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