Archive for the ‘Books & TV’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of May 30

Monday, May 30th, 2016

The summer is off to a dismal start for Hollywood. The movie trades are characterizing the holiday weekend box office as “lackluster,” with X-Men: Apocalypse coming in below expectations and Disney’s Alice Through The Looking Glass considered a flat-out “bomb.” Among the bright spots for adaptations, the much smaller release, Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen-inspired Love & Friendship is continuing to do well after opening earlier this month and is considered an “arthouse crossover” success.

9780306824852_69a4aBeginning tonight, May 30 Roots airs on the History Chanel, simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, over four consecutive nights.

The new version seeks to make the seminal TV event, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alex Haley, relevant to a new generation of viewers (the NYT review is headlined, “Roots for a Black Lives Matter Era“).

The 70’s version was a sensation, opening the eyes of many white Americans to the horrors of slavery and encouraging African Americans to research their family histories, but executive producer Mark Wolper, the son of the original’s EP David L Wolper, told Deadline he realized he had to re-imagine his father’s efforts when his own son refused to watch the 1977 series, saying, “like your music, it doesn’t speak to me.”

The series remake stars Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

A tie-in edition come out on May 3: Roots [miniseries tie-in]: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley, (Perseus/Da Capo Press).

MV5BMTQ2NjE4NDE2NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwOTcwNDE5NzE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_Me Before You opens on June 3. The anticipation is so fevered, as we noted, that just the two trailer releases caused bumps in sales for the book it is based on. The novel’s author, JoJo Moyes, wrote the screenplay and the movie stars Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones) and Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games) transitioning from worlds of dragons and death matches to life-affirming contemporary romance.

A movie-tie in edition came out on April 26: Me Before You: A Novel (Movie Tie-In) by Jojo Moyes (PRH/Penguin Books).

MV5BMjI0ODQ0MTAyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIwNzMzNjE@._V1_SX214_AL_Outcast premieres on Cinemax in a 10 episode run starting June 3. It is based the comic Robert Kirkman writes and Paul Azaceta illustrates and stars Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl) and Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) as two characters caught in a web of demonic possession. Wired calls it “a bloody, brutal ride” and reports it has already been renewed for a second season.

Two collected editions are currently in print with a third to follow on June 15.

MV5BMjM4NDQ0NTYyMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTIxMjY3ODE@._V1_SX214_AL_Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows also opens on June 3. The blast from the past stars Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, and Will Arnett and is a follow-up to the 2014 film.

This time the turtles wonder if they can become human while they fight new mutants created by their arch enemy.

9781101939192_faa63The leveled reader tie-in, Shell Shock (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), illustrated by Paolo Villanelli (PRH/Random House Books for Young Readers), is now available, but the novelization doesn’t arrive until  June 7: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Deluxe Novelization (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows), David Lewman (PRH/Random House Books for Young Readers; also in paperback). Is it possible that, like the Star Wars novelization, it was held back for fear of spoilers?

Hitting Screens,
Week of May 23, 2016

Friday, May 20th, 2016

MV5BMTc2NjExMTIyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjg0OTIwODE@._V1_SX214_AL_Warner Bros.may have to release fewer films as a consequence of Batman v. Superman‘s disappointing box office, but Disney is on a roll. The Jungle Book dominated ticket sales for weeks before ceding the top spot to Captain America: Civil War, which Disney has a hand in as well. Coming next week is Alice Through the Looking Glass, a third Disney effort, also with book connections.

Familiar faces from the earlier Alice film return, including Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Tim Burton produces the film but does not direct this time, leaving that to James Bobin, known for his work on the recent Muppets movies. The film opens May 27.

9781484776421_e188e9781484729595_71a5cTie-ins came out in April: a novelization of the film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Kari Sutherland (Hachette/Disney Press); a “choose-your-own-path” story, Alice Through the Looking Glass: A Matter of Time, Carla Jablonski with illustrations by Olga Mosqueda, Vivien Wu, Richard Tuzon, and Jeff Thomas (Hachette/Disney Press); and the re-issue of the novelization of the earlier film, Alice in Wonderland (Based on the motion picture directed by Tim Burton) (Hachette/Disney Press).

AMC hopes to continue the success they had with Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic book series with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s adaptation of Garth Ennis’s Preacher (DC Comics, Vertigo)  The  10-episode series, begins this Sunday. No tie-in has been announced.

