Archive for the ‘Comics & Movies’ Category

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 8

Friday, February 5th, 2016

Today. we will learn if  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies adapted from the book by Seth Grahame-Smith (Quirk Books, 2009), overturns the box office curse that afflicted its predecessor, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. On the other hand, it’s a safe bet that the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Choice will open well and continue into Valentine’s Day weekend.

Two adaptations open next week:

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How to Be Single is a rom-com (with a stress on the com) that traces the fates of a group of singles on the dating scene in NYC. It stars Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, and Damon Wayans Jr.

It is loosely based (with a stress on “loosely”) on How to Be Single, Liz Tuccillo (S&S/Washington Square Press; OverDrive Sample – also in mass market). Tie-ins came out just a few weeks ago.

MV5BMjQyODg5Njc4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzExMjE3NzE@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_AL_The second movie is a big anti-Valentine’s Day play (note the poster).

Deadpool features the Marvel Comics character who has evolved from villain to antihero. Ryan Reynolds portrayed him in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and reprises the role in this feature.

There is no an official tie-in, but the wise-cracking, super-skilled mercenary features in many comics, so many that Den of Geek provides a lengthy guide to reading the oeuvre.

Neil Gaiman on FRESH AIR

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

9781401248963_423a7Interviewed on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday, Neil Gaiman talked about his latest book, The Sandman: Overture Deluxe Edition, (DC Comics/Vertigo) which has held the #1 spot on the NYT Hardcover Graphic Books since it’s release 4 weeks ago. It collects a 6-part prequel to his Sandman stories.

In the introduction to the interview, Terry Gross says that Norman Mailer called the series “a comic strip for intellectuals.”

There have been several efforts to turn the books into a movie or TV series. Currently a film version is in the works and may begin shooting next year (Fox’s upcoming series Lucifer is based on one of the Sandman characters, featured in a spin-off written by Mike Carey).

In the interview, Gaiman declares that comics are no longer a “gender-determined medium, which always seemed completely barking mad to me.”

Comics Super Hero, The NextGen

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Saga_Vol5-1_362_557_s_c1The Last Man VaughnOne of the leading creators of massively popular and critically praised comics deeply appreciates librarians.

In a feature posted this week in The Daily Beast, writer Emil Lendof introduces Brian K. Vaughan to readers as:

“the golden boy of modern comic book writing… He has the reputation and awards (10 Eisner wins and 10 Eisner nominations) to hold the title, and he’s been compared to comics titans like Frank Miller and Alan Moore. From blockbuster hits like Y: The Last Man, the space opera Saga, and TV writing/producing credits on some of the best seasons of Lost and Under the Dome, Vaughan has become one of the preeminent comics authors.”

The pair sat down for an interview that ranged from Vaughan’s appreciation for the artists he works with to the ways he works out his fears and anxieties in comic form. He also discussed the frequent calls for banning his series Saga and in the process gives a shout-out to librarians:

“The main reason why it hasn’t been banned is because of librarians, who are at the forefront of anti-censorship. They’ve been so great about saying, “It’s fine if you don’t want your children to read Saga, but this is not how libraries work.” It’s frustrating that some people challenge it, but I am so grateful for librarians that let people check out whatever materials they want.”

Librarians who do not yet know his name are likely to be hearing much more about him. The Hollywood Reporter has news that Vaughan’s comic Y: The Last Man, which he created with artist Pia Guerra, has just been bought by FX with plans to make it into a live action series. Nina Jacobson (Hunger Games) and Brad Simpson (World War Z) will produce and Vaughan will co-write. An air date has yet to be set as the project is still in its very early days.

YELLOW BIRDS Set to Take Off

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Yellow BirdsThere’s been some major changes on the film adaptation of Kevin Powers’ 2012 National Book Award finalistThe Yellow Birds, (Hachette/Little, Brown). Benedict Cumberbatch, originally set to play the lead, has been replaced by Jack Huston, reports Deadline. The film also has a new director, Alexandre Moors, who replaces David Lowery.

Bringing some extra star power to the production, Jennifer Anniston is joining the cast.

All this activity indicates the project is closer to becoming a reality.

