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Archive for the 'Book to Film' Category

Book News: Powell’s Predicts the Newbery Winner, a More-than-Reliable Wife, and More

  • When You Listen to Us: The Powell's City of Books Kid's Team hates to brag about its own awesomeness. Fortunately, I'm not nearly as modest. Check out the Kid's Team's comment on our page for Rebecca Stead's YA novel When You Reach Me:

    When You Reach Me is lots of different things, but mostly it's the best book we've read all year. And it will be the best book you've read all year. It's part mystery, part sci-fi, part realistic fiction with intertwined stories expertly told. The writing is graceful, and the story is the kind that you won't want to put down until it's done. The revelations at the end are satisfying, but in that bittersweet way since it means that the book is over. Get it before it becomes Newbery Winner 2010 (we predict)!

    And guess what? Rebecca Stead won the 2010 Newbery Medal for When You Reach Me! Did they call it, or did they call it?!

‘Tis the Season for Poetry

Well, it's that time of year again. Let's see if I can recommend a few books to make your shopping easier...

First of all, let me bring to your attention Margo Berdeshevsky's haunting and lyrical collection of short stories, Beautiful Soon Enough. This is a strange and wonderful book. It shares the stories of 23 women as they navigate the shores and shoals of their lives, their triumphs and failures. It whispers, really; there's nothing clarion about Beautiful Soon Enough. It's elegant and understated, richly textured and deeply hypnotic. It's no surprise, really, that it won FC2's American Book Review/Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize.

Really, I should let this book, which brushes close to the beauty of poetry, speak for itself. Just a taste now, pulled at random from the text:

What she sees at once is the hump. The very old woman. Then a woman with a cascade of hair, her face buried in her reddened hands. Then, again, the older one. Who is methodically shredding her newspaper whose huge headline is mostly visible. Russia's Day of Knowledge. We are a country in the dark.

Read It Before They Screen It: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Let the Great World Spin

It's been quiet around here. Too quiet.

Today brings news that Natalie Portman has signed to produce and star in the feature film adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's bestselling Jane Austen mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

This expanded version of the Austen classic adds a twist on the well-known love story when the outbreak of a deadly virus begins to turn townsfolk into killers. Elizabeth Bennet struggles to balance her blossoming love for Mr. Darcy with her obligation to kick some zombie butt.

The zombies may not even be the scariest thing about the film.

Read It Before They Screen It: The Descendants, The Walking Dead, How I Became a Famous Novelist

In his first film since the hit Sideways nearly five years ago, Alexander Payne is set to adapt The Descendants, the debut novel from Kaui Hart Hemmings.

Variety reports:

Set in Hawaii, "Descendants" tells the story of a wealthy landowner who takes his two daughters on a search for his wife's lover in the hopes of keeping his family together.

Publishers Weekly calls the novel "frequently hilarious and intermittently heartbreaking," and The New Yorker dubs it "[an] audaciously comic début."

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Robert Kirkman's comic series The Walking Dead is lumbering toward the small screen, according to the Hollywood Reporter:

Frank Darabont is on board to write, direct and exec produce the project, with Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Pictures and David Alpert of Circle of Confusion also executive producing.

"Walking Dead," a monthly black-and-white comic book, has been a hotly sought-after property since it was published in 2003


Read It Before They Screen It: Cosmopolis, The Rats of NIMH, and King Kong Lives (Again?)

Perhaps only a filmmaker as distinctive as David Cronenberg could bring Don DeLillo to the screen.

Then again, perhaps no one can.

We may soon find out, as the director of Crash (based on the J. G. Ballard novel) and Eastern Promises embarks on an adaptation of DeLillo's Cosmopolis.

Cronenberg will helm and also adapt the 2003 novel for the screen. Story follows a 28-year-old multimillionaire on a 24-hour odyssey across Manhattan. Considered one of America's leading novelists, DeLillo's most acclaimed works include "White Noise" and "Underworld."

