Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

THE ALIENIST Finds Its Stars

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

9780812976144Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglorious Bastards, The Zookeeper’s Wife) and Luke Evans (The Girl on The Train, The Hobbit trilogy) will star in the TNT adaptation of Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, reports Deadline Hollywood.

Brühl will play the criminal psychologist in the novel, Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, and Evans will play newspaper reporter John Moore as they join forces to conduct an investigation into a series of gruesome murders ravaging gilded age NYC (Deadline, which generally gives scant attention to the source material, provides an unusually long and vivid description of the story).

This moves the long-gestating series closer to the screen, with an expected air-date of late 2017. After several attempts to adapt it as a movie, as we noted earlier, the best selling 1994 psychological thriller was planned for a small screen run as an 8-part series. Previously, Cary Fukunaga (Beasts of No Nation, True Detective) was attached to direct, but now he’s an executive producer and Jakob Verbruggen (episodes of House of Cards, Black Mirror) will take over the director’s role.

Filming is expected to begin early in the new year.

BIG LITTLE LIES Gets Air Date

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

1410472035_08b27Grab the popcorn. 9 p.m. Sunday, February 19, 2017 is set as the premiere date for the HBO adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, reports Deadline Hollywood.

As we have previously written, the show features an all-star cast. Shailene Woodley plays Jane, a young single mother who moves to a coastal community so her son can attend a better school. There she becomes entangled in the messy lives of the seemingly perfect mothers of her son’s classmates, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon). Laura Dern plays Renata Klein, another of the mothers at the center of the story.

Kidman and Witherspoon are producing. They originally acquired the rights to the book, planning to adapt it as a feature film but finally decided on a seven episode limited series. It became a hot property which HBO won away from Netflix. Following the same model as True Detective, the format, says Variety, allows major film stars “a chance to work in the TV arena without making an open-ended commitment to an ongoing series.”

Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) is directing. He also worked with Witherspoon on the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. David E. Kelley, known for shows such as Ally McBeal, Boston Legal, and Goliath is also on board.

A teaser trailer came out in October:

Tie-ins, which as of yet do not have final cover art, will hit shelves in February:

default_jacket_ppBig Little Lies (Movie Tie-In), Liane Moriarty (PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017; Mass Market).

Anne Rice Plans a GOT-Style Vampire Series

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

9780345409645_9031fOver twenty years after Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt stared in the film adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire (PRH/Ballantine Books; BOT; OverDrive Sample) the author has regained the rights and is planning a TV show.

Rice took to Facebook to announce “television is where the vampires belong.”

Apparently impressed with the opportunities HBO’s Game of Thrones has demonstrated, she continues, “A television series of the highest quality is now my dream for Lestat, Louis, Armand, Marius and the entire tribe. In this the new Golden Age of television, such a series is THE way to let the entire story of the vampires unfold … Over the years you all have told me how much you want to see a Game of Thrones style faithful rendering of this material … What you want is what I want.”

Vanity Fair reports that Rice and her son Christopher “are working together on a pilot script and an outline for an ‘open-ended series’ beginning with the events of The Vampire Lestat, the second book in the series that’s actually a prequel to the first.”

The magazine points out that there is “plenty of room for vampires on TV now that True Blood has ended and the zenith of the vampire fiction heyday has come and gone. The Vampire Diaries and FX’s The Strain will air their final seasons in 2017, so now is just the right time for a new vampire show to come pick up the slack.”

No word yet on air dates or actors.

Yet Another New Trailer for UNFORTUNATE EVENTS

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Just two weeks after Netflix released a trailer for the series adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, they’ve unleashed a new, more extensive trailer.

The full 8-episode series debuts on Netflix on Friday, January 13, 2017.

Unfortunately, A New Trailer

Monday, November 14th, 2016

mv5bmwy4nznmndytmjbhzi00ytc0lwjmnwutnze5nmm0zmixzgvjxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjy3mduymta-_v1_Netflix has released another trailer to promote the series adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

The newest look reveals much more than the first trailer from a month ago, including a look at Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and all three of the Baudelaire children (Violet and Klaus played by Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes).

A bit more of the plot is also revealed, as is the general look and feel of the film.

As we wrote earlier, the first trailer offered none of the typical elements of a traditional trailer. Rather than building anticipation with a litany of exciting scenes and major stars, just one character appeared, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, wandering through the dimly-lit stage set, warning people to “look away.”

This new trailer continues on that dark theme while providing fans, as Movie Pilot details, a few more Easter eggs such as the The Bald Man lost in a hedge maze.