Season 2 of Fox’s Wayward Pines begins on May 25. Produced by M. Night Shyamalan, the mystery/science fiction series is based on the Blake Crouch novels (Pines, Wayward, and The Last Town).

Matt Dillon stars as Ethan Burke, a U.S. Secret Service agent trapped in a small town while also searching for two fellow agents who have disappeared in the same area.

9781477822586_8b0df 9781503946606_1dc03 Dark Matter

Previously released tie-ins of the first and last book in the series are available: Pines, Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer; May 5, 2015) and The Last Town, Blake Crouch (Brilliance/Thomas & Mercer; July 15, 2014).

Heavily promoted at BEA last week was Crouch;s forthcoming thriller, Dark Matter, (PRH/Crown, 7/26), also a GalleyChatter pick.

Jack Ryan Wins The Name Game

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

9780425269367Speculation is swirling over who will be the next 007, but we now know who will run the spy game on this side of the Atlantic.

John Krasinski is the next Jack Ryan.

The Office favorite will star as the famous fictional CIA agent, following in the footsteps of the film stars Chris Pine, Ben Affleck, Harrison Ford, and Alec Baldwin.

This time, however, Ryan is not headed to the big screen, but to an Amazon TV series.

While details are sketchy and no air date is known, Deadline Hollywood is reporting that “expectations are for the show to go straight-to-series” (translated: bypassing Amazon’s “try it out” pilot stage). It will not be a direct adaptation but “a new contemporary take on the character in his prime as a CIA analyst/operative using the novels as source material.”

9780425197400Jack Ryan first appeared in 1984 in The Hunt for Red October (PRH/Berkley, 2013 is the most recent edition), which was also the first film adaptation (starring Baldwin).

Clancy went on to write a series of novels focused on Ryan’s rise from agent to the President of the United States before beginning a new series featuring his son, starting with The Teeth of the Tiger (PRH/Berkley, 2004).

RUNNER Halted

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

9780385738781_1f7f7Filming has ceased indefinitely on the third Maze Runner movie, Maze Runner: The Death Cure, based on James Dashner’s #1 NYT bestselling YA series of the same name.

The film had been scheduled for release on 2/17/17 but Deadline Hollywood is reporting that star Dylan O’Brien, who was injured on set in late March, is suffering injuries “far more serious than initially reported.” No word is forthcoming on when filming will resume and the cast and crew have been sent home.

Both the first and second films, The Maze Runner and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, were commercial successes, taking the #1 spot at the box office during their opening weekends.

9780553513097_5da78There are four books currently in the series with a fifth due on Sept. 27, 2016, The Fever Code (Maze Runner, Book Five; Prequel), James Dashner (PRH/Delacorte). As the subtitle says, this one is actually a prequel, which, according to the publisher, will reveal “the story of how Thomas and WICKED built the Maze.”

A trade paperback edition of Maze Runner: The Death Cure, with a sticker announcing “Soon to Be A Major Motion Picture,” was released in 2013 (PRH/Delacorte).

THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, Renewed Hopes

Monday, April 18th, 2016

9780375725609A new deal between Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company Appian Way and Paramount Pictures brings renewed attention to the long-simmering film adaptation of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City (RH/Crown, 2003). Deadline reports that the movie, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring the actor could be “DiCaprio’s next major project.

As we observed last August, the adaptation has had a long gestation period. Tom Cruise acquired the rights, planning to star, in 2003 but nothing came of it and DiCaprio bought the rights in 2010. It was not until screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips) figured out a way to tell the book’s dual story that power players got behind the adaptation once again.

DiCaprio clearly likes book adaptations. His production company is currently at work on Live By Night, based on the Dennis Lehane novel and directed by Ben Affleck.

9780425170410He has two other book adaptations in mind as well, Variety reports. One is based on the forthcoming YA post-apocalyptic novel Sandcastle Empire by debut author Kayla Olson, to be published by HarperTeen in the summer of 2017, according to the author’s website. Also in development is another long simmering project, a limited television series adaptation of A. Scott Berg’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Charles Lindbergh.

A caution, however, as The Guardian reports, “Appian Way is a serial purchaser of rights to promising Hollywood projects, not all of which see the light of day.”

