What does this portend for the next big dystopian adaptation, The Maze Runner, based on the the book by James Dashner? Variety is already predicting that it will be a hit when it opens on Sept. 19. The book is currently #4 on USA Today‘s list, also its highest spot to date.
Meanwhile, one of the much-touted “grounded” Y.A. movies (translation: no expensive special effects required), If I Stay, had a solid beginning at the box office last weekend. It is also brought a major boost to book sales. It is #1 on the USA Today list, followed close behind by the sequel, Where She Went, at #6.
Amidst all this discussion of what works in adaptations and what doesn’t, the second trailer for another long-delayed YA adaptation, starring Bridges was just released. Seventh Son, opening in February, is based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2005). Set in the 1700′s, it co-stars Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin, “the most evil witch in the world” with Bridges as the mentor to a young apprentice played by Ben Barnes.
One of many editions of the classic, this one with an intro. by Neil Gaiman (RH Young Readers)
There’s been a few film adaptations of Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 collection of stories, The Jungle Book over the years. Two new ones are in the works and are set to arrive in theaters within a year of each other.
The Disney version, scheduled for release Oct 15 next year, has most of the cast in place and is ready to begin production.
There’s been little news about the Warner Bros. version, titled Jungle Book: Origins, to be released on Oct 12, 2016, until now. The Hollywood Reporter announces the first cast member, Benedict Cumberbatch is in place, indicating that it is moving forward as well.
Cumberbatch will be the voice of the villain Shere Khan, a man-eating tiger. In the Disney version, directed by Jon Favreau, he is set to be voiced by Idris Elba. Entertainment Tonight has fun doing a face-off between the two, but you could go even further. How about a face-off with the gravelly malevolent voice of George Sanders (who was Shere Khan In Disney’s 1967 version) or with Bombay, the actual Bengal tiger in Disney’s 1994 live-action version?
UPDATE: A few hours after we finished this story, more cast members were announced for the Warner Bros. version, so now you can enjoy and even larger face-off.
About a 13-year boy, Conor, who is dealing with his mother’s death, bullying at school, and then a monster in his back yard, Ness wrote it based on an idea by Siobhan Dowd, who died before she could complete the project (read Ness’s tribute to her in a sample from OverDrive).
Ness, who wrote the screenplay, and illustrator Jim Kay went on to win Britain’s Carnegie and Greenaway Medals for the book.
Weaver will play the boy’s grandmother, Felicity Jones his mother and Liam Neeson, the monster. The crucial role of Conor has not been cast yet.
Jeff Bridges’s long road to his dream of adapting Lois Lowry’s seminal YA dystopian novel, The Giver (HMH, 1993; winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal) has finally become reality. The movie premiered this week, amid a massive amount of publicity, and opens in theaters tomorrow.
EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek, got to see an early screening and calls the movie “spectacular.” Joining her for the screening was Kate DiCamillo (two time Newbery winner and National Ambassador for Children’s Literature), who said,
“The Giver is a triumph for book-lovers and movie-goers. It is a movie that reminds us of the power of memory and books and stories and love. It shows us the privilege and the pain and joy of being alive, fully human.”
Originally released in the 1970′s, George R.R. Martin’s out-of-print Y.A. book (or, as Martin clarifies on his blog, “actually an illustrated and edited version of a short story that I wrote back in the 70s”), The Ice Dragon, will be re-released this fall, with new illustrations by Luis Royo (publisher Tor shows several of them off here).
The 1963 Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle (Macmillan/FSG BYR) is set for a new adaptation. Disney just announced that Jennifer Lee who wrote and co-directed the animated mega-hit, Frozen, will write the adaptation.
She replied, “Yes, I expected it to be bad, and it is.”
The interview was conducted when L’Engle was 85, and therefore felt she could “say what I want” and she did, letting loose on fundamentalists and saying of the Harry Potter series, “I read one of them. It’s a nice story but there’s nothing underneath it.”
