There aren't many things that spark as much excitement at a movie theater as the film adaptation of a popular book. (Except maybe the popcorn.) With the success of films like Divergent and the Harry Potter series, it’s no wonder movie producers often look to books for their next project. Go beyond The Hunger Games, and discover other fabulous books with this guide! The upcoming months are jam-packed with book-to-film crossovers, so if you’re a book lover with a penchant for films, you’re in luck!
Audience favorites Tina Fey and Jason Bateman star in this hilariously poignant look at the absurdity and chaos of family, coming to theaters on September 19.
Judd Foxman's father's dying wish was that his estranged family would come together under one roof to observe shiva. That means seven days and nights together, and as you can imagine, longstanding issues are brought up.
Based on the acclaimed first book of the Child 44 trilogy, the movie version, starring the swoon-worthy Tom Hardy, is set to be a chilling, suspense-filled blockbuster. War hero Leo Demidov is introduced as an obedient government worker in Soviet Russia. Without question, he carries out the cruelest of deeds in service to his country. However, things begin to change for Leo as he realizes there's a serial killer targeting children in a world where crime, on the record, doesn't exist. As he attempts to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder, it becomes clear that if he continues to search for the killer, his world will be ripped apart. The trailer has yet to be released, but we have it on good word that the movie will be coming out in October!
Two years after its release, readers are still buzzing about this dark psychological thriller. And with the much-hyped movie starring Ben Affleck hitting theaters on October 3, it looks like this girl is far from gone.
After his wife goes missing, Nick's picture-perfect life begins to fall apart under scrutiny. Is his role as grieving husband just an act? Was their marriage happy? Or did something dark and bitter grow between husband and wife that led to sinister deeds? A sharp, gripping mystery filled with chilling revelations, it's no wonder this book was such a hit. From the looks of the trailer, the movie will be just as disturbing.
With its beautiful, colorful settings of Mumbai and the French countryside and mouth-watering descriptions of dishes, this book was basically begging to be made into a movie. And this movie's got star power, too: Oprah and Steven Spielberg are listed as producers, and the inimitable Helen Mirren plays the snobby French chef. Following the Haji family as they cope with tragedy and find success, all with the help of culinary traditions both old and new, the film adaptation will be in theaters August 8.
This movie, coming out this August, is bound to be a hit, because if there's one thing teens love it's sobbing in movie theaters. (Or during movie trailers. No shame.) Mia's life is pretty fabulous. She's about to get into Julliard thanks to her incredible musical talent, and she's got a lovely boyfriend. But tragedy arrives in the form of a car accident, and her world is obliterated. She lands in a coma, and she is faced with the choice of waking up to a world she doesn't recognize, or leaving it forever.
The trailer for this movie, starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and set for a September 12, gave me chills! If you put Gone Girl and Memento into a blender, Before I Go to Sleep might be the result. Christine wakes up every morning with no memory. Apparently, she's married, and a doctor has been trying to solve the mystery of her amnesia. But beyond that, she knows nothing. Christine begins to gather clues about her life on the sly, and as strange things begin to come to light about the people surrounding her, she grows more confused, and everything begins to take on a sinister sheen. Only one thing is clear to Christine: Trust no one. But can she even trust herself?
Angelina Jolie directs the film adaptation of Hillenbrand’s 2010 bestseller, the remarkable true story of one of the Greatest Generation’s greatest heroes. Louis Zamperini was already an Olympic track star when the journey that would reshape his life began. Zamperini's hopes of breaking a four-minute mile are put on hold when he is drafted into the Army Air Corps during WWII, and in 1943, his plane goes down, leaving him stranded in the middle of the ocean with very little hope of survival. But rescue arrives, paradoxically, in the form of the enemy. Zamperini is taken to a Japanese POW camp, where he is treated with abject cruelty by captors that hope to destroy him. Ultimately, Zamperini's life is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and the overwhelming drive to survive. Set for a Christmas Day release, the film is a fitting tribute to Zamperini, who recently passed away at the age of 97.
The movie adaptation of this darkly humorous novel, now in theaters, follows four people who meet by chance on a rooftop, intent on offing themselves. With characteristic Hornby style, sure to be reflected in the movie, he takes what could very easily be quite tragic and turns the tale on its head. As an unlikely bond forms between the four radically different characters, they must each face their own demons and decide, ultimately, if they're worth living with.