OUTLANDER Novella a Best Seller

Friday, April 15th, 2016

97811018825289780765332073To mark the second season of the Outlander TV show, Diana Gabaldon has released another Outlander novella (or short story, depending on your viewpoint), Virgins: An Outlander Novella (PRH/Dell, ISBN 9781101882528; Recorded Books), which arrives on the new USA Today best seller list at #10.

Previously published in the anthology Dangerous Women edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois (Macmillan/Tor/Forge, December 2013; ISBN: 9780765332066), it is excerpted on Gabaldon’s website.

The story predates the events of Outlander and begins just after Jamie is flogged by Randall and escapes to France, where he joins a band of mercenaries that includes his great friend Ian Murray.

When the print collection was published, also featuring a Martin story from the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire, it earned a starred review from PW and the LA Times called it “a splendid cross-genre anthology” and is in many library collections.

Regardless of format, the strong debut on the USA Today best-seller list is another indicator of how well the STARZ series is doing and its ability to bring new readers to the books.

Hitting Screens, Week of April 18

Friday, April 15th, 2016

MV5BMTc3NTUzNTI4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjU0NjU5NzE@._V1_SX214_AL_The Jungle Book continues to earn stellar reviews and is set to open to acclaim this week. Writing for RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz sums up the general take:

“I saw the newest Disney version of The Jungle Book in the company of my enthralled 12-year old son, and there were moments when I envied him—but not too many, because the film is so surefooted in its effects, so precise and simple in its characterizations, and so clear about what it’s trying to say about the relationship between humanity and nature, that it made me feel about his age again, too. Maybe younger.”

Entertainment Weekly, Deadline, and USA TODAY all follow suit with The A.V. Club offering a rare dissent.

Today we focus on 3 movies of the adaptations arriving next week with tie-ins and big prospects (there are more, see our Upcoming Books to Movies and TV spreadsheet).

The Night Manager debuts on AMC (imported from the BBC) in a six-part miniseries that had already enjoyed gushing praise, so much so that fans are asking for a second season.

Promoting the the US release, stars Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie both say there will only be the one season.

9780399594007_44c2dThe TV show is based on The Night Manager (TV Tie-in Edition) by John le Carré (PRH/Ballantine Books) in which a former British solider goes undercover to investigate an arms dealer.

The series begins in the US on April 19. One indicator of its success is that, after its release in the UK, tourist business increased to Mallorca, a major setting of the show.

MV5BMTU2MzU1NTg4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzQ5MjAzODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_9781101973776_f4117Hologram for the King have sneaked up on many with even the tie-in edition coming out just a week ahead of the film’s opening.

If you aren’t aware of it, you’re not out of the loop. There hasn’t been a great deal of press coverage yet, even though the trailer got attention and Entertainment Weekly listed it as one of “20 of 2016’s Most Anticipated Book-to-Movie Adaptations.”

The film is directed by Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas) and stars Tom Hanks, Ben Whishaw, Tom Skerritt, and Sarita Choudhury. Based on Dave Eggers’s 2012 novel, a finalist for the National Book Award, it tells the story of a washed-out American salesman trying to change his fortunes with a deal out of Saudi Arabia.

MV5BMjM5OTQ1MTY5Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjM3NzMxODE@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_The season six premiere of Game of Thrones airs on April 24th, finally putting an end to months of speculation over what is going to happen now that the TV series jumps ahead of  George R.R. Martin’s novels. As a result, there is no tie-in for this season, with Martin writing that the next book will “be done when it’s done.”

A new trailer was released this week, prompting the fan site Den of Geek to analyze the many promos to date.

 

ROOTS World Premiere

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

9780306824852_69a4a9781137279606_f0867The upcoming new adaptation of Roots debuted during the MipTV conference in Cannes yesterday, television’s version of the more famous Cannes film festival, where producers make deals, show off their latest projects, and troll for international distribution.

Roots is already set for U.S. release, scheduled to air on the History Chanel, and simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, over four consecutive nights beginning May 30.

The premiere was highly successful and emotional, according to Deadline, with stars from the 1977 original mixing with the new series’ actors in a panel discussion on the meaning of both adaptations.