No tie-ins have been announced.

More MR. ROBOT

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

9781419724428_f90e0As we noted in a recent Titles to Know and Recommend post, fans of the hit TV show Mr. Robot can experience the story in print via MR. ROBOT: Red Wheelbarrow by Sam Esmail and Courtney Looney (Abrams; HighBridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The Wall Street Journal reports on the new title and interviews one of the authors (subscription may be required), writing:

“For a show immersed in the digital world – it’s about a massive hack – the book is a unique analog piece of the puzzle and features Elliot narrating throughout, as well as asides from the character ‘Hot Carla.’ Also included are little artifacts like newspaper clippings, a church group pamphlet, and an empty cigarette pack with notes jotted on it. For Mr. Robot fans, who look for meaning in everything, these new, tangible nuggets will give clues to the story as well as dive into the feelings of loneliness and isolation that the season explored.”

Esmail tells the paper the book spans the gap between seasons 1 and 2, offering “the unfiltered world through Elliot’s eyes that you won’t get from the show … I wanted to create this next-level engagement where you can also learn things about the story if you dig a little deeper … The great thing about it is, that’s up to the audience to engage in.”

IndieWire warns fans who have not finished watching season 2 to stay away as “pretty much right from the beginning, one of Season 2’s biggest twists is spoiled, and there’s enough overlap with the rest of the season to warrant not reading it until after you’re all caught up with the series.”

Entertainment Weekly offers some illustrated sample pages.

OUTLANDER Comes to The End

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

9780553393699_747569781101884249_b01b1Diana Gabaldon is talking about the inevitable, the end of the Outlander series. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, she plans to conclude the series with book ten.

Eight books have been published. Book nine, not yet scheduled for publication, has the working title. Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.

Gabaldon told fans at the EW PopFest that she already knew the ending of the last book, however, an explanation of the famous ghost scene in the first novel in which Frank, Claire’s husband, sees the ghost of Jamie staring up at their window.

“It’ll be the very last thing in the last book, which I think is probably book 10,” says Gabaldon.

That could be some time from now. It took the author five years to finish the current title after book seven hit shelves in 2009 and she has not turned a book around in less than two years since 1994.

On her website she tells readers, “An official publication date for this new book has not been announced. In other words: No, I don’t know yet when I will finish Book Nine of the OUTLANDER series! I am working on it now, and don’t even have a ballpark date.”

Fans may want to temper their expectations about the series length as well. Gabaldon is far from definitive about her plans and has said different things at different times.

Currently on her website she tells readers:

There’s at least one more. I’ve never been willing to commit to more than one at a time, because I just don’t know — I don’t plan the books out ahead of time. So I have no idea how much ground we’ll cover in each book. But there is certainly one more book, because I wasn’t finished telling the story at the end of book eight.”

For those who need consolation reading while they wait, Gabaldon sometimes posts working excerpts from book nine.

DIETLAND To TV

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

9780544373433_0b363After “spirited bidding,” Variety reports that AMC bought the rights to the TV adaption of Dietland by Sarai Walker (HMH; Highbridge Audio; OverDrive Sample).

Marti Noxon will head the project. She is the co-creator of UnREAL and has worked on hits such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Mad Men says Den of Geek.

The show, “envisoned as a mix of character drama and revenge fantasy with a feminist perspective,”is expected to skip the pilot stage and go directly to series next year, according to Variety.

Walker’s debut novel, an Indie Next pick, made a number of end of year best lists in 2015.

Entertainment Weekly gave it an A, writing “If Amy Schumer turned her subversive feminist sketches into a novel, dark on the inside but coated with a glossy, palatable sheen, it would probably look a lot like Dietlanda thrilling, incendiary manifesto disguised as a beach read.”

CORMORAN STRIKE to HBO

Friday, October 28th, 2016

The Cuckoo's Calling  The Silkworm  Career of Evil

A recently announced deal will bring the BBC adaption of The Cormoran Strike series of mystery novels by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling) to HBO

A similar deal was struck for the adaptation of the author’s The Casual Vacancy, which aired in 2015

Filming for Cormoran Strike is set to begin in London soon, with release possible in 2017. According to Deadline, it will be filmed as three movies, each focused on one of the books, The Cuckoo’s Calling, The Silkworm and Career Of Evil. 

