Archive for the ‘Comics & Movies’ Category

WATCHMEN Cometh

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

A live-action adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s iconic comic, Watchmen (DC Comics), may be headed to HBO.

Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) is in “very early talks” to develop a series, reports Deadline.

If it does make it to screen, it will follow previous adaptations, a 2009 film by Zack Snyder and a motion comic (a narrated and animated version of the actual comic) from 2008. CRB.com reports on yet another possible adaptation in the works as well as moves by DC Comics to bring “several of the main Watchmen characters into its main superhero universe.”

Watchmen first appeared in 1986 and ran for 12 issues. It took the comics world by storm and grabbed the notice of literary critics too. It is currently on Time magazine’s list of 100 Best Novels. ScreenRant has a list of ways it “Changed Comics Forever” and the BBC looks at its influence.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, First Trailer

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

9781250121462_c1182The first trailer for Dreamworks’ adaptation of David Finkel’s 2013 award-winning Thank You For Your Service has been released.

Oscar-nominated Jason Hall (for Best Adapted Screenplay, American Sniper) wrote the script and makes his directorial debut. Miles Teller (War Dogs) leads the large cast which also includes Haley Bennett (The Girl on the Train) and Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) in what is billed as her first non-comedic role.

The film opens in theaters on October 27, 2017. As Variety reports, the release date is timed for awards season.

The book follows a group of soldiers as they try to adjust to civilian life after returning home from fighting in Baghdad, although the movie appears to focus on just one of them. A critical success, it was reviewed by the NYT, Washington Post, NPR, and The Guardian, shortlisted for a National Book Critics Circle Award and selected as a NYT‘s Notable Books of 2013.

tie-in edition (Macmillan/Picador; Macmillan Audio) arrives in September.

BLACK PANTHER, First Trailer

Monday, June 12th, 2017

The first trailer has been released for Black Panther, the next in the Marvel Comics franchise. The movie doesn’t arrive until Feb. 16 of next year, but the Hollywood Reporter notes the trailer release is timed to the success of another current super-hero movie, to show that “the studio has its own Wonder Woman in waiting.”

Point by point breakdowns of the less than 2 minute teaser, which is trending on YouTube, come from io9, ScreenRant, and New York magazine, particularly noting the images of the Black Panther’s homeland, Wakanda, as well as the Dora Milaje, the all female bodyguards of the Black Panther.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa, the Black Panther, along with Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

A couple of tie-ins have already been announced.

World of Reading: Black Panther This is Black Panther (Level 1) by Andy Schmidt (Hachette/Marvel Press)

Black Panther The Battle for Wakanda: A Mighty Marvel Chapter Book by Brandon T. Snider, Michael Dorris (Hachette/Marvel Press – cover not yet released).

Viewers first saw Black Panther in the hugely successful movie Captain America: Civil War,
but long before that film the comics character attracted attention thanks to his revival in Ta-Nehisi Coates’s comics, now collected in
Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Hachette/Marvel). See our earlier posts for more background.

Later this month, another spin-off of the series arrives in a collaboration between Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay,  Black Panther: World of Wakanda: Dawn of the Midnight Angels.

Hitting Screens, Week of June 12, 2017

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

    

Amazingly, no new adaptations open either on TV or in theaters this week.

Over the weekend, My Cousin Rachel, based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier was considered a disappointment, drawing just $954K in 523 theaters, as well as mixed reviews.

In its second week, Wonder Woman, considered “amazing,” is still at #1 in 4,165 theaters. In movie speak, it’s exhibits “a very rare hold for any superhero tentpole movie which typically ease between 50%-60% in their second weekends.” In another form of super-hero, Captain Underpants came in a distant third, but, given it’s low production costs, is still considered a relative success.

Wonder Woman, Origin Story

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Wonder Woman is capturing more than the bad guys, she is breaking box office records and seizing the cultural moment, causing critics to rave and commentators to comment. She is also triggering a new film, an indie picture about her real-life origins.

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, written and directed by Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S., The L Word), details the life of Harvard psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston who created the iconic character. Luke Evans (Beauty and the Beast) plays Marston with Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) as his wife Elizabeth and Bella Heathcote (Fifty Shades Darker) as his former student and their joint lover, Olive. Both women served as models and inspiration for Wonder Woman.

