Big Books-to-Movies Weekend

Three movies based on books open this weekend; two of them are reviewed in the new issue of People (dated Oct. 20). 

The lead review is for Body of Lies (based on the book of the same title by David Ignatius), directed by Ridley Scott and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. Calling the movie “tricky to follow”, People gives it just two of four stars. David Denby in the New Yorker, however, calls it “smart and tightly drawn.”

The Express, starring Dennis Quaid and Bob Brown gets three of four stars. Based on the book of the same title, it’s about Ernie Davis, the first African-American winner of the Heisman Trophy. The review says the movie “rises above sports movie clichés” by showing how both coach (Quaid) and Davis (played by Brown) were affted by the rising civil rights movement and concludes, “Express is terrific to show to kids 8 and up as a starting point to discuss race.” 

Express not only has a tie-in book, but also a tie-in audio edition (see below).

People mentions City of Ember, also opening this weekend, saying it didn’t screen in time for review, but in a nod to the movie, they include a sidebar on star Bill Murray.

It’s been a very strong year for movies based on books and more are coming (see “Books to Movies” listing on the right).

The really big books to movies day will be Christmas, when six are scheduled to open (that is, if Time Travelers Wife is actually released that day; there has been little publicity for it, which causes us to suspect that it may be moved to another date). 

Below is tie-in information for the movies opening tomorrow, from EarlyWord’s Upcoming Movies — with Tie-ins listings:

OCT 10

Movie Title: City of Ember
Director: Gil Kenan
Starring: Bill Murray, Tim Robbins

Based on: City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

Movie tie-in:

City of Ember
Jeanne Duprau

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: $6.99
  • Publisher: Yearling (August 26, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0385736282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385736282


OCT 10 (wide release)

Movie Title: Body of Lies
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe

Based on: Body of Lies, David Ignatius

Body of Lies
David Ignatius

  • Trade Paperback: $13.95
  • Publisher: Norton, Sept
  • ISBN-13: 9780393334296


OCT 10

Movie Title: The Express
Director: Gary Fleder
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Rob Brown

Based on: The Express: The Ernie Davis Story by Robert C. Gallagher

Movie tie-in:

The Express: The Ernie Davis Story
 Robert C. Gallagher

  • Paperback: $13; 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0345510860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345510860
  • Audio CD: Unabridged, $39.99 (Library Binder)
  • Publisher: Tantor Media; (September 1, 2008)
  • ISBN-13: 9781400138777

One Response to “Big Books-to-Movies Weekend”

  1. Jennifer Sullivan Says:

    Hi Nora,

    Tantor also published the audio for Body of Lies. We released a new version, complete with the movie cover, in anticipation of the motion picture release.