters for the next two weekends, Power Rangers andThe Boss Baby.
Dropping a hint that this may be the first of series, Dreamworks adds the words The First Epic Movie to the title. It opens in theaters on June 2.
A tie-in is being released, Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard on April 25, 2017 (Scholastic), but libraries may prefer to spend their money on additional copies of the original twelve-volume series.
Nearly two years after Disney acquired film rights to Julie Murphy’s YA novel Dumplin’ (HC/Balzer + Bray; HaperAudio; OverDrive Sample), the first star had been announced. Jennifer Aniston, is set to play Rosie, a former beauty queen who now runs a pageant and gave her overweight teenaged daughter the not-so-endearing nickname of the title.
It is early days yet and no other casting choices have been made. Refinery29 writes, “Aniston’s casting gives the film some A-list weight, but we’re more excited to see who lands the role of Will. Please don’t screw this up, Hollywood.”
Production will begin this summer.
Kirkus approvingly wrote the novel’s “plot arc, amazingly, avoids the all-too-common pitfall of having its fat protagonist lose weight.” It was named to the Amelia Bloomer List of recommended feminist literature and appeared on a number of end of year best lists.
Taking advantage of the Disney hit, DreamWorks Animation released a trailer for their adaptation of Marla Frazee’s The Boss Baby using the phrase, “A Tale NOT As Old As Time” and a couple of images to emphasize the reference.
Oprah Winfrey stars as Deborah Lacks, Henrietta’s daughter. Rose Byrne (Damages) plays Skloot. Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton) plays Henrietta and Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) plays con artist Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield. The Broadway superstar and Tony winning George C. Wolfe (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) wrote the screenplay and directs.
Many names will be missing from the second English-language adaptation of the Millennium series, following 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sony has announced that the movie will be released on October 5, 2018, but that neither of the two leads, Rooney Mara or Daniel Craig will return.
Also missing from the credits is the originator of the series of novels, Stieg Larsson. This second movie will be based on the fourth book in the series, The Girl in the Spider’s Web, written by David Lagercrantz after Larsson’s death.
The date of the movie release was announced at a launch party for the fifth book in the Millennium series, also by Lagercrantz, titled in Swedish The Man who Chased His Shadow (Mannen som sökte sin skugga;cover at left), but listed in the US as Untitled Millennium Book 5(PRH/Knopf, 9/12/17).The Swedish publication The Localdescribes the plot,”[Lisbeth Salander] will begin the novel serving a short sentence at a women’s prison, where she is attempting to avoid conflicts between prisoners, and the tale will develop into a story of ‘state abuse, honour problems and shadows from a childhood that still haunts Salander’.”
There’s been no explanation about why the movie will skip ahead to the fourth book in the series, but Sony, whose options on the rights to the Larsson books ran out in 2015, may have decided to avoid dealing with Larsson’s famously contentious estate.
The director and stars of the Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book, A Wrinkle In Time. exuberantly high-fivied each other on social media over the weekend to celebrate the end of filming. Entertainment Weekly lists the well-wishes and selfies.
Oscar-nominated Ava DuVernay (Selma) directs the project. She is the first black woman to do so for a $100 million dollar studio feature, reports the magazine, and only “the fourth female director to have helmed a live-action movie with a budget of over $100 million, joining the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow (2002’s K-19: The Widowmaker), Lana Wachowski (2012’s Cloud Atlas, 2015’s Jupiter Ascending), and Patty Jenkins (this year’s Wonder Woman).”
The film stars Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which. Storm Reid (12 Years a Slave), described by Entertainment Weekly as an “up-and-coming actress,” stars as Meg Murry. Levi Miller, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Bellamy Young, Will McCormack, and Zach Galifianakis each have supporting roles. The screenplay is by Academy Award-winning Jennifer Lee (Frozen).
“In a contemporary Black community in California, the story begins with a secret. Nadia is a high school senior, mourning her mother’s recent death, and smitten with the local pastor’s son, Luke. It’s not a serious romance, but it takes a turn when a pregnancy (and subsequent cover-up) happen. The impact sends ripples through the community. The Mothersasks us to contemplate how our decisions shape our lives. The collective voice of the Mothers in the community is a voice unto itself, narrating and guiding the reader through the story.”
Bennett made waves last year and was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 authors for 2016. Her novel was a NYT bestseller for two weeks, starting in late October 2016 where it debuted at #18. It did better and stayed longer on the LA Times list, where it rose to #7 and lasted six non-consecutive weeks.
Kerry, known for her portrayal of the take-no-prisoners Olivia Pope in the hit TV show Scandal, is on the path to becoming “a Producing Powerhouse” wrote Vanity Fair last year, pointing out that she was the executive producer for HBO’s Confirmation. She also starred in the series, earring nominations for both an Emmy and a Golden Globe award.
The studio optioned the book just recently, so it will be a while before plans firm up, but naming the high-profile Washington to the project is a major step.
Stephen King’s horror classic IT is getting closer to its release date, one of them, that is.
The 1986 story that made a generation terrified of clowns is being made into a 2-part movie.
Part one follows a group of teenagers, members of the Losers’ Club, who live in a small town in Maine and fight against an ancient and shape-shifting evil that terrorizes the town every 27 years. Part one of the film version follows those kids. It releases on September 8, 2017.
