Lauren Oliver’s best selling 2010 YA novel Before I Fall has been adapted as a film that now has a release date of April 7, next year, reports Deadline. Told by a girl who has everything, but then dies in a car accident and gets to relive the last day of her life seven times, it stars Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage and Jennifer Beals.
Also opening that weekend is the film adaptation of R.J. Palacio best selling middle grade title, Wonder. In the lead role is Jacob Tremblay, who starred in the Oscar-winning adaptation, Room. Julia Roberts plays his mother.
Joining the ranks of super hot shows such as Hamilton is the next adventure in the Harry Potter world. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which opens on July 30th in London’s Palace Theater. It is already sold out until May 2017, at one point selling 175,000 tickets in 24 hours.
It is getting raves as critics slip into preview sessions.
The Telegraph says in its five star review “British theatre hasn’t known anything like it for decades and I haven’t seen anything directly comparable in all my reviewing days.”
The Guardian gives it four out of five stars, saying it is “a thrilling theatrical spectacle.”
In their strong A- review, Entertainment Weekly says “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has pulled off a transfiguration challenge worthy of Professor McGonagall: Converting the visually arresting world of Harry Potter into stage play … as spectacular as it is ambitious, stuffed with special effects and twists that had a preview audience gasping, Cursed Child is a story that doesn’t play it safe with the Potter canon and will change how fans see certain favorite characters forever.”
The script of the show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine), will go on sale Sunday, July 31, which also happens to be Harry’s birthday. The script is by playwright Jack Thorne and is credited as “Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.” Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.Libraries are celebrating with special late night parties, live readings, and film screenings. As we reported last week, it is already a holds leader.
Walker Books in the UK, along with Candlewick Press in the US, announce plans for a series of novelty and interactive children’s books based on J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, reports The Bookseller.
Karen Lotz of the Walker Group says the books will offer “unique and beautifully presented content and innovative play value.”
There are no details yet on titles which are set to release this October.
As we noted earlier, there is also an agreement in place with Scholastic to “publish children’s movie tie-in books for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its sequels, as well as tie-in books based on the original eight Harry Potter films.” Harper Collins has adult tie-in rights and plans to offer titles that “delve into, and behind the scenes of, the richly textured film and its sequels to enhance fans’ enjoyment of the new stories. Books will include details about how the films were made, the process of art and design, interviews with the cast and crew, and interactive formats such as colouring and postcard books.”
The original Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Scholastic; 9780545850568), a faux Hogwarts textbook, is currently out of print an only available from used book retailers. However, the screenplay of the movie will be published on Nov. 19, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J K Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Books).
Another script is also about to be released, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine), timed to debut a day after the premiere of the London stage production on July 30th.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is written by Rowling and stars Eddie Redmayne as magician Newt Scamander, it opens on November 18. It also stars Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston and is directed by David Yates, who was responsible for 4 of the 7 original Potter films.
We posted the trailer previously, below is a featurette with commentary by Rowling:
According to Variety, the Divergent series is likely to move to the small screen as disappointing box office is leading the studio Lionsgate to consider skipping the big screen ending.
Instead the plan appears to be the release of a made-for-TV movie, using it to launch a spin-off series.
Although nothing has been finalized or confirmed, according to Variety it is likely that Ascendant will not open in June 2017 as planned and it remains unclear “if stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, and others will return for the Ascendant television movie.”
The first two films did well at the box office but the third film sank, leading to the possible change of plans. Deadline states there is a “decreasing interest in the property from its core audience at the box office each year.”
Girls’ soccer gets the spotlight from Amazon Studios, which just announced the launch of a new series based on the middle grade novls by U.S. Women’s National Team star player Alex Morgan. Like the books, the series is titled The Kicks. The pilot, which was released last year as part of Amazon’s kids pilot season, is still available on Amazon. All nine live-action episodes will be avail on Aug. 26 for Prime members.
Morgan introduces the series in the trailer:
Proclaims lead character, Devin Burke, played by newcomer Sixx Orange, “I am NOT a princess, I am a soccer BEAST!”
It is a popular point-and-click video horror game in which the player takes the role of a night security guard trying to stay alive while a gang of roaming animatronic creatures, possessed by the ghosts of murdered children, stalk the hallways of a pizza parlor.