Tom Burke (War and Peace, The Musketeers) has been cast as Cormoran Strike,

BIG LITTLE LIES. HBO Trailer

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

The first teaser trailer for HBO’s adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s 2014 best seller, Big Little Lies, has just been released. Shailene Woodley plays Jane, a young single mother who moves to a coastal community so her son can attend a better school. There she becomes entangled in the messy lives of the seemingly perfect mothers of her son’s classmates, Celeste (Nicole Kidman) and Madeline (Reese Witherspoon). PopSugar gives a full rundown of the cast, with comparisons to the characters in the book.

The setting has been changed from the book’s Australia to Southern California. The seven-episode series is directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), who also worked with Witherspoon on the adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild.

Release is planned for some time in 2017. No specific start date has been set.

Witherspoon, who set up her production company Pacific Standard to develop better roles for women, worked with Kidman to produce the series. The pair have also acquired the rights to Moriarty’s most recent book, Truly Madly Guilty (Macmillan/Flatiron; Macmillan Audio).

Tie-ins will be published in February.

Big Little Lies (Movie Tie-In)
Liane Moriarty
PRH/Berkley trade pbk; February 7, 2017
Mass Market

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

The adaptation of Margaret Atwood ‘s novel The Handmaid’s Tale is currently still in production, but that didn’t prevented Hulu from promoting the streaming network’s upcoming series at the just concluded NY Comic Con.

The Revelist website reports that marketers placed special, women’s only, PR in the bathrooms of the conference center, writing a line from the book on the mirrors of the women’s room, “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” a phrase from the book that translates to, ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down.'”

Don't let the bastards get you down (some solid marketing at Comic Con) #MargaretAtwood #HandmaidsTale #NYCC

A photo posted by Courtney (@mrwinklevoss) on

Revelist says “the show doesn’t have much of a presence at the convention beyond these cryptic bathroom signs. But make no mistake, this is a brilliant way to spread the show’s message directly to its target audience — and in a space that, despite the best efforts of geeky women and activists alike, is still considered very male-dominated.”

Here is the first brief look:

As we wrote earlier, Hulu announced in May that it is adapting the novel into a 10-episiode drama. The news sent the book rising on Amazon’s sales charts. Elisabeth Moss, who made her name on Mad Men, will star. Joseph Fiennes also stars, in the role of The Commander. Atwood serves as a consulting producer.

The series is set to debut in 2017.

MIDNIGHT, TEXAS Gets a Trailer

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

The first look at the next TV show based on Charlaine Harris’s novels has just been released.

The NBC series adapts her Midnight, Texas trilogy:

Midnight Crossroads (PRH/Ace, 2014; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Day Shift (PRH/Ace, 2015; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

Night Shift (PRH/Ace, 2016; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample)

The town in question harbors vampires, witches and psychics, who have selected the out-of-the-way locale as a safe hide out.

9780425263150_529c9  9780425263198_9626d  9780425263228_c047b

Tor. com offers a summary of all three titles:

“the story is wacky, ya’ll. Immensely wacky, but, like, in a fun way. Midnight Crossroad starts off as a book about a pawnshop owner’s dead girlfriend and turns into a murder conspiracy involving white supremacists. Day Shift is ostensibly about the suspicious circumstances in which one of Manfred’s clients [he is the psychic] dies and ends up with a pack of weretigers wandering through town and vampires hunting a telepath visiting his grandpappy. Night Shift goes from people and animals killing themselves at the crossroads to a magic sex ritual with a pitstop at a subplot with a hangry Etruscan-literate vampire.”

But if the supernatural references recall True Blood, the popular HBO series, Bustle warns to think instead of another cult hit,  “Midnight, Texas is basically Twin Peaks with vampires.” Not the least of the many ways in which new show will be different, it’s a network TV production, rather than cable.

The series debut is set for midseason 2017.

Hitting Screens,
Week of Oct 10, 2016

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Despite fears about Hurricane Matthew closing many theaters, Girl on the Train rolled to its expected major box office opening over the weekend. On the other hand, The Birth of a Nation, about a slave uprising, considered a major Oscar contender, did not do as well as expected.

mv5bmjiyoty0mjcxmv5bml5banbnxkftztgwodgxmte5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_Next week, two film adaptations open, one in theaters and the other on TV, and a new BBC series begins on PBS Masterpiece.

Set in Montana and opening in limited release on Oct. 14 is Certain Women, which the Toronto Film Festival site describes as “a tripartite portrait of striving, independent women whose lives intersect in suggestive and powerful ways.”

