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Author Archive: "Tavis"

Read It Before They Screen It: The Catcher in the Rye, Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Satanic Verses

J. D. Salinger will finally let Hollywood get their grubby little hands on his classic work. Zac Efron is in talks to portray Holden Caufield in the feature film adaptation of The Catcher in the Rye.

Salinger has given Efron his blessing after watching a marathon screening of all the High School Musical films — and has even decided to write a karaoke scene where Holden serenades the female prostitute.

Finally — maybe this is what it will take to get the book read by actual teenagers. Let's just hope that Efron can make Caulfield seem believable and not so phony.

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Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer are re-teaming to bring Thomas Pynchon's novel Gravity's Rainbow to the big screen.

Variety reports:

"After Pearl Harbor, I can only think of one other WWII story that demands to be translated to the screen," Bay told Daily Variety, "and that's the story of Tyrone Slothrop's sexual encounters with the V-2 rocket."

Bruce Willis is in talks to portray the erection-prone US Army lieutenant.

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Continue »


Read It Before They Screen It: The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One

High School Musical star Zac Efron is in talks to appear in The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud for director Burr Steers.

Variety reports:

Former Good Morning America exec producer Ben Sherwood wrote the book, about a caretaker at a cemetery who manages to have weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault.

"[O]ne of the most magical love stories I've ever read," raves Sue Monk Kidd, while Nicholas Sparks calls it, "touching, wise, and full of hope, everything a wonderful novel should be."

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Speaking of Nicholas Sparks -- his most recent novel, The Lucky One, is being set up as a feature film at Warner Bros.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

[T]he romantic drama, which tells the story of a marine in Iraq who, for good luck, carries the photograph of a woman he has never met, then unearths a raft of secrets when he returns to the U.S. and sets out to find her.

"Romance fans will consider themselves more than fortunate ...


Read It Before They Screen It: Agent Zigzag and The King of Sting

Tom Hanks is set to produce the adaptation of Agent Zigzag from author Ben Macintyre.

Pic is based on a Ben Macintyre book that tells the story of Edward Arnold Chapman, a career criminal who was trained by the Nazis to be a spy during WWII. On a mission to sabotage an airplane factory in England, he contacted the Brits and began a life as a double agent.

"One of the most extraordinary stories of the Second World War," cheers The Sunday Telegraph.

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Former conman Craig Glazer will get to see his memoir The King of Sting adapted as a feature length film.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The project centers on Craig Glazer, a colorful criminal who crisscrossed the U.S. for decades posing as an undercover cop and conducting drug stings, pocketing the money and drugs netted from his illegal operations.

Glazer and partner Don Woodbeck were so successful in their faux stings that they were hired by the Kansas attorney general. Their exploits ended abruptly when Woodbeck was killed in an attempt to

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Read It Before They Screen It: Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, Taking Woodstock, and Where the Wild Things Are

The Swedish television company that produced Steig Larson's The Girl with Dragon Tattoo have decided to release the two upcoming sequels (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) theatrically.

Variety reports:

Fire will be released theatrically in Sweden in the beginning of September, Hornest's Nest in November.

"We will now go directly to all foreign distributors who bought the first film for cinema release and start negotiations for films numbers two and three," producer Soren Staermose told Variety. The TV deals are not affected.

The three books by author Stieg Larsson, who died before the first one had been released, are worldwide bestsellers. Production company Yellow Bird bought the rights before the books, known as the Millennium trilogy, had been published, and Swedish Television (SvT) signed on as one of the co-producers.

In just three weeks, Dragon Tattoo has totalled more than 1.5 million admissions in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, with a combined gross of $21 million.

"Just when I was thinking there wasn't anything new on the horizon, along comes Stieg Larsson....I was completely absorbed," raves Michael Connelly.

Have you read ...


Read It Before They Screen It: True Grit and The Romantics

The Coen brothers are set to re-adapt the Charles Portis novel True Grit into a feature film.

Portis' novel is about a 14-year-old girl who, along with an aging U.S. marshal and another lawman, tracks her father's killer in hostile Indian territory.

But while the original film was a showcase for [John] Wayne, the Coens' version will tell the tale from the girl's p.o.v.

"I've always thought Charles Portis had a wonderful talent — original, quirky, exciting," raves Larry McMurtry.

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Author Galt Niederhoffer will write and direct the adaptation of her novel The Romantics with actress Liv Tyler.