The new version seeks to make the seminal TV event, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alex Haley, relevant to a new generation of viewers, many of whom were not alive when the first adaptation aired.

The 70’s version was a sensation, opening the eyes of many white American to the horrors of slavery and encouraging African Americans to research their family histories, but executive producer Mark Wolper, the son of the original’s EP David L Wolper, realized he had to re-imagine his father’s efforts when his own son refused to watch the 1977 series, saying, “like your music, it doesn’t speak to me.”

The series remake stars Malachi Kirby, Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

A tie-in edition comes out on May 3: Roots [miniseries tie-in]: The Saga of an American Family, Alex Haley, (Perseus/Da Capo Press).

A biography of the author was published late last year, Alex Haley: And the Books That Changed a Nation by Robert J. Morrell, picked by Essence magazine last month as one of “6 Must-Read Books for Black History Month.”

SHARP OBJECTS To HBO

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Sharp ObjectsHBO has bought the rights to the TV adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects (PRH/ Shaye Areheart, 2006), starring Amy Adams. Deadline characterizes the deal as part of a “very competitive situation” (i.e., many others were bidding on it, indicating it’s a hot property).

The show runner is Marti Noxon (Girlfriends’ Guide To DivorceBuffy the Vampire Slayer) with Flynn writing many of the episodes. Jean-Marc Vallée will direct all the episodes. He has experience adapting books in this genre. He also directs HBO’s Big Little Lies, based on the book by Liane Moriarty, set to debut some time next year starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.

This is the third of the Flynn’s novels to be adapted, following Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris and Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron. Earlier this year, it was announced that Flynn’s short story, “The Grownup,” was sold to Universal. Originally published as “What Do You Do?” in Rogues, an anthology edited by George R. R. Martin, it was subsequently released in hardcover as The Grownup (PRH/Crown. Nov. 2015).

Hitting Screens, Week of April 4

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Outlander-Season-2-Image-Sam-Heughan-Catriona-BalfeThe adaptation news for the week is centered on the second season of Outlander, which is based on book 2 of Diana Gabaldon’s beloved and long running series, Dragonfly In Amber (PRH/Delacorte, 1992; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

After waiting almost a year for the return of the show, and after leaving fans divided on how well or horribly season one concluded, all eyes now focus on the politics of warfare as Jamie and Claire travel to Paris in an attempt to stop the coming Jacobite rebellion.

Based on early coverage from EOnline!, the show is set to be a lavish, visual treat with even more gorgeous costumes and sets as the time-crossed lovers enter the Royal Court of France and host their own high-powered dinner parties. The site also reports that the massive and complex plot will be told in 13 continuous episodes rather than the divided 16 of season one (no midseason Droughtlander!).

9780399177682_fbce6A new tie-in edition celebrates the show’s long awaited return, complete with a cover shot that would be at home in Game of Thrones if it were set in the 18th century: Dragonfly in Amber (Starz Tie-in Edition), Diana Gabaldon (PRH/Bantam; also in mass market).

There are few reviews yet for the second season, which starts on April 9th but the show is already a proven winner. According to Entertainment Weekly, which pushed the series 2 opener in a cover story a few weeks ago, Outlander has made Starz the second-most popular premium network behind HBO and has also helped sell 5 million more copies of Diana Gabaldon’s books, raising the total to 27 million worldwide.

The reviews that do exist, such as one from TVLine which gives it a B+, explain that “Starz has put a pretty strict gag order on discussion of certain aspects of the upcoming season.”

Below is the official trailer followed by highlights of the new setting of season two.

Adventures With Tip & Oh

Friday, April 1st, 2016

0786849010_e83e5-3The popular movie Home from DreamWorks Animation is set for a TV spinoff,  Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh, to debut July 29 on Netflix reports Deadline. The movie was based on Adam Rex’s chapter book, The True Meaning of Smekday, (Disney/Hyperion; Listening Library).

The series will have a new voice cast, with Rachel Crow as Tip, replacing Rihanna and Mark Whitten as Oh, replacing Jim Parsons.

Below, the movie Oh tests out various Earth objects — you WILL love the last one, trust us.