It is getting strong reviews. Calling the director among the “great American filmmakers,” Variety said few “can do quite as much with quiet as Kelly Reichardt. Superficially empty soundscapes are layered so intricately with the rustle of nature, the brooding of weather and the breathing of preoccupied people that her films come to seem positively noisy to a sympathetic ear. So it is in the marvelous Certain Women, where the storytelling has a similarly latent impact.”

It stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Lily Gladstone and is based on short stories from Maile Meloy’s collection, Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It (PRH/Riverhead, 2009), specifically, says Variety “Tome,” “Native Sandstone” and “Travis B.”

A tie-in edition has not been released.

mv5bnzq3zjm1ntctognjzc00mgywltkwodatnwu3ndmyytywotnixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntezmzqznzq-_v1_sy1000_cr0010371000_al_Coming to Masterpiece, The Durrells in Corfu. It is a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals and its two sequels says PBS.

It airs Sundays, October 16th through November 20th and stars Keeley Hawes from Upstairs Downstairs “as the an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children, ages 11 to 21.”

A hit across the pond, ITV reports the show will run in the UK for its second season.

There is a tie-in:
My Family and Other Animals, Gerald Durrell (PRH/Penguin).

mv5bmtcznzk2mzawof5bml5banbnxkftztgwntkxmtu5ote-_v1_sy1000_cr006661000_al_Also airing on TV is The Julius House: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery, based on the Charlaine Harris character of a crime-solving librarian. The series began in 2007 with Real Murders, the most recent is the 2016 title All the Little Liars.

Hallmark has previously aired episodes based on the first three novels in the series: Real Murders, A Bone to Pick, and Three Bedrooms, One Corpse.

The newest adapts the fourth novel, The Julius House. All star Full House alum Candace Cameron Bure.

New tie-ins have not been issued.

 

Snicket’s UNFORTUNATE Trailer

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

lemony_snicket_a_series_of_unfortunate_events_the_bad_beginning_coverThe first trailer for the Netflix adaptation of Daniel Handler’s (aka Lemony Snicket) A Series of Unfortunate Events (HarperCollins) has just been released. In keeping with the books’ tongue-in-cheek tone, it is not a traditional trailer. Rather than building anticipation with a litany of exciting scenes and major stars, just one character appears, Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, wandering through the dimly-lit stage set, warning people to “look away.”

The entire series will be available on Netflix beginning January 13, 2017 (which happens to be a Friday).

Watch closely, several visual jokes are embedded in the teaser.

According to Neil Patrick Harris, who plays Count Olaf in the show, the series is Netflix’s most expensive production to date. While co-hosting Live! with Kelly last month, he described the new adaptation as “super dark … a much darker take on the material than has been seen before”  but also “fun” and “exciting” and said it’s been planned as a “four-quadrant show,” to appeal to kids, teens, 20-somethings, and adults. The eight-episode first season will cover the first four titles in the 13-book series.

So far, no tie-ins have been announced.

LUKE CAGE: To Watch and To Read

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

mv5bmtcymzc1mji5mf5bml5banbnxkftztgwmze4ody2ote-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_The premiere of Netflix’s new 13-episode Luke Cage series, based on the Marvel comics’ character, was so successful that it may have caused the streaming service to go down for two hours on Saturday.

The NYT television critic offers a lukewarm take on the new run, but he is in the minority. Most other critics agree with Deadline Hollywood which calls it “one of the most socially relevant and smartest shows on the small screen you will see this year.”

New York magazine calls the comic book Cage “one of the most important black characters in sequential art,” noting, however, that over his 44-year history, Marvel struggled to “make the character relevant in a world where conceptions of black characters in American pop culture were rapidly evolving.”

screen-shot-2016-09-30-at-12-02-06-pmCharting the character’s evolution in “5 Comics to Read Before You Watch Luke Cage,” New York magazine writes that the first stories, collected in Luke Cage, Hero For Hire vol. 1, represent “Marvel Comics’ blatant attempt to cash in on the Blaxploitation craze.” As a result, the collection is “somewhat awkward to read today, with its urban patois (penned by white men, of course) and simplistic depictions of avarice.”

The Netflix series is quite the opposite. As the show’s creator Ched Hodari Coulter tells Wired magazine in a cover feature on the series, “There have been African ­American super­heroes on our screens before—such as Wesley Snipes’ titular turn in Blade—but Luke Cage is the first to be surrounded by an almost completely black cast and writing team and whose powers and challenges are so explicitly linked to the black experience in America.”

A collection of comics featuring the character was released in August,  Luke Cage: Avenger, (Marvel).