Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

Adaptations Update; Weinstein Fallout

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

The fallout from the Harvey Weinstein scandal grows with each passing hour. His name is in the process of being removed from the film company he co-founded with his brother, The Weinstein Company. Hachette has closed down the Weinstein book imprint, he has been removed as a producer from several projects, including the adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl and BBC1’s TV series Les Miserables. While both projects will move forward without him, other adaptations will not. Apple has shut down a TWC Elvis series based on the book by Dave Marsh. Channing Tatum announced that he has withdrawn the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, saying “we will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC.”

Accusations against others are also surfacing. Shortly after Bob Weinstein castigated his brother as “depraved ” in an emotional interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he found himself facing similar accusations. Oliver Stone was also accused of harassment shortly after publicly stating he was “appalled” by the stories about Weinstein and commending the “courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape,”

More are likely to follow. As Deadline points out, Weinstein is part of a horrible tradition that reaches back to the early days of the business.

But not all news in Hollywood is Weinstein-related. Several projects are in the works, as listed in our most recent update, Movie and TV Book Adaptations — UPDATES,10:09 through 10:19:17. Among the highlights:

I Know This Much Is True — Mark Ruffalo will star in HBO’s adaptation of the Wally Lamb novel

The One and Only Ivan — Angelina Jolie will voice lead in an animated version of Katherine Applegate’s Newbery medalist

Never Caught — Film rights picked up for one of the finalists for this year’s National Book Awards

Outlander — Season 4 begins filming in Scotland, based on Drums Of Autumn, book 4 in Diana Gabaldon’s series

The Alienist  — TV series is set for release in January on TNT based on Caleb Carr’s novel

Nancy Drew –NBC puts series into redevelopment after NBC passed on it last year

Goldfinch — Ansel Elgort to play Theo in the movie based on Donna Tartt’s best seller

For a full rundown of upcoming adaptations, link to our Movies & TV Based on Books spreadsheet. Our list of tie-ins here.

Adaptations Update:
New Trailers Abound

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

The trailer for the next movie in the Star Wars franchise, The Last Jedi, made its debut last night during the broadcast of the Bears vs. Vikings game. It’s not based on a book, but a multitude of tie-ins are being published. In keeping with recent tradition, to avoid spoilers, novelizations won’t be released until March, well after the movie’s December debut. Until then, publishers have to content themselves with publishing bridge Journey to Star Wars titles. Entertainment Weekly describes the titles in the publishing program. See the list of titles in our catalog of Upcoming — Tie-ins.

A flurry of other new trailers have been released since our last update:

Justice League

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Jack Ryan

Castle Rock

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

Marvel’s Runaways

Happy!

1922 (Stephen King)

Constantine

Paddington 2

Shadowhunters, Season 3

Waco

In other news since our last update, what’s old is new again. Back in 2010, there was much excitement about an adaptation of Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra, to be directed by James Cameron with Angela Jolie potentially in the lead. Both went on to other things, but the project may be getting new life, with Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve in talks to take it on. No word on potential stars.

The many Tana French fans will be delighted that her Dublin Murders series is being adapted by BBC One as an eight-part series.

For a full rundown of upcoming adaptations, link to our Movies & TV Based on Books spreadsheet. To browse just the recent updates, download EarlyWord, Books-to-Movies UPDATES-—-Sept-22 thru Oct 9, 2017.

 

Adaptations Update; Streaming Services Causing Upheaval

Friday, September 15th, 2017

 

One of two film adaptations opening today, Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father debuts in just 13 cities, as well as on Netflix. It’s rare that a film appears in theaters as well as on demand. Theater owners generally stick to the 90-day window, refusing to book any movie set to appear on demand within that period, let alone on the same date. Landmark Theaters, however, has a deal with Netflix, which also applies to the upcoming adaptation of Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night, starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.

While many studio chiefs say they want to support theater owners with the 90-day rule, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch spoke out strongly against the practice this week, claiming it will change in the next year, but not specifying how.

The rise of streaming services is also causing pain to cable TV. A new report says that more people are quitting cable in favor of streaming.

But Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seems to be suffering at least a bit of cable envy. This week, he ordered Amazon studios to bring him a show like HBO’s Game of Thrones. Presumably, he’s not impressed with award-winning series that draw relatively small audiences. Amazon Studio head, Roy Price, tells Variety, “We’ve been looking at the data for some time, and as a team, we’re increasingly focused on the impact of the biggest shows. It’s pretty evident that it takes big shows to move the needle.” Already canceled is the second season of Z, based on Therese Anne Fowler’s novel about Zelda Fitzgerald. It’s predicted that a planned series based on Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan will suffer a similar fate

The second adaptation opening today fits the traditional model, debuting in 3,100 theaters. American Assassin, based on Vince Flynn’s series, is expected to do well at the box office and launch a new franchise, but not to eclipse Stephen King’s It, which exceeded expectations and gave the movie business a much-needed piece of good news after a dismal summer.

Those are just a few of the nearly 50 projects we’ve recently updated on our spreadsheet of Upcoming Movies & TV Based on Books. To browse the updates, download EarlyWord, Books to Movies, UPDATES — Aug 22 thru Sept 14, 2017.

Adaptations Update

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

The adaptation of Donna Tartt’s 2013 best seller The Goldfinch (Hachette/Little,Brown) may finally be moving ahead. Variety reports that Warner Bros. is working on a deal with Amazon Studios to co-finance the project.

That’s just one of the over 40 projects we’ve updated on our spreadsheet of Upcoming Movies & TV Based on Books in the last two weeks. To browse the latest information, download EarlyWord, Books to Movies, UPDATES — Aug 7 thru Aug 22

Other highlights:

Production has begun in Atlanta on a movie based on the YA novel Dumplin’  by Julie Murphy. In the title role is Australian actress Danielle Macdonald, who is currently getting kudos as the star of Patti Cake$. Jennifer Aniston will join her in the musical comedy, playing her mother.

A director has been hired for a TV series based on Amor Towles’s A Gentleman From Moscow, which is still on the NYT best seller list, at #8 after 28 weeks.

Stars have been announced for a TV series based on Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches.

Octavia Butler’s Dawn, Book One in her Lilith’s Brood trilogy,(1987) is being developed as a TV series.

Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House is moving forward as a Netflix series.

Trailers have been released for:

Our Souls at Night, based on Ken Haruf’s 2015 novel.

Molly’s Game based on the memoir, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker, by Molly Bloom, (HarperCollins/It Books, 2014)

Movie/TV Adaptations, Updates

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Although EarlyWord is no longer publishing on a daily basis, we continue to update the resources listed on the right

Since July 3rd, we have added new information on 60 projects to our spreadsheet of Upcoming Movies & TV Based on Books. Download a spreadsheet to browse just the newest lists here, Adaptation Updates.

The most intriguing book and TV news doesn’t appear on that list, however, since it’s not an adaptation. It’s PBS’s announcement last week of “The Great American Read” (working title), an eight-part series, with the ambitious goal of getting people to vote for  “America’s Best Loved Book,” set to kick off in May, 2018

Also not based on a book, but arriving with several tie-ins, as well as plenty of display opportunities, is Ken Burns’s documentary The Vietnam War which debuts on PBS on 9/17/17 (included in our catalog of tie-ins here).

To TV: VANITY FAIR

Thursday, June 29th, 2017

A new adaptation of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair is heading to TV, streaming on Amazon and airing on Britain’s ITV reports Variety.

It will star Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One) as the wily Becky Sharp, a woman trying to rise through society against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. James Strong (Broadchurch) directs.

The novel, a classic of British literature, has been adapted many times, on TV and in the movies. Most recently, in the form of a film staring Reese Witherspoon an directed by Mira Nair, It was “a box-office disappointment” according to Variety. This new production hopes to revive interest. An ITV executive said the seven episode series will “bring the novel to life in a way that will really connect with a modern audience.”

The series is being produced by Amazon Studios and Mammoth Screen. Mammoth, an arm of ITV, produced the popular Victoria series which played on PBS in the United States. ITV is most famous in the US for creating Downton Abbey.

The historical drama is expected to debut in 2018. The book has been published in a number of editions and is also available as a full-cast audio featuring narrators Emma Fielding and Stephen Fry (BBC Books).

The Telegraph offers a primer on the story and the importance of the novel.

FOUNDATION To TV

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Isaac Asimov’s science fiction Foundation Trilogy may be headed to TV reports Deadline Hollywood. Skydance Television, the production company behind the new Star Trek films and World War Z, is helming a possible project.

