Archive for the ‘Books & Movies’ Category


Monday, March 27th, 2017

american-assassin-9781416595199_lgCurrently filming, the adaptation of Vince Flynn’s thriller American Assassin, now has a premiere date of Sept. 15, 2017.

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).

Fan Favorites Set for DARKEST MINDS

Friday, March 24th, 2017

9781423157373_f49d4  1423157516_7cd76  1423159349_f8925

Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, is set to star in the film adaptation of The Darkest Minds by 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 news, announced by the Hollywood Reporter, caused a flurry of excitement on fan sites.

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 Time magazine’s Most Influential Teens 2016, Sternberg is described as:

“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 …

Fans have more to look forward to. As theThe Hollywood Reporter notes, “a host of young up-and-comers [are] on the call sheet.”

Jennifer Yuh Nelson (Kung Fu Panda) directs, in her live-action debut.

The movie, still in pre-production, is expected to premiere in September 2018.


Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The first trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Captain 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 and The 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.

Captain Underpants movie  9780545504928_153d8  0590846280

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.

DUMPLIN’ To Movies

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780062327192_15371Nearly 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.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Anne Fletcher (The Proposal, Hot Pursuit) will direct, “working from a script by Aniston’s longtime friend and collaborator Kristin Hahn [The Departed, The Time Traveler’s Wife].”

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.

BERNADETTE Begins Filming This Summer

Monday, March 20th, 2017

9780316204262Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Where’d You Go, Bernadette starring two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett will start filming July 2017, reports Austin360.

The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Maria Semple (Hachette, 2012). Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars) wrote the screenplay.

Fans of the book will have to wait to find out who will play Bernadette’s 15-year-old daughter, Bee Branch, the story’s narrator.

Semple won an Alex Award for the book in 2013. It spent a few weeks on the NYT Hardcover Bestseller list, and many more in trade paperback, hitting a high of #2.

As we noted earlier, Semple has another title headed to a screen. Julia Roberts will star in HBO’s adaptation of her newest novel, Today Will Be Different (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample).

No stranger to TV herself, Semple, who worked on Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development, will write the script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Kids Movies Move Books

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The latest Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which opened this weekend, was the blockbuster the studio longed for. Weeks before it opened, it helped promote books, putting one of the tie-ins, Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly (Hachette/Disney Press) on the NYT Middle Grade Best Sellers List.

Disney is at work on many more live-action adaptations of previous animated hits, including a new version of Dumbo, with Tim Burton directing and Danny DeVito voicing the star.

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.

Also just released is a trailer for another sure-fire book-promoting hit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul!, based on Jeff Kinney’s book series.

Darrin Alert: the movie, and the trailer, feature a new cast.

It premieres May 19.

For a full listing of movie tie-ins, check our list of tie-ins to upcoming films, recently updated with tie-ins to 2017’s most anticipated kid’s movies.


Thursday, March 16th, 2017

HBO’s adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s long-running bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, will begin airing on Sunday, April 22 at 8 p.m. The first trailer was released yesterday.

Expected to be a major show for the cable network, the release is being heavily covered by the entertainment media. Jezebel says “it looks like it might do Henrietta’s story justice.” Elle says it “is certain to be compelling.” Slate, Entertainment Weekly, and RollingStone (which was the first to report Lacks’s story, in 1976) also covered the news.

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.

A tie-in comes out at the end of the month: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Movie Tie-In Edition), Rebecca Skloot (PRH/Broadway Books; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; March 28, 2017).


No Mara, No Craig, No Larsson

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

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.

1487331620_MILLENNIUM-CROPPEDThe 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 Local describes 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.

A Wrinkle In Time Wraps

Monday, March 13th, 2017

MV5BMTBmMjdiMDgtOGMzMC00YTNmLTliYjYtZjYwY2RhNTgyZjNlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzMyMDAxNjg@._V1_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).

The film is currently scheduled to premiere April 6, 2018. Tie-in editions, in hardcover and trade paperback, arrive this November.

The 1963 Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time  (Macmillan/FSG BYR) was previously adapted by Disney as a TV movie.

Disney has had success revising earlier adaptations for a new era, remaking The Jungle Book and Cinderella to critical praise.

Hollywood Intersects with LibraryReads

Friday, March 10th, 2017

9780399184512_3767cAdd Kerry Washington to the list of Hollywood women seeing the possibilities in book adaptations. Variety reports she will produce the planned Warner Bros. feature based on Brit Bennett’s debut novel, The Mothers (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). Bennett is on board to write the screenplay and will serve as an executive producer.

