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  • Ross Johnson 3:30 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , coming soon, ,   

    16 Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2018 

    People sometimes say that they’ll wait for the movie version. That’s not us—we look forward to the movie precisely because we loved the book so much. On that score, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2018. Here are 16 books coming to the screen this year.

    12 Strong, based on Horse Soldiers, by Doug Stanton (January 19)
    Led by Chris Hemsworth, this film follows Stanton’s non-fiction account of a small band of Special Forces who, vastly outnumbered, captured Mazar-i-Sharif in Afghanistan before finding themselves besieged. Michael Shannon and Michael Peña also star.

    Maze Runner: The Death Cure, based on the novel by James Dashner (January 26)
    The Maze Runner trilogy is set to conclude with this adaption of the final book (if you don’t count the ongoing prequel series). The truth behind WCKD and the tests will be revealed, but not before the Gladers run one more maze in the legendary Last City.

    Fifty Shades Freed, based on the novel by E. L. James (February 9)
    You know the score by now: Christian and Ana’s R-rated naughtiness is going to get complicated. Classed as an erotic psychological romantic thriller, the big finish sees the two happily married until Ana’s old boss begins stalking and threatening her, and Christian’s former dom and lover (played by Kim Basinger) pops back into town.

    The War with Grandpa, based on the novel by Robert Kimmel Smith (February 23)
    The multiple award-winning children’s novel is getting a film adaption with an all-star cast, including Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, and Uma Thurman. The novel is the story of Peter and the grandfather he adores—until grandpa comes to live with the family and takes over Peter’s room. From there, it’s war. With DeNiro in good form, it sounds like the movie will be fun.

    Every Day, based on the novel by David Levithan (February 23)
    Levithan’s young adult novel follows Rhiannon, a 16-year-old who develops a relationship with a traveling spirit named A. Every day, A wakes up in a different body and thus lives a variety of human experiences. Rhiannon encounters the traveller when A wakes up in the body of Justin, her troubled boyfriend. If the filmmakers can translate Levithan’s humanistic and empathetic style to the screen, it should do well.

    Annihilation, based on the novel by Jeff VanderMeer (February 23)
    Multi-talented director/novelist/screenwriter Alex Garland is helming the adaption of VanderMeer’s first Southern Reach novel. The series is all about the mystery of Area X, a region of the southern U.S. that’s been cut off for decades by a strange barrier. Each expedition into Area X has produced wildly different results and observations, with the most recent trip leaving only one grievously injured survivor, husband to a biologist played in the movie by Natalie Portman. She volunteers for a new expedition into the zone in order to figure out what exactly happened. There’s been some behind-the-scenes scuffling about the finished film being overly cerebral (and diverging greatly from the source material), but that doesn’t necessarily make for a bad film.

    Red Sparrow, based on the novel by Jason Matthews (March 2)
    Matthews’ novel goes deep into the intertwined worlds of Russian and American espionage to tell the story of Dominika Egorova, an operative trained from an early age in the arts of infiltration and seduction, and whose synesthesia allows her to see the world in unique ways. She might sound a bit like Marvel’s Black Widow, but there are no superheroics in Matthews world. Jennifer Lawrence stars.

    A Wrinkle in Time, based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle (March 9)
    It’s not the first adaption of L’Engle’s beloved, influential, and controversial 1962 science fantasy novel, but this one should make a much bigger splash than the earlier television production. For starters, multiple-award winner Ava DuVernay is directing an all-star cast, led by Oprah Winfrey. Newcomer Storm Reid stars as Meg Murray, who fights to save her father from captivity on a distant planet.

    Love, Simon, based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli (March 16)
    Greg Berlanti, best known these days for his work writing and producing the various DC shows on the CW, is directing the adaption of Albertalli’s coming-of-age story about a closeted high schooler coming to terms with his sexuality. Simon has an online relationship with a boy he knows as “Blue,” but the correspondence is uncovered by one of his classmates who blackmails Simon into setting him up with a girl named Abby.