Deadline Hollywood writes “Marston created DC’s iconic Amazonian princess with significant input from Elizabeth having been inspired to do so by Olive – Marston, like Wonder Woman, was profoundly influenced by the feminist ideals espoused by Elizabeth and Olive. ”

A brief, and cryptic trailer has been released and there is an interactive teaser site with the characters drawn in comic style.

Adding a bit more information, The Hollywood Reporter posted the official description:

“In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, is the true story of 1940s Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston, the inventor of the lie detector and creator of the iconic Wonder Woman, who defends his feminist superhero against charges of ‘sexual perversity’ while at the same time maintaining a secret that could have destroyed him. Unknown to others, Marston’s inspiration for Wonder Woman was his wife Elizabeth Marston and their lover Olive Byrne, two empowered women in the field of psychology who defied convention, building a secret life together with Marston that rivaled the greatest of superhero disguises.”

ScreenRant says the “the project is still very much in development” and there is no word on a premiere date. In the meantime, VOX and Smithsonian magazine offer further details on Wonder Woman’s origins.

The Secret History of Wonder Woman (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample; 2014) by New Yorker writer Jill Lepore, was described as “the most extensive account ever written of Marston and his milieu, using archival sources that no one else has had access to.”

WONDER WOMAN,
the Final Trailer

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

The last look viewers will have before the expected summer blockbuster Wonder Woman has just been released. The film arrives in theaters on June 2nd.

The trailer aired during the MTV Movie & TV Awards and has received media scrutiny. Offering a shot by shot analysis, Screen Rant says the trailer “reveals why a hero like Diana is needed now more than ever. Not just in the DCEU [DC Extended Universe], but the superhero genre as a whole.”

Two leveled readers have already published: Wonder Woman: I Am an Amazon Warrior, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson (HC; OverDrive Sample) and Wonder Woman: Meet the Heroes, Steve Korte, Lee Ferguson, Jeremy Roberts (HC; OverDrive Sample).

More tie-ins are on the way including Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization by Nancy Holder (PRH/Titan Books) and Wonder Woman: The Junior Novel by Steve Korte (HC/HarperFestival).

After the film premieres, DC begins a new series called DC Icons, written by best-selling YA authors.

It kicks off in August with Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer (PRH/RH Books for Young Readers; Listening Library). Following that, Marie Lu takes on Batman (January 2018), Matt de la Pena tackles Superman (May 2018), and Sarah J. Maas stalks Catwoman (September 2018).

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the comics artist Andie Tong, known for his work on various DC series, sent Bardugo a sketch of Wonder Woman “sitting atop a pile of defeated criminals, rewarding herself with another chapter of Bardugo’s Six of Crows novel.”

Perhaps To Screen: LOCKE & KEY

Monday, April 24th, 2017

9781684051816_9e524Hulu has given a pilot order for an adaptation of the Eisner-winning comic Locke & Key reports Deadline Hollywood, in what they call a “very competitive situation.” The hourly drama will be based on Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s hit series.

Hill along with Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel, The Strain) are running the project, with Hill writing the script. The director of Doctor Strange, Scott Derrickson, is on board to direct the series if the pilot is approved.

Two earlier efforts to adapt the horror/fantasy blend have failed. The Hollywood Reporter points out that Rodriguez’s fantastic art is difficult to translate to the screen, but the group running the project this time may be able to carry if off. Hulu is ready for more ambitious content, THR maintains, and Cuse is skilled and proven in the genre, as is Derrickson. Finally Hill, more than anyone, should be able get the script right while also honoring his comic readers.

9781511367684_84fcdAlso in its favor, a hit audio adaptation was a huge success in 2016, winning an Audie as well as several nominations.

The comic, which ranges across multiple releases plus collected editions, tells the complicated story of the Locke family, the Keyhouse estate, demons, possession, and keys. Tor.com offers a reread of the first volume which gives a taste of the story. The newest volume will come out in August, Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth (PRH/IDW).

Hitting Screens, Week of Feb. 20, 2017

Monday, February 20th, 2017

It’s a light week for adaptations in theaters, as the movie business focuses on Sunday’s Academy Awards.