Variety reports:

Story takes place on the eve of a seaside wedding celebration. Seven close friends convene to watch two of their pals get married. Laura (Tyler) is the maid of honor, but she and the bride have had a long rivalry over the groom.

"As Ms. Niederhoffer clearly knows, the fun in such stories comes from quick, withering observations rather than plot mechanics," posits Janet Maslin in the New York Times. ...


Read It Before They Screen It: If I Stay and Demonkeeper

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct the adaptation of the forthcoming YA novel If I Stay.

Variety reports:

If I Stay will be based on Gayle Forman's novel of the same name, due to be published this spring by Dutton Children's Books. Story centers on a gifted classical musician and her indie rockstar boyfriend who's forced to choose between life and death when she's in a car accident with her family.

"[T]he novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living," declares Publishers Weekly.

Preorder a copy now.

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Royce Buckingham's kids' book Demonkeeper will be making the jump to the big screen from the director of The Tale of Despereaux.

Story follows a Seattle teen who inherits responsibility for a house filled with demons. When the youth finally breaks free of his charges to go on a date, he returns to discover that kids have broken into the house, unleashing its most vicious demon, the Beast,

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Read It Before They Screen It: Important Artifacts, Out of My Head, and Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs

Hollywood is taking a museum collection catalog and turning it into a film starring Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman — no, check the date, it's not April 1st.

Variety reports:

The book takes the form of a Sotheby's-like estate auction catalog, with 325 entries and photographs depicting items that reveal the private moments and the rise and fall of a four-year relationship between the fictitious couple Hal Morris (a 40ish photographer) and Lenore Doolan (a New York Times food columnist in her late 20s).

The project will be developed as a romantic comedy to star Pitt and Portman.

[Author Leann] Shapton, an illustrator and art director of the Times' op-ed page, uses items that range from clothes to notes, emails and heirlooms to convey the excitement, hopes, dreams and, ultimately, the heartache of a love affair that runs its course.

Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry received praise from The Very Short List: "Yes, breaking up is hard to do, but reading about it has never been so pleasurable."

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Read It Before They Screen It: The Hunger Games and The Night Manager

The recent bestseller from Suzanne Collins will be making its way to the big screen.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"The Hunger Games is an incredible property, and it is a thrill to bring it home to Lionsgate," [producer Alli] Shearmur said. "This is the exactly the kind of movie I came to Lionsgate to make: youthful, exciting, smart and edgy."

The Scholastic novel, which is the first in a planned trilogy, imagines a dystopian future (is there any other kind?) where North America has been divided into 12 oppressed districts, each of which is forced to send tribute in the form of a boy and a girl to compete in a televised battle to the death once a year. Released last year, the book had gained modest popularity until Stephen King and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer publicly gave it kudos, propelling it onto best-seller lists.

Read the exclusive Powells.com review of The Hunger Games.

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Brad Pitt's production company ...


Read It Before They Screen It: James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell

Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is set to helm the first installment in the adaptation of James Patterson's young adult series Maximum Ride.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

The five-volume series by James Patterson chronicles six teens, known as the Flock, who are genetically altered so that they are part human and part bird. Learning to fly, they escape the laboratory where they have been housed and are pursued by a pack of creatures called the Erasers that are part human and part wolf.

USA Today surmises why the story is a success: "The short chapters appeal to the limited attention span of many of today's teens. The writing is visual and cinematic — things that kids expect from their video games, TV cartoon shows and action movies. And the ending leaves plenty of wiggle room for a sequel."

What do you think? Will Patterson's books become the next big film franchise — or fizzle out?

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Mystery novelist Patrica Cornwell will finally have two of her wildly popular novels translated to the small ...


Read It Before They Screen It: Indian Summer and A Reliable Wife

Director Joe Wright will helm the feature adaptation of Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex Von Tunzelmann.

Variety reports:

Pic will follow the fateful events as Britain's Lord Mountbatten, with glamorous wife Edwina in tow, is sent to oversee the handover of power in the summer of 1947 to Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.

"[A] highly readable popular history," cheers the Los Angeles Times, while the San Francisco Chronicle declares, "To have turned an era of such significance and continuing relevance into a page-turner, to both entertain and educate, is an admirable accomplishment."

Joe Wright previously directed Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice and last year's Best Picture nominee Atonement.

I wonder if she'll be cast as Edwina?

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A Reliable Wife, the debut novel from Robert Goolrick — which has yet to hit bookshelves — has already been picked up for a big screen translation.

Set in rural Wisconsin in 1908, the book centers on a middle-aged widower who places a newspaper ad seeking

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