    Ready Player One, based on the novel by Ernest Cline (March 30)
    Just a few months after the release of historical drama The Post, Steven Spielberg’s much-anticipated adaption of the Cline novel is coming to the big screen.  It’s the story of a dystopian future world in which there’s not much to do but hang out in a virtual space called the OASIS. The creator dies and promises ownership of the realm to anyone who can find his hidden easter egg. Like the book, the movie promises a plethora of 80s pop-culture references.

    Guernsey, based on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (April 20)
    Note to the producers: the original novel’s title is better, if tough to squeeze onto a marquee. Shaffer and Barrows popular novel introduces Juliet Ashton, a London writer looking for a new book subject following the Blitz. Unexpected correspondence draws her into the funny, eccentric, charming, and weird world of occupied Guernsey.

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette, based on the novel by Maria Semple (May 11)
    A new Richard Linklater film is always an event for true movie buffs. The Before Midnight/School of Rock/Boyhood director is taking on Semple’s funny, quirky novel about an agoraphobic mom who goes missing. Her daughter Bee, who had been preparing for a family trip to Antarctica, searches through documents and correspondence in order to figure out exactly what happened.

    Crazy Rich Asians, based on the novel by Kevin Kwan (August 17)
    Kwan intended his 2013 novel, based partly on his childhood in Singapore, to provide a contemporary view of Asian culture for Americans. Probably not a bad idea. It’s the story of a marriage between the incredibly rich Colin Khoo and his fashion icon fiancée. The original book has been followed by two sequels thus far, so a successful film could potentially kick off a franchise.

    Boy Erased, based on Boy Erased: A Memoir, by Garrard Conley (September 28)
    Conley’s 2016 memoir, describing his experiences in gay conversion therapy, serves as a testimonial to the dangers of such programs, as well as a nod toward the belief systems that encourage them. Conley was the son of a Baptist minister in a small town who was outed during college and pressured into conversion therapy. It didn’t go well. Lucas Hedges stars, with Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman as his parents.

    The Girl in the Spider’s Web, based on the novel by David Lagercrantz (October 5)
    Bear with me now: this is the fifth film adaption of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, about world-class hacker Lisbeth Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist. It’s based on the fourth book in the series, the first not to have been written by Larsson, but it’s also reboot of the David Fincher’s series of American adaptations, which only ever got around to adapting the first book. In short, it’s a whole new start, so don’t worry about it! The Crown’s Claire Foy takes over as Lisbeth, with Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez directing.

    First Man, based on First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, by James R. Hansen (October 12)
    Hansen’s 2005 biography focuses largely on Armstrong’s life before and after the moon landing, charting his upbringing and involvement in the space program, as well as life as one of the most famous people in the world. Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy star.

    What’s on your book-to-movie calendar for 2018?

    The post 16 Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 6:40 pm on 2017/03/08 Permalink
    Tags: , coming soon, , ,   

    5 Novels That Sold Movie Rights Before They Were Even Published 

    Usually there’s a natural order to the world: the sun rises in the East, new books come out on Tuesdays, and if a book sells enough copies, someone will eventually buy the film rights. Wait, scratch that last one—the business of entertainment has grown so competitive in recent years, it’s becoming more and more common for books to sell film rights extremely quickly—often even before the book is published, before anyone knows if it is going to connect with readers at all. Here are five recent examples, though whether or not they will all make it to the screen remains a mystery.

    Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly
    Shetterly began work on Hidden Figures in 2010; the film rights were sold to William Morrow in early 2014, while she was still polishing the final draft. In fact, Shetterly was still working on the book while the film was being made, which is all kinds of unusual. The project wandered through a few studios as the producers—Shetterly among them—sought the right fit. You certainly can’t argue with results: not only has the book been a breakout bestseller, the film made box office bank and garnered major awards love. The combination of a relevant civil rights story, Shetterly’s scholarship, and the convergence of Hollywood talent made this gamble pay off big time.