9780316334754_94cdfThe Girl With All the Gifts, a zombie horror film based on M. R. Carey’s novel of the same title, opens in theaters and on VOD on Friday, after having already aired on DirecTV.

The film stars Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Dominique Tipper, and Glenn Close. It is directed by Colm McCarthy (Sherlock, Doctor Who).

Reviews are widely mixed.

The Hollywood Reporter was not impressed, writing it is “rather dreary … A runaway success like 28 Days Later or The Walking Dead, this is not.” Variety agrees, writing it is “A tired attempt to board the zombie bandwagon.”
However, The Guardian was enthusiastic, saying it is a “fiercely intelligent British chiller … [that] breathes new life into age-old horror tropes, taking familiar fears of zombies, the apocalypse and eerie children and spinning them in surprising ways.”

9780316300339_f8d05io9 goes further, saying it “Has Joined the Horde of All-Time Great Zombie Films … It’s the rare zombie film that innovates the genre with skill and excitement.”

There is no tie-in but the timing is good for Carey. He is writing a prequel, The Boy on the Bridge (Hachette/Orbit), due out May 2.

 

9780385334921_4d720It’s deja vu all over again for Tulip Fever, which was scheduled to open this weekend. Based on the historical novel by Deborah Moggach, it was suddenly pulled from its original July 2016 opening. Now, just days before it was to open on its new date, it has been postponed yet again, this time to an unspecified date [UPDATE: It has now been rescheduled to August 25, 2017].

The Playlist says it was “at one time perceived as a big-ticket project. But somewhere along the way, it seems it was a promise that couldn’t be lived up to Tulip Fever is starting to smell like another recent star-studded Weinstein picture that mostly flamed out: last year’s restaurant drama Burnt.”

For those getting the feeling that the film will never air, IndieWire notes the studio “has a history with these kind of recurring delays. Most recently, the company also moved the release date back twice for The Founder, the Michael Keaton-starring McDonald’s origin story … The decision to push Tulip Fever comes after a tough year for virtually all independent distributors in the theatrical marketplace.”

There is no official tie-in. Moggach has had success with adaptations of her novels before. She wrote The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

THE CIRCLE Gets A Trailer

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

mv5bmjiwmjexndk5of5bml5banbnxkftztgwmju1ndk3mdi-_v1_sy1000_cr007041000_al_The film adaptation of Dave Eggers’s dark satire about Silicon Valley, The Circle, is heading to the big screen on April 28, 2017. It features big time stars Karen Gillan, Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and John Boyega.

The first trailer has been released, causing enough stir to send the book rising on Amazon, moving from #338 to #213.

In print form, the novel did well, debuting at #7 on the NYT bestselling fiction list and attracting media attention, including a feature in The New Yorker.

9781101973813_968c5A tie-in edition hits shelves in late March: The Circle (MTI), Dave Eggers (PRH/Vintage; RH/BOT; OverDrive Sample).

BABY GROOT Gets Big Welcome

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

If anyone doubted that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be a major release on May 5, this should change their minds. The trailer had 81 million views in the 24 hours after it was released. Director James Gunn enthused on Facebook

Holy crap! With 81 million views in its first 24 hours, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer is the SECOND BIGGEST TEASER TRAILER EVER (after Beauty and the Beast), and the biggest Marvel Studios Teaser ever! No kidding – I’m, like, floored …

It probably has something to do with that adorable Baby Groot.

See our earlier post for information on tie-ins.

HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS,
Book Trailer

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

A trailer for the comic book based on Neil Gaiman’s short story, “How to talk to Girls at Parties,” (available online in both text and audio) was just released and is getting picked up by many entertainment news sites.

The graphic novel, released on Tuesday, is also set to be adapted as a movie, starring Elle Fanning, Nicole Kidman and Alex Sharp. Gaiman is the executive producer for the project, set to begin filming in November.

9781616559557_1d4fbNeil Gaiman’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Neil Gaiman, Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon
Dark Horse Books,:July 5, 2016
9781616559557, 1616559551
Hardcover
$17.99 USD, $23.99 CAD

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:

9781501140648_4ff7f  9781501140525_6d31e
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.