This is not the first attempt to translate the books to screen. Den of Geek writes that as recently as 2014 HBO took a crack at it and Deadline adds “the guys who greenlit The Lord Of The Rings films [as well as] Independence Day director Roland Emmerich” have tried as well.

This time the team includes showrunners and screenwriters who have worked on the Dark Knight trilogy and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

According to Deadline the main reasons no one has been able to adapt the series yet is their sprawling nature, involving many characters and plots and because George Lucas drew on them so heavily for Star Wars “the challenge is to not appear to be ripping off one of Hollywood’s most successful film franchises, even though Asimov wrote his books 75 years ago.”

The Foundation Trilogyan iconic piece of science fiction, won the 1966 Hugo Award for Best All-Time Series, beating out Lord of the Rings, even though, as io9 reports, many thought the category was invented specifically to honor that title.

io9 posted a guide to the books back when they thought HBO would make the series. Their primer is still useful for anyone who needs to get up to speed on the story. Both trade paperback and mass market editions are still in print (PRH/Spectra).

More Martin

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

In addition to the GOT spinoffs, another George R.R. Martin adaptation is in the works. The Syfy channel just greenlighted a pilot based on his supernatural 1980 novella Nightflyers.

A team is “setting up a writers room to generate backup scripts in preparation for a potential series pickup,” reports Deadline Hollywood. The pilot script is being written by Jeff Buhler, known for the horror films The Midnight Meat Train and the upcoming remake of Jacob’s Ladder.

Variety describes the story as following “eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system in the hopes of contacting alien life. They travel aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other, and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought.”

The Nerdist adds “After all, if the night is dark and full of terrors, just imagine what untold horrors lie in the inky blackness of space.”

On his blog, Martin says it is “one of my SF/ horror hybrids … a favorite of mine (especially the longer version that I did for BINARY STARS), and I think the show could have a lot of potential… especially if you like a little horror in your SF.”

The novella was adapted into what Den of Geek calls “a schlocky, limited-releasefilm in 1987. The novella itself is collected in Martin’s 1985 Nightflyers, now out of print.

Martin, who has an exclusive contract with HBO, is not involved with this new project.

Hitting Screens, Week of June 26, 2017

Monday, June 26th, 2017

The upcoming weekend brings the latest in the family film franchise, Despicable Me 3 (see our earlier story for tie-ins), the debut of one adaptation and the continuation of a James Patterson TV series.

Fresh from winning Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, only the second time a woman has done so in 71 years, Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled opens in theaters on June 30th [CORRECTION: the film opened in 4 theaters last week and did well. It expands to 500 locations on Friday].

Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst star in the film about a group of women sequestered in a Southern girls boarding school during the Civil War and the wounded Union soldier who arrives at their doorstep. (See our earlier post for more on the novel and its adaptations).

Reviews vary widely. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a film that radiates with thrilling, deliciously dark southern gothic flair” and CNN credits it with being “a small-scale movie that exalts old-fashioned movie-making qualities, yielding a refreshingly understated alternative to a sea of summer blockbusters.”

On the other hand, USA Today writes, “While Coppola creates some gorgeous imagery, the drama amounts to an overly pretentious version of a sudsy made-for-TV movie, complete with bodice ripping.”

Coppola appeared on CBS This Morning to promote the film, talking about the cast and her vision for the story.

Tie-in edition: The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In), Thomas Cullinan (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge’s Zoo returns to CBS for its third season on June 29; it stars Nonso Anozie, Nora Arnezeder, Billy Burke, Kristen Connolly, and James Wolk.

The first two seasons focused on how the animal kingdom turned on humans and began hunting them down. Humans developed a gas to stop them, but it had an unpleasant side effect. Rotten Tomatoes describes new series, “Ten years after the animals were cured but at the cost of sterilizing the human population, a new threat rises in the form of ‘the hybrids,’ an army of unstoppable lab-made creatures focused on destroying mankind.”

There was a tie-in for season one, the Zoo story was extended as one of Patterson BookShotsZoo 2, and is also a graphic novel. There is no tie-in for season 3.

Rumor Control: DOWNTON Movie

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Rumors of a Downton Abbey movie have resurfaced.