    The Hate U Give, by A.C. Thomas
    Thomas’ novel, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, has been racking up buzz at an overwhelming rate. First, it sold at an auction in which no fewer than 13 publishing houses vied for right to publish it. Proving that buzz begets buzz, that scramble led directly to a heated competition the film rights, which were eventually sold (perhaps “awarded” is a better word) to Fox 2000, which quickly assembled a team to bring it to the screen, including actress Amandla Stenberg (known for her role as Rue in first film of The Hunger Games), director George Tillman Jr., and screenwriter Audrey Wells—all before the cover had even been designed. It’s easy to see why: the story demands to be told. It’s about a black high-school student—navigating between her outsider status in both her impoverished neighborhood and the tony prep school she attends—whose life is sent into chaos when police shoot an old friend dead right in front of her at a traffic stop. Books don’t get more timely, and the excitement around this debut just keeps growing.

    The Martian, by Andy Weir
    Weir’s crazy journey from disappointed wannabe author to huge success story is pretty well known, and this one’s a bit of a cheat. Weir posted The Martian to his blog as a serial, and later self-published it. It went on to rack up tens of thousands of sales, and a phenomenon was born. The fact that it sold print publishing and film rights simultaneously, therefore, isn’t much of a surprise. What is surprising is that Weir never left his house as the big money deals were signed: he hates to fly, and so he negotiated every single contract over the phone with people he’s never met. Of course, by the time he was making those calls, the book had already been proved a winner, so no one was being particularly psychic.

    World War Z, by Max Brooks
    Sometimes, selling the film rights quickly doesn’t mean the film will make it to the screen any time soon. Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company bought the film rights to Brooks’ zombie war classic in 2006, a few months before the book was actually published, because the actor had read an advanced copy and loved it—in fact, he outbid Leonardo DiCaprio to secure them (if you’re an author, that’s a sentence you dream of reading about your own book). The first screenplay written was tossed aside, however, as the difficulties in filming a story structured as a sprawling, global oral history became apparent. By the time four credited screenwriters were done and several years had passed, the end result was an over-budget action film that bore little resemblance to the novel—but it did perform well enough to inspire a sequel.

    City on Fire, by Garth Risk Hallberg
    Think back to the halcyon days of 2015, when it seemed like all anyone could discuss in terms of books was Hallberg’s City on Fire. Hallberg actually sold the film rights even before he’d even sold the book to a publisher, which has to be some sort of record. Also probably a record was the $2 million advance he received for a debut novel by a non-celebrity. The fate of the film is in severe doubt, however, and while Hallberg’s literary career is probably going to be fine, kids who might have to write reports on this doorstopper are going to have to wait a long time before there’s a movie they can download instead of reading it.

     

    The post 5 Novels That Sold Movie Rights Before They Were Even Published appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jenny Shank 3:30 pm on 2017/02/27 Permalink
    Tags: , coming soon, daisy johnson, , , jenny zhang, lesley nneka arimah, , otessa moshfegh, , , tessa hadley, Tim Gautreaux   

    7 Spectacular Story Collections to Read in 2017 

    Short story fans are in for a treat in 2017, with so many collections by long-established masters and intriguing debut authors that it will be hard to choose where to start reading. Here are seven can’t-miss collections to watch out for this year.

    Signals: New and Selected Stories by Tim Gautreaux (January 17)
    Tim Gautreaux is a contemporary short story virtuoso, and this collection of new and selected tales offers a great chance for readers unfamiliar with him to catch up, and for fans to reminisce. Gautreaux’s home territory is the South, especially Louisiana, and his stories draws on and refreshes classic tropes of Southern literature. From a priest with a taste for brandy who must comfort a dying man who has sinned creatively all his life (“Good for the Soul”), to a grandpa who attempts his chores while babysitting a passel of grandchildren (“Welding with Children”), to a piano turner hired to visit an instrument at the decaying mansion of an eccentric widow (“The Piano Tuner”), Gautreaux captures messy lives with humor, heart, and grace.