Several tie-ins to the movie were published:

9781481426107_5393d-2   9781481426060_feb5d-2  9781481404389_f8fd6

Tip’s Tips on Friendship
Thies Schwarz
S&S/Simon Spotlight: February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback: $3.99 USD, $4.99 CAD
Ages 5 to 7, Grades K to 2

Home : The Chapter Book
Tracey West
S&S/Simon Spotlight: February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback: $5.99 USD, $6.99 CAD
Ages 7 to 10, Grades 2 to 5

The Story of One Super Boov
Ellie O’Ryan, Pierre Collet-Derby
S&S/Simon Spotlight: February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback; $3.99 USD, $4.99 CAD
Ages 3 to 7, Grades P to 2
NOTE: This is a 24-page 8 by 8, but it’s sticker-free

Robert Kirkman TV

Friday, April 1st, 2016

OutcastVol1_CoverNot only does Robert Kirkman rule the horror/thriller airwaves with his hit AMC series The Wallking Dead, he is about to get more screen exposure as Outcast premieres on Cinemax in a 10 episode run starting June 3.

Based on the comic Kirkman writes and Paul Azaceta illustrates, the supernatural horror tale stars Patrick Fugit (Gone Girl) and Philip Glenister (Life on Mars) as two characters caught in a web of demonic possession.

According to ScreenCrush, before the show even airs it has been renewed for a second season in 2017.

ScreenRant reports that Krikman began working on the TV adaptation before the first print issue of Outcast was published and plans for the series to be an epic horror tale full of scares.

Two collected editions are currently in print with a third to follow on June 15.

Below is the latest trailer for the show, released yesterday:

Outcast news arrives just in time to tease the season end of The Walking Dead on April 3, which AMC is pushing hard with the reveal of Negan, a character Den of Geek calls “a force of nature, unflinching in his cruelty, and the most formidable opponent Rick and his group have ever faced.”

Entertainment Weekly reports that the final episode is very rough and made star “Andrew Lincoln was so distraught, it was the only time he’s ever shown up late for work. Lauren Cohan says she didn’t even want to go to work. Josh McDermitt threw his script across the room [and] Norman Reedus … couldn’t speak after [watching] it.”

Season 7 of The Walking Dead will air sometime this October, as announced back in 2015 by a very confident AMC.

Hitting Screens, Week of March 21, 2016

Friday, March 18th, 2016

WallPoster  The_Little_Prince_(2015_film)_poster  9780316311373_839cd

Fulfilling hints last week that the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, Allegiant, would open to some hard critical hitsThe Guardian gives it two stars (out of five), saying “All types of people will find something that irks them in the penultimate part of the Divergent franchise,” while A.V. Club gave it a C+, under the headline “Allegiant is the best Divergent yet, and still not good enough.”

The news for The Little Prince was even worse, it was yanked from distribution just a few days before it was due to open. UPDATE: Netflix has since picked up the rights with plans to stream it “later this year.”

Whether or not it does well at the box office, Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner opening today has already propelled the tie-in onto best seller lists. It moved to #20 on the week’s USA Today list.

On to next week. Viewers will have a chance to re-visit a number of favorite characters from the past.

MV5BNTE5NzU3MTYzOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTM5NjQxODE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_The biggest movie opening is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Starring Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. It opens March 25th.

Anticipation is high for the iconic smackdown as Batman decides Superman is a bit out of control. Deadline reports advanced ticket sales are outpacing those for Deadpool, Avengers, and Furious 7.

A junior novel tie-in came out last month. It was billed as a companion novel and riffs off the movie, Cross Fire: An Original Companion Novel (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice), Michael Kogge (Scholastic Inc.; OverDive Sample).

9780316315050_20c78I Saw The Light also opens on the 25th. It tells the story of country-western singer Hank Williams and stars Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

A tie-in came out last November: I Saw the Light: The Story of Hank Williams, Colin Escott with George Merritt and William MacEwen (Hachette/Back Bay Books; OverDrive Sample).

9781632862907_18f48In TV-land PBS fans mourning the end of Downton can console themselves with the start of the second season of Grantchester, starring the dishy village vicar who loves jazz music and a married woman. It will run from March 27 until May 1.

These slightly less than cozy tales are adapted from the books by James Runcie, which collect a series of short mystery stories into several volumes. A tie-in edition, Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Macmillan/Bloomsbury USA; OverDrive Sample), comes out March 22.

9781476748658_e8f31Fans of The Bridge get ready for part 2. Hallmark fast tracked it after the success of part one which aired in December.