The Mothers was a LibraryReads selection for October 2016. Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO wrote the annotation:

“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 Mothers asks 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.

Bestseller performance aside, it was a literary hit, getting critical attention, glowing reviews, and several best book nods. It was also a Librarian Favorite of 2016, making the top 7 picks.

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.

IT Closer To Screen

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

9781501156687_c02cdStephen 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.

King, never shy about sharing his views on adaptations of his movies (he famously hates Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining), let it be known that he was happy with what he has seen so far. His message board now has a post reading that “he saw a screening of IT today and wanted to let everybody know that they should stop worrying about it as the producers have done a wonderful job with the production.

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 Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter.

The producers were clearly holding their breath for King’s reaction. Muschietti posted on Instagram, “Not a humblebrag. A brag! Mr King, you had us at ‘stop worrying’.

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.

Ted Chiang Takes Off, Again

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

9781101972120_4afa1The 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 Others by 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.

The New Yorker featured Chiang in January and Syfy Wire published an interview in the lead up to the Oscars.

DOWNTON Gone Ghastly

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

97803124299669781250023902Benedict Cumberbatch will star, reports Deadline Hollywoodin a new five-episode limited series for Showtime called Melrose, based on a series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother’s Milk, and At Last.

David Nicholls, author of the best seller One Day and screenwriter for the subsequent film, is writing the adaptations and Cumberbatch will executive produce.

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.”

The collected volume of the first four books, The Patrick Melrose Novels: Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, and Mother’s Milk (Macmillan/Picador; OverDrive Sample), spent three weeks on the extended NYT paperback list. The fifth novel, At Last (Macmillan/Picador; OverDrive Sample) hit the LA Times list, peaking at #16.

Cumberbatch has long wanted to play the role according to Deadline. In 2013 he listed Melrose as the answer to an online Q&A session about the role he would most like to play.

As we noted earlier, Cumberbatch has another adaptation in the pipeline. He will also star in and serve as EP for a TV version of Ian McEwan’s The Child In Time.

Handmaid Featurette

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

9780385490818A 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.” 

Atwood’s book broke on to the NYT Paperback Trade Fiction list last week, it is currently #5 (it is #13 on the Combined Print & E-Book list). Along with ther dystopian classics it has seen a sharp rise in popularity since the election, but Handmaid has the additional push of promotions from Hulu, including a Super Bowl spot that sent the title soaring to #1 on Amazon for a while.

A tie-in will be released on March 28, The Handmaid’s Tale (Movie Tie-in), (PRH/Anchor, trade pbk).

Another classic dystopian novel that has soared on best seller lists recently is also getting screen time. The film version of 1984 starring John Hurt will play in art house movie theaters across the country on April 4th. George Orwell’s novel, that is the day the central character begins to rebel against the oppressive regime by keeping a diary.

Hitting Screens, Week of February 27

Monday, February 27th, 2017

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.

9780316315432_50365When 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 Weekly gives 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.

9780062656322_25b35Before 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.”

Tie-in: Before I Fall Movie Tie-in Edition, Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins; HarperAudio; OverDrive Sample).

MV5BMjI1MjkzMjczMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk4NjYyMTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,676,1000_AL_Logan is the 10th X-Men movie and the final Wolverine solo film. It opens on March 3 and stars Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Dafne Keen.

USA Today calls it an “excellent adventure” and says the series ender is a “super sendoff … going out very much on top.” Entertainment Weekly, not as big a fan, gives it a B- and says it is “a high-octane action flick with a protect-the-cub emotional subtext.”

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).

9781455567607_12df3William P. Young’s 2007 self-published inspirational blockbuster, The Shack, (later picked up by Hachette/Grand Central; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) has had a long road to the silver screen, but it is finally arriving on March 3.

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.

There are few reviews yet but there are multiple tie-ins: The Shack, Wm. Paul Young (Hachette/Windblown Media; Blackstone Audio;  OverDrive Sample; also in mass market). The novel is currently #4 on the NYT combined Fiction best seller list.

9780765326225 The TV series adaptation of Time After Time, based on the 1979 time travel novel by Karl Alexander, as well its earlier film version, will premiere in a 2-hour episode on March 3 on ABC.

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.

For the TV series, the US location was changed to present-day New York. Early reviews are not great. IGN says it “gets off to a bland start that doesn’t inspire much confidence in what’s to come.” Slash Film writes “What’s frustrating about the pilot is that it refuses to deviate from a story that most viewers wouldn’t be disappointed in seeing altered.”

No tie-in has been scheduled, but the book is still available, in a 2010 paperback reprint (Macmillan/Forge Books; OverDrive Sample).