Michael Edelstein, president of NBCUniversal International Studios, said at an event in Singapore this week for Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, that the company hopes “to assemble 20 cast members from the popular TV series” for a new film, currently set for 2018.

The headline of the AP story, however makes it sound much more definite, “NBC says ‘Downton Abbey’ movie production to start in 2018.”

The news seems to have taken much of the cast by surprise. A film version has been rumored for years.

Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, told the AP “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

“Oh, well, you’ve got confirmation before us. We have no idea if that’s happening,” said Sophie McShera, who plays Daisy.

Creator Julian Fellowes was hopeful, responding “I think we’ve got a film in us. I hope it happens.”

As we posted earlier, Fellowes and Elizabeth McGovern are already booked for now, working on the Masterpiece’s production of The Chaperone, based on Laura Moriarty’s 2012 novel, which is set to begin filming soon in NYC.

 

Hitting Screens, Week of June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19th, 2017

There are no film adaptations opening this week but four TV series based on books premiere.

Grantchester returned yesterday for season three on PBS Masterpiece.

James Norton (Happy Valley) stars as vicar Sidney Chambers with Robson Green playing Inspector Geordie Keating. The two get caught up in even more mysteries as Sidney must decide if he will follow his heart with his long lost love or follow his church and abide by his moral calling.

The newest book in the series was published in May, Sidney Chambers and the Persistence of Love by James Runcie (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; also in trade paperback; OverDrive Sample). It is stickered to connect it to the PBS series although it is not a direct tie-in to the new season.

Queen Sugar premieres on Tuesday, June 20.

See our earlier post for full details, and note there is a tie-in:

Queen Sugar: A Novel (TV Tie-In), Natalie Baszile (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

The TV adaptation of Stephen King’s novella The Mist debuts on Spike TV on June 22. It details the terror that grips a community when a strange vapor invades a small town.

The story is contained in the new edition of Skeleton Crew: Stories by Stephen King (S&S/Pocket; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Washington Post includes it on their rundown of “Summer TV 2017,” giving it a C+ and calling it “a 10-episode Walking Dead-type survival of the fittest.”

Entertainment Weekly offers insights into the newest creepfest of a trailer.

Preacher returns to AMC for season 2 on June 25. It is based on the comic series of the same name by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

GQ calls the original an “iconic and maniacally violent comic book from the 1990s about faith and God and true love and the American dream,” but found the first season of the TV show “uneven” and the final episode “a bummer.” They offer several ways season two can be redeemed.

Entertainment Weekly was kinder, giving season one a B and writing “For all its frustrations, season 1 was always funny and always fun to watch.” The NYT was on board too, writing it “packs apocalypse, horror, religion, dirty realism and dime-store westerns into its glass jar, then sets the whole bloody mixture on purée.”

There is no direct tie-in. The comics ended in 2000 and have been published in trade paperback collections, hardcover editions, and most recently, expensive absolute editions (archival quality restored and recolored versions collecting an entire comic run in one or two volumes). Absolute Preacher Vol. 2 by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon (DC Comics/Vertigo) was just published, priced at $150.

Alone And Adrift

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

CBS Sunday Morning featured A Speck in the Sea: A Story of Survival and Rescue by John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski (Hachette/Weinstein Books; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) as their cover story this week.

In this harrowing but ultimately triumphant story, John Aldridge falls off his boat in the early hours of the morning while fishing in the Atlantic. After surviving sharks, cold, and twelve hours in the open ocean, the Coast Guard spotted him clinging to a rope. The rescue pilot told him they never find men alive, they just find bodies.

The story was widely reported, most notably in a 2014 NYT Magazine cover story. The Weinstein company bought both the book and the film rights.

The book came out in late May. Publishers Weekly calls it “hair-raising” and a “page turner.”

No word yet on when the film will premiere but it has some big names attached on the production side, including the producers behind Moneyball and Paranormal Activity.

To TV: Alex Rider

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

Anthony Horowitz’s bestselling Alex Rider novels, featuring a teenage spy recruited by MI6, are a step closer to becoming a TV series, reports Deadline Hollywood.

The UK indie studio Eleventh Hour Films is working with ITV to develop a “large-scale family series.” Deadline reports that the plan is to develop a “long-running series that’s re-imagined as an older-skewing family event drama. The adaptation will look to open the adult storylines to deliver a character-driven series that pushes the boundaries of the genre.”