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There may be a new version of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH headed to screens if Paramount Pictures has its ...

Read It Before They Screen It: Michael Bay Does James Frey!

Two controversial figures in entertainment are joining forces to adapt I Am Number Four, "the first of a six-book science fiction deal," that will be produced by Michael Bay, the auteur of movies about giant robots blowing stuff up real big.

According to Variety:

The real surprise in the the identity of one of the two authors. Though WME began shopping the book Thursday under a pseudonym, sources said one of the writers is James Frey, best known for writing A Million Little Pieces. Neither the agency nor the studio would confirm.

(Read the interview with James Frey.)

If the rumor is true, it would be ironic, considering that most things in a Michael Bay film get blown into a million little pieces. ("A million little pieces" could also describe the editing style, as Bay's films contain, on average, one million cuts per second.)

Bay, whose Transformers 2: Revenge of Blowed-up Stuff just opened to Continue »

Read It Before They Screen It: Eat, Pray, Love

Fresh from his Oscar-nominated turn in No Country for Old Men and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Javier Bardem is in talks to join Julia Roberts and Richard Jenkins in the cast of Eat, Pray, Love, based on — you guessed it — the bestselling book by Elizabeth Gilbert.

From Variety:

Roberts plays the author, and Bardem will play Felipe, the man Gilbert meets and falls in love with on the final leg of a journey of self-discovery that began with the end of her marriage.

Richard Jenkins plays a Texan whom the heroine befriends at an Indian ashram.

The film is being adapted by Ryan Murphy, who created the TV series Nip/Tuck and FOX's forthcoming Glee (and previously helmed the film version of Augusten Burroughs's memoir Running with Scissors that nobody much liked).

So, what do ...

Read It Before They Screen It: Killer Instinct, Where’s Waldo?, and Swift

Joseph Finder's novel Killer Instinct is getting picked up for film.

Novel concerns a sales exec at an electronics giant in Boston who struggles to find the killer instinct that it takes to navigate the corporate world.

[...] "The book appealed to us on two levels: as a terrific thriller and also as a parody of the technology industry that is scary and funny at the same time," Steve Schwartz said.

The San Francisco Chronicle praised: "This is fun stuff, with lots of plot twists. Finder once again proves adept at genre conventions and inventive in applying an action-movie sensibility."

If they want casting suggestions, I nominate Steve Carell. He's got the chops for it.

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It was bound to happen eventually. Universal Studios is going to turn Where's Waldo? into a movie.

According to Variety:

Written and illustrated by Martin Handford, the "Waldo" books have


Read It Before They Screen It: The Next Harry Potter?

Since Warner Bros. is splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two parts, this summer's film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince won't quite be the penultimate chapter of the hugely successful series when it hits theaters on July 17th.

(View the trailer here.)

Thus, Hollywood has bought itself a little time to find a successor to the Harry Potter juggernaut — but not much.

In the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Abramowitz (co-author of Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?: The Truth about Female Power in Hollywood) takes a look at the upcoming contenders for the title.

The leading candidate appears to be Tintin.

Sony and Paramount are jointly producing "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn," a 3-D film directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson. The $200-million production is set to be one of


Read It Before They Screen It: Papa Hemingway, Flow My Tears, and More

Kirk Ellis, who recently oversaw the award-winning HBO miniseries John Adams (based on the David McCullough biography), will follow that project with adaptations of James Ellroy's American Tabloid (possibly as an HBO series) and Hampton Sides's Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West.

And after that, perhaps in the next century sometime, he's adapting A. E. Hotchner's book Papa Hemingway.

Hotchner's memoir about the last 14 years of Hemingway's life focuses on the literary giant's close friendship with Hotchner. The author just recently agreed to sell the film rights to the highly personal memoir.

The only other film I can think of from a Hotchner book is Steven Soderbergh's terrific, underrated third feature, King of the Hill — not to be confused with the animated series.

However, I was surprised to ...

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