A tie-in edition came out in October 2015, The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury (S&S/Howard Books; S&S Audio; OverDrive Sample).

MV5BMjM4ODYxMDk2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjgzNjMxODE@._V1_UY268_CR9,0,182,268_AL_Over on NBC Heartbeat begins. The show is loosely based on the real life story of Dr. Kathy Magliato, one of the nation’s few women heart surgeons. She wrote a medical memoir, Healing Hearts, which was reissued as Heart Matters: A Memoir of a Female Heart Surgeon (PRH/Harmony; OverDrive Sample) back in 2011. It now bears the sticker, “The Book That Inspired Heartbeat Now on NBC.”

The show begins airing on March 23.

GAME OF THRONES, Season 6 Unplugged

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

HBO has released a full-length trailer for the sixth season of Game of Thrones, premiering April 24.

As we reported earlier, this is the first season without a tie-in book. The first four seasons were fairly faithful to George R.R. Martin’s novels and all were released as tie-ins. Season five deviated from the book, but nonetheless A Dance with Dragons was released in mass market and trade paperback tie-in editions.

As Martin has famously not written beyond the current point of the HBO show, this season carries the story line beyond what readers know. That does not mean, however, that there are no book connections. The show runners are turning back to previous story lines in the books for at least some of this season’s events.

Both Vanity Fair and The Atlantic have snooped out the threads based on scenes unveiled in the trailer.

It seems parts of the known story surrounding the Greyjoy’s will play out. Vanity Fair spots trailer scenes depicting “the Kingsmoot, an epic-length event for the Ironborn, that sees them try to find a replacement king of the Iron Islands.”

The magazine also notes Ned Stark’s return via flashbacks that tell the story of Robert’s Rebellion and Ned’s battle to free his sister from the Tower of Joy.

The Atlantic picks up on the “power struggle among the Iron Islanders” as well as pointing out that a lot of book material supports “Arya’s continued life in the guild of assassins.” The magazine also reminds readers that Martin has supplied story outlines to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. So while they are definitely working without a net, they are not totally without guidance.

Farewell, DOWNTON

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

Downton Abbey Season SixFans are mourning the end of Downton Abbey this Sunday, March 6. The series has encouraged many to look into the history of the time and has made best sellers of tie-ins, including the latest,  Downton Abbey – A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Seasons by Jessica Fellowes, (Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press. 11/10/15) as well as a book about one of the series’ inspirations, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon, (PRH/Broadway).

Solace may be found in news that those associated with Downton will live on in other shows.

Showrunner Julian Fellowes follows up with an adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s Doctor Thorne starring Ian McShane in the title role, Alison Brie and Tom Hollander, along with Cressida Bonas making her TV debut (Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend, she brings an added element of media excitement). It begins in the U.K. this Sunday, but there is no news on when it will appear in the U.S.

Fellowes is also working an NBC series The Gilded Age, switching locales to New York in the late 19th century. Set to air later this year, Fellowes tells Parade magazine that he was attracted to the time and place, because, “you find this extraordinary renaissance period of artistic patronage and moneymaking, and a sort of development of a European aristocratic way of life, but in an American style … The Old World was dying, and America was just getting ready to fly!”

belgraviaHe will also publish a serialized novel Belgravia, beginning in April. According to Deadline, it is “Modeled along the lines of Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers” and will be delivered weekly in text and audio versions. A hardcover of the entire series, as well as an audio, is set for July.

Favorite actors from the series also have new projects on their agendas. The New York Post offers a rundown, which includes the following;

Hugh Bonneville (Lord Robert Crawley) joins Gillian Anderson in the film The Viceroy’s House where he will play Lord Mountbatten (with Anderson as Lady Mountbatten).

Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) changes her goody two shoes and follows the footsteps of a serial killer. She will star in the ITV production Dark Angel, a miniseries about Victorian serial killer Mary Ann Cotton,  playing the lead.  It will air on PBS Masterpiece some time this year..

Penelope Wilton (Isabel Crawley) got nabbed by Steven Spielberg for his adaption of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. She will co-star with Rebecca Hall and Bill Hader this July. As the New York Post puts it, “If the first director who hires you after Downton is Steven Spielberg, you can rest on your laurels.”