Closer to Screen:

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 11.14.57 AMPotter fans rejoice! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the next trilogy in the Harry Potter film series, is moving closer to the screen now that director David Yates has issued an open call for auditions to fill the role of Modesty. CNN reports that Yates is searching for a female actress aged 8-12, who could become a household name like Hermione.

The film trilogy, the first of which is due out on November 18, 2016, follows the story of Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.

The Warner Bros. films, as Flickering Myth suggests, have a good chance of  replicating the look and feel of the HP movies. J. K. Rowling wrote the screenplay and the director, producer, production designer, and executive producer all worked on multiple HP films.

As we reported earlier, the movies are based on a Hogwarts textbook (a real edition of the fictional text was published in 2001, with a special charity edition out last month) and follows Scamander’s search for magical creatures.  IMDb neatly summarizes the plot: “The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.”


Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Based on the 2004 Marvel comic Ultimate Fantastic Four, which reimagines the original characters created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (for a layman’s breakdown, check the Washington Post‘s “Comics Riffs” column), the teaser trailer for Fantastic Four just debuted online.

The movie appears in theaters, August 7, 2015.

ANT-MAN Joins the Picnic

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

2332_top1The latest addition to the Marvel film universe is a tiny superhero, Ant-Man, featured on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly.

In the role of the unlikely superhero is a somewhat unlikely comic actor, Paul Rudd (echoes of Chris Pratt in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy).

The first trailer for the live-action film adaptation, which opens July 17th, was shown at the end of the first episode of Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC Tuesday night.

If you’re not fully conversant with Marvel comics, Entertainment Weekly offers a Ant-Man primer to help the uninitiated make sense of the  trailer.

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A dizzying number of tie-ins are on their way, including an Ant-Man “prose novel” (the NYT discovered “reverse adaptations” this week), as well as leveled readers and chapter books for kids and compilations of the original comics. See the full list in our catalog of media tie-ins on Edelweiss.

Snoopy Flies Again

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Good grief! It’s been nearly 50 years since A Charlie Brown Christmas first hit TV screens.

And, next year, the 65th anniversary of Charles Schulz’s first Peanuts comic strip, will be marked by a new animated movie featuring the characters.

The movie’s producers appeared on the Today Show last week and introduced the kids who will voice many of the characters.

Eerily, however, Snoopy and Woodstock will be “voiced” by the late Bill Melendez, the voice of those characters in A Charlie Brown Christmas, via sampled recordings.

A new trailer is also available (note: it says movie is coming “Next Christmas,” but the release date is actually Nov. 6)

A tie-in scheduled for next summer — many more are sure to come:

Peanuts Movie Original Graphic Novel
Charles Schulz
S&S/BOOM! Studios,  August 11, 2015
Trade Paperback
$9.99 USD

THE LIBRARIANS Close The Library

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The Oregonian reports that Oregon City’s library was closed Wednesday and “you can blame it onThe Librarians.”

Not the actual librarians, that is, but the upcoming 10-episode TNT TV series, The Librarians, currently shooting in Oregon City and scheduled to begin airing in December.

The Librarian- QuestThe Librarians continues the TNT franchise of three movies, starring Noah Wylie as The Librarian. The first, broadcast in 2004, was Quest for the Spear. It was adapted as a graphic novel as was the second, Return to King Solomon’s Mines. The third, The Curse of the Judas Chalice, was released in 2008. All three movies were also released on DVD.

The new series uses the plural, as Wylie will be joined by others. According to the TNT press release,

The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. This group solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts from around the world.

Solving impossible mysteries? All in a librarian’s days work.The other two tasks are not generally in the job description.

Hooked On A Raccoon

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

We feel bad about posting that creepy teaser for The Strain so early in the morning. Below is an antidote, the just-released second trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, to get you dancing:

This one gives a longer glimpse of Rocket, the raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), expected to be a particular hit with kids (commenting on the first trailer, Entertainment Weekly warned, “Hipster parents, stare into the eyes of your child’s next Christmas gift”).

Marvel, alert to the growing interest, recently announced the launch of their “first original prose novel,” Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett (Marvel; ages 9 and up). Groot, by the way, is an extraterrestrial plant monster, voiced by Vin Diesel. Since his only words are “I am Groot,” sounds like an easy job, but Diesel claims a lot goes in to it.

For all the tie-ins, see our downloadable spreadsheet, Guardians-Movie-Tie-ins.