Part two will follow those same terrorized teens as adults, as they once again stand guard against the recurring evil of It. Filming is about to begin, a surprise to the film fan site BloodyDisgusting , which thought the studio would wait to see how well part one does, “We figured cameras wouldn’t start rolling unless/until box office numbers came in, but it seems we were quite wrong about that … filming will begin March 17, 2017 on the second film, under the secret title Accordion.”
Andrés Muschietti (Mama) is directing and Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård plays the evil clown Pennywise. One of the producers is Seth Grahame-Smith, known for launching the mashup craze with his books Pride and Prejudice and Zombiesand Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.
Entertainment Weekly posted a creepy picture of Pennywise, calling the character a “bloodthirsty jokester — just one incarnation of a shape-shifting evil that feeds on fear, misery, and the occasional child.”
A mass market tie-in edition, It (MTI): A Novel, Stephen King (Pocket/S&S), comes out on July 25, 2017. Cover art has yet to be released.
The film Arrival was nominated for eight Oscar awards but nabbed just one, for Sound Editing. However, clips from the film, shown during the Academy Awards show, served to prime audiences for the film’s On Demand debut on Saturday.
In turn, the the collection that included the short story it is based on, Stories Of Your Life And Othersby Ted Chiang (originally published in 2002 by Macmillan/Tor; re-released by PRH/Vintage in 2016; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample) is moving up Amazon’s sales ranking again. Demand is also strong in libraries we checked, with most systems topping 4:1 ratios.
This marks a second wave of interest in the collection, after the film’s release in November, when the paperback appeared on the NYT Best Seller List for several weeks.
The formerly under-the-radar Science Fiction writer has since received a even more attention. Wired picked the collection last month for their book club, saying the lead story is so moving that it made participating staff members cry in public.
Each episode will be based on one of the novels which The Atlantic has called “short, remarkably compressed … (most take place in just 24 hours or so).” The 2014 roundup review begins with a summary that Hollywood could lift, “Imagine a family like the Downton Abbey clan gone bad.”
The novels chronicle the horribly abusive life of aristocrat Patrick Melrose, a drug addict who endured a tortuous childhood. The Atlantic says they are “both harrowing and … hilarious … St. Aubyn has a cut-glass prose style, a gift for unexpected metaphor, and a skewering eye.”
“Although reviewers liken Edward St. Aubyn to Evelyn Waugh and Oscar Wilde,” writes The New Yorker‘s esteemed critic James Woods, “he is a colder, more savage writer than either … his fiction reads like a shriek of filial hatred; most of the posh English who people his novels are virulently repellent … [the books have] an aristocratic atmosphere of tart horror, the hideousness of the material contained by a powerfully aphoristic, lucid prose style.”
A new short feature sets up the violent dystopian landscape of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1986; OverDrive Sample), set to being airing on April 26, 2017.. Executive producer and creator Bruce Miller says “It is unquestionably a dark world, but it’s not a dark show. The show is about perspective and not losing the hope of getting your life back.”
Star Elizabeth Moss adds, “Here’s this character stripped of everything, of her rights, of her family, of her friends, and she still can’t quite give up.”
Debuting this week is a major TV documentary, a heavily anticipated adaptation of a YA novel, and the film version of a long-running inspirational best seller.
When We Rise airs on ABC starting Feb. 27 in a two-hour premiere. Gus Van Sant directs this chronicle of the LGBTQ community’s civil rights movement. Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, created the project, inspired in part by Cleve Jones’s memoir When We Rise: My Life in the Movement (Hachette; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).
It runs for eight hours over four nights. The large cast includes Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Michael K. Williams, and Rachel Griffiths.
Entertainment Weeklygives it a B+, writing, “It’s a story of a marginalized people who deserve to be recognized, a history we all need to know and own, presented as potent mainstream television.” The LA Times calls it “powerful and moving.” USA Today says it is “overly ambitious … But goodness: Scattered within this history of the battle for gay rights are moments of great power and lessons of great importance, as it pays homage to a struggle that too frequently has been ignored by mainstream television — and has yet to be fully won.”
There is no tie-in but the hardback edition of Jone’s book now has a sticker connecting it to the show.
Before I Fall opens on March 3. It is an adaptation of Lauren Oliver’s debut YA novel, the best seller Before I Fall (HarperCollins, 2010).
Directed by Ry Russo-Young (Nobody Walks), the film stars Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy), Halston Sage (Goosebumps), Logan Miller (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) and Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, The L Word).
Variety calls it “impressively stylish” and says it “forgoes the overlit Disney Channel look, embracing a cooler, steely-blue aesthetic that’s more in line with such bygone cult faves as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars — plus, it unfolds in that post-Judy Blume space where it’s OK to broach such touchy issues as teen suicide and contraception.”
The Hollywood Reporter says “this neatly written Heathers-meets-Groundhog Day high-concept package delivers both technical polish and a toothsome yet likeable cast. Better still, it has just enough tragic edge to draw young adults, and young-at-heart adults, with melancholy temperaments.”
It is not a pure adaptation of the comics, but rather inspired by them. We wrote earlier about one tie-in, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, Mark Millar, illustrated by Steve McNiven (Hachette/Marvel; OverDrive Sample).
The film stars Sam Worthington (Avatar), as a father who has lost is faith in the face of unspeakable tragedy. Octavia Spencer (The Help) plays God. Grammy winner Tim McGraw stars as well, alongside Radha Mitchell.
The book features author H.G. Wells who creates an actual version of the apparatus featured in his novel The Time Machine, which is used by Jack the Ripper to escape to 1970’s era San Francisco, with Wells on his heels.