Each book in the series will be treated in one season, starting with the second book, 2001’s Point Blank. The first book, Stormbreaker, has already been made into a film.

The 11th book in the series will be published in the US on Oct. 10, 2017, Never Say Die (PRH/Philomel Books).

No casting news or premiere date have been released.

HBO Nabs TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Following the major success of Big Little Lies, HBO has signed up another series adaptation of a book, this one based on Maria Semple’s Today Will Be Different (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), Entertainment Weekly reports HBO won the project in a “competitive bidding war.”

As we posted earlier, Julia Roberts will star as Eleanor Flood in her first TV role since HBO’s The Normal Heart. Flood wakes up one morning, according the the HBO press release, “determined to be her best self, but then life happens. Taking place over a single day, it’s a rollicking portrait of one woman’s fumbling but valiant attempt to navigate the knotty perils and sly grace of modern life.”

Semple, no stranger to TV herself (she worked on Beverly Hills, 90210, Mad About You, Suddenly Susan, and Arrested Development), is writing the script.

No news at this point on when the project will debut or who will join Roberts in the cast.

HBO’s newest purchase and its hit adaptations of Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones are just three of its literary projects. The network is also partnering with an Italian studio and will air the adaptation of My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.

HBO is, of course, just one of many outlets keen to grab book-to-screen projects. The Verge runs down why book adaptations are getting more frequent, and getting better.

Hitting Screens, Week of May 29, 2017

Monday, May 29th, 2017

After a long slog to the screen, the Amazonian Princess finally premieres on June 2 in Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious franchise) as the newest DC Superhero. Star Trek‘s Chris Pine plays her romantic interest and ally and Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis, and Danny Huston round out the cast.

Early takes are glowing. Entertainment Weekly reports that the film is “being hailed as a ‘blast,’ ‘so good,’ … the best to date from the DC Extended Universe. Also receiving widespread praise is Wonder Woman herself, with Gadot described as ‘absolutely phenomenal’ and ‘a legit movie star.'”

Collider writes, “Full reviews are still under embargo for the time being, but the lucky few in the first screening audiences were given permission to post reactions to social media … with the most common refrain being that Wonder Woman is the best DCEU movie thus far.”
Tie-ins include:

Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books; OverDrive Sample)

Wonder Woman: The Deluxe Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HarperCollins/HarperFestival; OverDrive Sample; also in a pbk. edition)

Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HarperCollins; OverDrive Sample)

Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HarperCollins; OverDrive Sample)

It’s also a good time to pull out the 2014 title, The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

Fourth graders Harold Hutchins and George Beard, along with Captain Underpants himself, fly into movie theaters on June 2, when the animated film version of Captain Underpants premieres. It is based on the best selling 12-book series by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic) and stars Kevin Hart, Jordan Peele, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Kristen Schaal.

PW offers a feature on the series and its path to the movies. No reviews are available yet but there has been plenty of media attention for the theme song by “Weird Al” Yankovic.

In addition to the many books in the series, the Official Handbook (Captain Underpants Movie) by Kate Howard (Scholastic; OverDrive Sample) was recently released.

On the small screen, Still Star-Crossed premieres on ABC Monday, May 29. A new Shonda Rhimes project, it is a costume historical set in the world of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The story picks up after the deaths of the two lovers, as their families continue to battle one another and is a departure for the hitmaker behind such very contemporary shows as Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy.

It is based on the novel Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub (PRH/Delacorte, 2013 – currently listed as OP). Kirkus gave the YA novel a starred review, calling it “A perfect blend of the intimate and the epic, the story both honors its origin and works in its own right … [a] spectacular sequel.”

Critics have not been as kind to the TV version.

Entertainment Weekly gives it a C, calling it “a sluggish, stilted mess.”

Variety says it is “too wispy and indistinct to make much of an impression … The show has all the earnest energy — and stilted moments —you’d expect to find in a high-school play, albeit one with a uniformly swoon-worthy cast and an exceptional budget for candles and corsets.”

CNN has already written it off, saying it “feels like an over-reach, a show for English lit majors whose parting won’t evoke much sorrow, sweet or otherwise.”

No tie-in has been announced.