Collections of the original Marvel comics are also in print.

Not Rocky; Rocket Raccoon

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Ent. Wkly Summer Movie PreviewWe’re on the verge of the summer movie season, as the new issue of Entertainment Weekly reminds us with a cover featuring Jennifer Lawrence, looking ready to join Blue Men Group in makeup for her role in X-Men Days of Future Past.

Coming in August is a more tongue-in-cheek comic adaptation, Guardians of the Galaxy. It seems the world is poised to fall in love witRocket Raccon and Grooth one of the characters, Rocket Raccoon and his side kick/body guard, a large plant named Groot.

Marvel, sensing the growing interest, has announced the launch of their “first original prose novel,” Rocket Raccoon & Groot: Steal the Galaxy! by Dan Abnett (Marvel; ages 9 and up), which led one comics observer to moan, “a prose novel … set to capitalize on the presumed success of the upcoming major, big-budget Guardians of the Galaxy feature film. This is the world we live in now.”

Several other “prose novels” will be published to tie-in, which is presumably less surprising since they come from publishers who are generally in the prose novel business (downloadable spreadsheet here; for all the tie-ins to the summer’s movies, check our listings of Upcoming movies).

Time to get hooked on a feeling:


Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

In the late-night talk show competition, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Jimmy Kimmel rolled out “the big guns” against the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night by debuting the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Heeeere it is:

Entertainment Weekly offers a “deep dive” into it with a scene-by-scene analysis (gotta love that gun-totting raccoon; EW warns, “Hipster parents, stare into the eyes of your child’s next Christmas gift.”)

Tie-ins: See our downloadable spreadsheet — Guardians of the Galaxy Tie-ins.  Collections of the original Marvel comics are also in print.


Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The trailer for the latest Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, debuts tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Also appearing on the show will be one of the stars, Chris Platt (Parks and Recreation).

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1There’s been much angst among fans, who have been waiting impatiently for the trailer to be released. A hue and cry went up when it was announced that it would not appear on the Superbowl. Fans were thus forced to read the tea leaves on what the movie will be like, based on the action figures debuted at Toy Fair this past weekend (USA Today featured the LEGO figures) and scene-by scene descriptions of an early trailer that was shown during a panel at Comic-Con.

The movie, described as “an action-packed, epic space adventure,” (more about it from USA Today) is based on the Marvel comics by Dan Abnett, Gene Colan, Arnold Drake, Steve Englehart, Andy Lanning (cover of  volume 1 at left).

Tie-ins: See our downloadable spreadsheet — Guardians of the Galaxy Tie-ins

UNBROKEN: First Preview

Monday, February 17th, 2014

UnbrokenAs part of Sunday’s Olympics coverage, NBC debuted a preview of the Universal movie Unbroken (the studio is part of NBC), directed by Angelina Jolie. It is based on Laura Hillenbrand’s long-running best seller, Unbroken (Random House, 2010), still on the NYT hardcover nonfiction list at #11 after 156 weeks.

Looks like the movie will bring new readers to the book; the preview sent the book up to #2 (from #62) on Amazon’s sales rankings.

It will be several months before the movie theatrical opening (set for Christmas Day), but  the Olympics serves as a good tie-in, since the hero of the film, Louis Zamperini (played in the film  by Jack O’Connell) competed in the 1936 Olympics. The real-life Zamperini, now 96, is also featured in the preview, narrated by  Tom Brokaw.

Official Web Site:

Dystopia Rules Comic-Con

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

A new trailer for Catching Fire will debut at Comic-Con this weekend. Another teen dystopian adaptation, Divergent, will also be featured, with many of the stars, as well as the book’s author Veronica Roth, on had to talk with fans, setting off a round of publicity for the movie that doesn’t open until March.

USA Today has the best headline, “On set of Divergent, Kate Winslet is pregnant and mean” (she is actually pregnant but only plays mean as the intimidating Jeanine Matthews).

Shailene Woodley, who plays the lead, Tris, is also featured in the current issue of Interview magazine (the big news? She is topless for the photo shoot).

MTV is promoting their live-stream coverage of the Comic-Con event with a video of their visit to the Divergent set.

Summit Entertainment clearly expects this to be a success; they have signed up a screenwriter for the sequel,