    Homesick for Another World by Ottessa Moshfegh (January 17)
    Ottessa Moshfegh’s debut novel Eileen, a dark literary thriller about a woman who escapes from a New England town, was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize last year, and a movie is reportedly in the works. She has followed it up with her first collection of short stories, many of which were previously published in The Paris Review and The New Yorker. Moshfegh’s stories shock and surprise as she draws you into the quirky worlds of her characters, from an unconventional teacher at a Catholic high school (“Bettering Myself”) to an old man who becomes obsessed with the young woman who buys the house next door (“An Honest Woman”).

    What it Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (April 4)
    Minneapolis-based writer Lesley Nneka Arimah’s debut collection of short stories promises to surprise and entertain with her unique style of mythic realism. In “Who Will Greet You At Home,” a Nigerian woman must choose a material out of which to create her child. The title story, which won the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing, is set in a future world where mathematicians eat other people’s grief.

    Fen by Daisy Johnson (May 2)
    Daisy Johnson sets her stories in East Anglia, an area in the east of England that’s full of marshlands, hence the title. Johnson mixes magic and folklore in freely as her characters have uncanny encounters, often with the animal world: a dead boy has been reincarnated as a fox in “There Was a Fox in the Bedroom,” and an albatross storms into a pregnant woman’s kitchen in “The Superstition of an Albatross.”

    Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami (May 9)
    International literary powerhouse Haruki Murakami will publish a new story collection in May. The seven tales feature men who have ended up alone, and are laced with many of the standard elements of Murakami’s fiction, including mysterious women and Beatles references.

    Bad Dreams and Other Stories by Tessa Hadley (May 16)
    New Yorker regular Tessa Hadley is a prolific British writer whose stories capture all phases of the lives of women with rare sensitivity. In “Deeds Not Words,” the personal and political struggles of two female British schoolteachers are set against the outbreak of World War I. In the title story, Hadley enters a child’s thoughts, fears, and skin as she wakes in the middle of the night while her family sleeps on around her, and creates a mess that her mother, upon waking, thinks her husband has caused.

    Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang (August 1)
    Girls creator Lena Dunham has a new publishing imprint, and her first choice as an editor is this collection of stories by Jenny Zhang. Zhang’s stories explore the lives of Chinese American girls and young women growing up in New York City, as in “Hold On, Sour Grape,” in which the narrator reveals the degredations of living in Bushwick with little money, and her parents keep a list of “things we need to buy immediately or else we’ve just lost all human dignity whatsoever.”

    The post 7 Spectacular Story Collections to Read in 2017 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Joel Cunningham 3:32 pm on 2016/05/19 Permalink
    Tags: alice through the looking glass, ben-hur, coming soon, , me before you, , , tarzan,   

    Summer Adaptations We Can’t Wait to See 

    There’s nothing better than grabbing a book and wiling away a lazy summer afternoon reading under a tree—but for those days when it gets so hot your sunglasses are slipping off of your nose and you can no longer focus on the pages in front of you, perhaps a trip to the cineplex is in order. You’ll cool off in the frigid A/C, and as long as you see one of the season’s much-anticipated book adaptations, you can kind of, sort of count your expedition as reading.

    Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27), directed by James Bobin, based on the book by Lewis Carroll
    After Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1 billion wordwide, it wasn’t a question of if, but when we’d see more of the young woman’s journey down the rabbit hole—or through a mirror, as the case may be. The Muppets‘ helmer James Bobin replaces Burton, but most of the original cast (including Mia Wasikowska as Alice and Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts) returns for more madcap 3-D adventures in a land where anything can happen, thanks to the unparalleled imagination on display in Lewis Carroll’s original books, and an assist from wall-to-wall CGI. This one looks even nuttier than the last, which is saying something.