The game will also have book and potentially movie components. In late June, Scholastic announced plans to start a new series based on the game. In 2015, Entertainment Weekly reported that Warner Bros. optioned the games for a possible film project. Mashup master Seth Grahame-Smith is involved as a producer and told The Hollywood Reporter that he is looking forward to making “an insane, terrifying and weirdly adorable movie.” Deadline Hollywood had news about a year ago that Gil Kenan (in charge of the remake of Poltergeist) is on board to direct. GameNGuide updated the story at the start of this month, speculating a 2018 air date.
The first book based on the series, a 2015 self-published novel titled Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon, is currently soaring on Amazon, sitting just outside the top 100, moving up from a sales rank of 2,226. It will be re-issued by Scholastic in late September and is set ten years after the murders as a group of teens return to the boarded up pizza parlor.
Several libraries bought the self-pub edition and currently show hold ratios hovering around 3:1.
Tony-winning Daveed Diggs, who earned the coveted statue for his origination of the roles of Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Hamilton, is heading to the Stephen Chbosky film Wonder, based on the long-running middle-grade bestseller by R.J. Palacio, Wonder (RH/ Knopf Young Readers, 2012).
The critically acclaimed novel is about a 10 year-old boy with facial abnormalities who has been homeschooled and what happens when he enters a public school. Diggs will play Mr. Browne, says Deadline Hollywood, “an English teacher at the school whose approach to literature is to teach what it means to be human.”
He will star alongside Jacob Tremblay and Julia Roberts.
Vanity Faircomments that the trailer gives hope that the movie will live up to the book’s heart-wrenching story and beautiful illustrations.
The movie debuts on October 21st.
Candlewick is releasing two tie-ins, including a hardcover “Special Collector’s Edition” that, in addition to the original illustrated YA novel, includes new essays by Ness, who worked on the screenplay, previously unpublished early sketches by illustrator Jim Kay and interviews with the director, cast, and crew.
Two big-budget adaptations open this week, both based on classics.
Opening Friday is Steven Spielberg’s The BFG, based on the childrens novel by Roald Dahl. As we noted earlier, Deadline Hollywood reported that it got a 4-1/2 minute standing ovation when it premiered at the Cannes film festival.
Despite the enthusiasm from audiences at Cannes, Variety, predicts disappointment at the box office, noting that Spielberg has not had a major hit in several years, “The man who ushered in the summer blockbuster era with Jaws hasn’t done as much escapist fare in recent years, preferring to spend his time on historical dramas such as last winter’s Bridge of Spies and War Horse. That may have been artistically fulfilling, but didn’t result in many financial windfall.” In addition, The BFG has to go up against Finding Dory, which continues to dominate box offices after two weeks in theaters.
Spielberg’s next project, an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, set for release in March, 2018, may reverse the trend, says Variety, since it is “appears to be more mainstream.” Seeming to prove that, each new casting announcement causes a spike in the book’s sales.
The Legend of Tarzanis the other big opening this week. In this live-action take on the familiar story, Tarzan has left Africa for the high life as an aristocrat in England, but is offered a job as a trade emissary to Congo that returns him to his jungle home and plenty of trouble. Variety predicts it will also be a disappointment, saying that “The failure of sequels such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Huntsman: Winter’s War has led some analysts to suggest that audiences are rejecting the overly familiar and are desperate for more original entertainment.”
The film stars Alexander Skarsgård in the title role, alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent and Christoph Waltz.
There is no direct tie-in.
Also opening this week isLife, Animated, a Sundance award-winning documentary following the life of Owen Suskind (son of author Ron Suskind) who was diagnosed with autism at age 3. Unable to speak as a child, Owen found a way to communicate through classic Disney animated films. Variety calls it “captivating” and The Hollywood Reporter says it is “radiant.”
A tie-in is set for release after the film opens, Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism, Ron Suskind (Hachette/Kingswell; on sale July 12). The original hardback was published in 2014.
A second full-length trailer for Tim Burton’sadaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has just been released. It gives a closer at some of the characters, including Barron, a villain created for the film and played by Samuel L. Jackson.
Starring Asa Butterfield as 16-year-old Jacob with Eva Green (star of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful) as Miss Peregrine and Chris O’Dowd, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp and Judi Dench, the movie opens.on Sept. 30.