The unexpected success of the film adaptation of The Fault in Our Stars (unexpected by Hollywood, that is. Librarians saw it coming) has turned producers’ heads to “grounded teen movies,” or “stories that resemble the modern young adult experience.” The real attraction, however, is probably economic, since these films don’t require expensive special effects.
Nevertheless, dystopia will continue to reign in theaters and not just via the sequels to already established hits, The Hunger Games and Divergent. Coming August 15 is the long-awaited adaptation of the godmother of the genre, The Giver, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning novel (Lowry talks about how Y.A. literature has changed since she first published the book in today’s NYT Magazine). Twenty years after her book was first published, Lowry had the fun of appearing on a Comic-Con panel with Jeff Bridges last week (click through to see how happy she looks as Bridges gives her a squeeze).
Close on its heels, The Maze Runner based on the book by James Dasher, (RH/Delacorte, 2009), will arrive on Sept. 19. A new trailer was released on Tuesday (official Web site — TheMazeRunnerMovie.com)
Following in February, Bridges again stars in a Y.A. film, this time a fantasy, The Seventh Son, based on The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney (HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2005). Originally scheduled for release in February, 2013, it has been postponed so often that many began to wonder if it was ever going to arrive, but it now appears that the date is firm. If successful, it could be the beginning of a new franchise. The producers have a plenty of material to draw on, the 13th and final volume in the series is coming in April, 2015.
Looking further ahead, another potential franchise is in the works, with the adaptation of Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave is in the midst of casting. Chloe Grace Moretz is set to star as Cassie Sullivan, a 16-year-old trying to save her brother after a series of alien invasions. Production is scheduled to begin in September.
Moretz has already completed work on the more “grounded” Y.A. movie, If I Stay, based on the novel by Gayle Forman. Like fellow YA movie star Shailene Woodley, who plays the lead in both the “grounded” The Fault in Our Stars and the dystopian franchise, Divergent, this places Moretz’s feet in both camps. A new trailer was released last week, which amps up the romance over the first one:
The trailer brought new attention to the book’s sequel, Where She Went, (Penguin/Dutton, 2011), which spiked on Amazon’s sales rankings after it was released.
As far as other “grounded” YA titles on the horizon, if one John Green adaptation is a hit, how about another? His 2008 novel, Paper Towns, is in preproduction with TFIOS actor Nat Wolff signed to star. A release date of 7/31/15 has just been set.
Lionsgate is “close to hiring a director” for an adaptation of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio (RH/Knopf Young Readers). Describing his hopes for it in Hollywood speak, co-president of the company, Erik Feig said, “If Fault is the Love Story of now, Wonder is the Mask of now.”
Two other Y.A. adaptations in the works are less classifiable. Director Edgar Wright has been hired to adapt Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle (Panguin/Dutton, Feb. 2014), which will require some interesting special effects to portray those six-foot tall copulating praying mantises.
After several teasers, Lionsgate debuted the first full trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 this weekend at Comic-Con. It was released it online early yesterday and currently has 6 million views.
The movie opens on Nov. 21, followed by Part 2, the final movie in the series, on Nov. 20, 2015.
A tie-in edition will be published at the end of September:
Yesterday’s YA GalleyChat give us even more reason to tackle our TBR piles (just a few of the covers, above).
We were also introduced to the Librarian Rap by Kirby Heybourne, the audiobook narrator for Scowler audiobook (RH/BOT), which he performed at ALA’s Odyssey Awards ceremony (we’ve seen people pandering to the crowd, but this takes it to a new level — watch out, John Green):
We also discovered that there is a new trend among library marketers, book jacket nail art:
Left — Books on Tape nail art for the upcoming The Fourteenth Goldfish, Jennifer Holmm (RH Young Readers; RH.Listening Library; 8/26). Right — Macmillan Library Marketing’s tribute to Fangirlby Rainbow Rowell.