    Me Before You (June 3), directed by Thea Sharrock, based on the book by Jojo Moyes
    Load up on extra tissues before you head out to see this year’s contender for the “Fault in Our Stars Memorial Award for the Film Inducing the Most Heaving Sobs in a Single Viewing.” BBC television veteran Thea Sharrock (whose work on Call the Midwife proves she knows from tragedy) directs Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke in this adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ breakout tearjerker about Louisa Clark, a home health aid who gets a job caring for a wealthy, formerly adventurous man recently paralyzed in an accident. After he fails in a suicide attempt, Louisa convinces him to agree to go another six months before he tries to end his life again. She’s determined to prove to him that live is worth living. We’re determined to leave the theater without visible snot dripping from our noses.

    The Free State of Jones (June 24), directed by Gary Ross, based on the book by Victoria E. Bynum
    Director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games, Seabiscuit) is at the helm of this period drama inspired by real history, as recounted in the same-titled book by historian Victoria E. Bynum. Matthew McConaughey plays Civil War rebellion leader Newton Wayne, who was injured in the Battle or Corinth in 1862 and went on to assemble a band of fellow disgruntled soldiers to fight against the Confederacy in their hometown of Jones County, Mississippi. The supporting cast includes Keri Russell, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Brendan Gleeson.

    The BFG (July 1), directed by Stephen Spielberg, based on the book by Roald Dahl
    The master of fun-for-the-whole-family entertainment looks to be back in top form with this lavish adaptation of one of Roald Dahl’s creepiest, most beloved children’s books. A young girl named Sophie befriends the towering giant (played in a motion-capture performance by recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance) who steals her from her bedroom at night and whisks her off to Giant Country, and on a quest to put a stop to the terrible band of man-eating giants that have been preying on our world (preferring mostly to consume children, naturally). Wait, no, it really is for kids. Early reviews indicate that Spielberg is true to the darkness lurking in Dahl’s beloved original, and Rylance looks like he walked out of one of those dreams the BFG delights in blowing into children’s bedrooms at night.

    The Legend of Tarzan (July 1). directed by David Yates, based on the book by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    book with too many film versions to count, Edgar Rice Burrough’s seminal lord of the jungle is swinging back to theaters. Creators have struggled with Burroughs adaptations in the past (see: the underrated and underperforming John Carter). Tarzan is a character who sounds silly in the blurb, but works best when treated with some (but not too much) seriousness. If they can nail the tone with this one, it should be a lot of fun. Veteran Harry Potter director David Yates directs, and in the title role, True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård absolutely looks the part.

    The Infiltrator (July 13), directed by Brad Furman, based on the book by Robert Mazur
    Bryan Cranston stars in this sure-to-be-harrowing adaptation of former Federal agent Robert Mazur’s memoir of a five-year deep-cover assignment within a money-laundering operation that provided capital to one of the most notorious criminals in modern history: drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Here’s hoping The Lincoln Lawyer director Brad Furman takes as much time exploring the surprisingly mundane world of the corrupt bankers who funneled cash to a murderous cartel with the efficiency of Wall Street wealth managers as he does setting up the tense action set-pieces, including a climactic standoff at a wedding attended by dozens of high-ranking criminals.

    Ben-Hur (August 19), directed by Timur Bekmambetov, based on the book by Lew Wallace
    If you’re going to remake Ben-Hur, one of the splashiest spectacles of Hollywood’s Golden Age, you need to go big, or go home. That’s probably why MGM picked Timur Bekmambetov, the mad genius behind Wanted and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, to take a second stab at adapting Lew Wallace’s classic book, which has been called “the most influential Christian novel of the 19th century.” Who better to tell the story of a man’s rise from slave to celebrated charioteer (not to mention the story of Jesus) than the guy who taught Angelina Jolie to bend bullets?

     
  • BN Editors 8:49 pm on 2015/10/07 Permalink
    Tags: , coming soon,   

    Fall Adaptations We Can’t Wait to See 

    Fall is the most wonderful time of the year for movie buffs, as this is the season when studios release the prestige films they’ve been hoarding through the summer doldrums,. Inevitably, that means it’s also the time of year when some of our favorite reads make the leap to the big screen. Here are the books we can’t wait to buy a ticket for this fall.

    Room, by Emma Donaghue
    It’s a gift when the screenplay adaptation of a beloved novel is written by the author, especially when that author is Emma Donaghue, who can spin a thought-provoking yarn better than most. The story of Room, both book and film, centers on Ma, kidnapped and confined in a 10-by-10 room, and her son, Jack, for whom “Room” is the world. Ma’s built a life for 5-year-old Jack in this prison, but the time has come to escape. But how do you acclimate a child whose whole life has been encompassed in a single, isolated space to civilization? That’s the heartbreaking challenge explored in this book, which is ultimately an uplifting reminder that a good mother can help you survive anything.

    The Martian, by Andy Weir
    There’s been a robust publicity campaign for the Matt Damon-starring film adaptation of The Martian—NASA even went and found water on Mars for the occasion! Once you’ve seen Ridley Scott’s version, it’s imperative you get your hands on Weir’s novel. On the page, you’ll get even more insight into the mindset of Mark Watney, the star-crossed, foul-mouthed astronaut who finds himself abandoned on the red planet, but still very keen on remaining alive. There’s a new space race: to get to the thrilling end of the book. 

    Bridge of Spies, by Giles Whittell
    Steven Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in a historical espionage drama centered on a 1960 incident in which a U.S. spy plane was shot down over the former Soviet Union and its pilot, Francis Gary Powers, was captured. Initially the U.S. tried to disavow the incident, until the Soviets came forward with hard evidence of their culpability, igniting an international firestorm and leading to a high-profile prisoner exchange. The story of the Russian agent American intelligence was forced to relinquish is just as exciting as a secret mission in an experimental plane. The film adaptation stars Amy Ryan and Alan Alda.

    Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
    Award-winning Irish author Tóibín nabbed his dream hometown cast—including Oscar-nominees Saoirse Ronan and Jim Broadbent—and no less than Nick Hornby to pen the screenplay for the adaptation of his 2009 novel about a small-town Irish girl in the years after World War II dreaming of a better life in Brooklyn. The film, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, was directed by Irish theater veteran John Crowley (who recently helmed several episodes of HBO’s True Detective).

    Trumbo, by Bruce Cook
    Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston stars as legendary screenwriter Dalton Trumbo in the film adaptation inspired by Cook’s 1977 biography. Trumbo was a celebrated, highly paid talent in Hollywood during the Golden Age of movie-making—until the 1940s, when, with the Red Scare in full swing, Senator Joseph McCarthy made Tinseltown ground zero for a Communist witch hunt. Refusing to reveal the identities of other Hollywood players who had been involved in Communist organizations, Trumbo was placed on the infamous “black list,” and barred from working in the industry for more than a decade (at least under his own name—films he’d written won two Oscars during his period of exile). The film, by Jay Roach, who previously adapted the 2008 election drama Game Change, follows the arc of Trumbo’s life and career and also stars Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, and Louis C.K.

    The Danish Girl, by David Ebershoff
    Eddie Redmayne brings his post-Oscar glow to the story of Lili Elbe, the artist and transgender pioneer, to the adaptation of The Danish Girl. The natural drama of Elbe’s life-altering journey, and its effects on her marriage, is well-suited to the big screen, but it also makes for a compelling read in Ebershoff’s novel of the same name. It’s a story about love, ambition, and identity, and an unconventional look at an unconventional 20th-century woman. Romance and heartbreak go hand in hand, just like books and movies.

     
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