The Fourteenth Goldfish was one of the favorites of the book chat, with readers urging other librarians to download it from Netgalley or Edelweiss, calling this middle grade title, “both complex and easy to read.”
The star among the YA titles was Mortal Heart, (HMH Young Readers, 11/4/14), the conclusion to Robin LaFevers’ His Fair Assassin trilogy, which is showing “much love” from 35 peers, 22 of them librarian, on Edelweiss. one of the highest ratings we’ve seen, especially for a book that won’t be published for another four months. One librarian said that a teen boy begged her for it on hands and knees yesterday. It’s coming in November, but you can request eGalleys now.
To read about the other titles that were hits with the group, check our downloadable spreadsheet — EarlyWord YA GalleyChat, 7/15/14 — click on the links to check for eGalleys.
Please join us for the next YA GalleyChat on August 19, 5:00 to 6:00 p.m., ET (4:30 for virtual cocktails). More details here.
The opening salvo for part one of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay arrived two weeks ago with an unconventional teaser that doesn’t even include an image of star Jennifer Lawrence, but is simply a short chilling propaganda message by President Snow (Donald Sutherland). The presence of a defeated-looking Peeta next to him is the only nod to fans about what has happened since Catching Fire.
The second teaser has just arrived, and again, no Jennifer Lawrence, no dramatic scenes, just one small hint about the plot understandable only to those familiar with the story.
If all goes according to Lionsgate’s plan, these will be viral, so we won’t need tell you about each new one.
There’s no official Web site yet, but Mockingjay.net is tracking all Mockingjay-related news (we’ve linked to them on the right, under Movies &TV Based on Books — Trailers, Official Web Sites)
Richard Robinson, Chairman of Scholastic, publisher of Myers’ books, released a statement late yesterday:
“Walter Dean Myers changed the face of children’s literature by representing the diversity of the children of our nation in his award-winning books. He was a deeply authentic person and writer who urged other authors, editors and publishers not only to make sure every child could find him or herself in a book, but also to tell compelling and challenging stories that would inspire children to reach their full potential. My favorite quote from Walter is a clarion call to embrace the power of books to inform and transform our lives – he said, ‘Once I began to read, I began to exist.’ He will be missed by us all.”
He also notes,
I will never forget when Walter appeared at a convention to speak about his book, Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary, which was published by Scholastic. As we waited for the booksellers to arrive, more than 100 hotel staff crowded into the dining room, drawn to this tall, dignified author they deeply admired.
EarlyWord Kids Correspondent, Lisa Von Drasek, responds to the news:
I’ve been trying to write something but…
I am a reader not a writer.
I have read Walter Dean Myers.
I have experienced the responses of children and young adult readers as they hear, read and ponder his words and stories.
I have been privileged to share meals, as well as short and long chats with Christopher [Myers's son who illustrated many of his father's books] and Pops and hear them talk to audiences about their art and relationship.
You know I loved that man like a rabbit loves to run.
If you’re feeling discouraged about the future of books and reading, just look at the kids in the following video.
The story, created for NBC Nightly News, features author Kate DiCamillo talking to a very receptive group of kids about her struggle to become an author. It did not appear on Friday night’s broadcast, but is in the Nightly News Web site.
DiCamillo will accept the Newbery Award tomorrow night at ALA in Las Vegas for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, (Candlewick Press)
So excited to announce that the brilliant filmmaker Sarah Polley will be writing and directing a film adaptation of Looking for Alaska. I’m a HUGE fan of Sarah’s movies, and her ideas about Looking for Alaska are really wonderful, and I am SO VERY EXCITED.
He has good reason to be excited. Polly wrote and directed the moving Away From Her, starring Julie Christie. She adapted it from Alice Munro’s short story “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Looking for Alaska, published in 2005, (Penguin/Dutton), was Green’s first novel, and it won the Printz Award.
Both Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska were optioned shortly after they were published, but it took the success of TFIOS to get the projects moving.