Sometimes, in order to recover from the grief of loss, it's best to get away. Very, vary far away if you're Cheryl Strayed. Starring Reese Witherspoon as Strayed, the film adaptation of her memoir is set for a December 5 opening.
Reeling from the death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, Strayed decided to hike more than 1,000 miles, through Oregon and California, by herself. With no training for such an endeavor, the start of the journey is pretty bumpy. But the more she experiences, the more she learns, and by the end of trail, she is stronger, wiser and far more capable.
If you enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love (both the book and movie version), you'll be sure to enjoy this film. An exploration of true happiness, the movie, set for a late September release, stars the ever-charming Simon Pegg. But what, really, is happiness, anyway? One psychiatrist, depressed by his own patients' depression, wants to find out, and travels the world in search of the true source of happiness.
So moviegoers and book lovers, which film are you most excited about seeing?
Before Sookie Stackhouse and Harper Connelly, there was Aurora Teagarden—the star of Charlaine Harris' very first mystery series. These small-town Georgia stories, which star librarian Aurora as an amateur sleuth, are now being adapted to air as films on the Hallmark network.
"Full House" star Candace Cameron has been cast as Aurora, but no other cast announcements have been made.
It remains to be seen whether this cozy series, which was launched in 1990 with the Agatha Award-winning Real Murders, will appeal to those who came to Harris' work through the steamy and blood-drenched "True Blood"—but it's a second chance for a second of Harris' series to get a TV makeover, after the Harper Connelly adaptation was scrapped by both CBS and Syfy.
Will you watch?
You heard it here first, folks: The film version of Tom Rob Smith's gripping thriller, Child 44, will be hitting theaters in October. We got the news from the author himself, at Grand Central's BEA party last week.
Set in Stalin's Russia, the book is a nail-biting, gasp inducing thriller of the first order about a civil servant, Leo Demidov, who is investigating a serial killer. Problem is, in Stalin's perfect society, serial killers aren't supposed to exist.
With novelist Richard Price writing the screenplay and actors like Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Gary Oldham (aka Sirius Black), this is one book-to-film adaptation that I have high hopes for. Smith told us that he visited the set in Prague (filming in Russia being sort of tricky these days) and met with the cast—turns out Gary Oldman had read not only the book in question, but the entire series.
What book-to-film adapatations are you looking forward to this fall?
Last week saw the premiere of "Resurrection," a TV series based on author Jason Mott's popular debut novel, The Returned. Fan of the book and the TV show will get another treat from Mott on September 30, with the release of The Wonder of All Things (MIRA).
Though Wonder isn't a sequel to The Returned, it features a similar magical "what if" premise. After a devastating plane crash, 13-year-old Ava uses her healing powers to save the life of her best friend, Wash—only to find that she has exposed her talent to the world. But taking on the world's pain has serious consequences for Ava, and she must decide how much of herself she can sacrifice for others.
Will you read it?
Author photo by Randy Skidmore
The internationally best-selling novel has been adapted by Ben York Jones (Like Crazy, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize), and it's set to be directed by Marius Markevicius, who directed The Other Dream Team (a documentary of the 1992 Lithuania national basketball team) and produced Like Crazy. Filming will begin in Lithuania this year.
Between Shades of Gray is a Carnegie Medal-nominated tale of a 15-year-old girl's fight for survival during World War II. Set during the little-known yet shockingly true events of the Baltic deportation, Sepetys' debut shocked readers with its brutal honesty, and her heroine won our hearts with her resolve and her refusal to let go of hope. Check out our interview with Sepetys, where she shared her reasons for telling this moving story.
How exciting! And considering the inevitable hilarity of parents trying to hunt down the titles on their children's school reading lists and confusing Between Shades of Gray and Fifty Shades of Grey, what are the chances that a few feisty Redbox users will end up accidentally renting a heartrending tale about Siberian mass deportation? Probably pretty good, I'd say . . . .
The movie version of Heaven Is for Real, starring Greg Kinnear, will hit theaters on April 16. For those who don't know, Heaven Is for Real is a 2010 memoir by Todd Burpo, whose son, Colton, had a vision of heaven while undergoing lifesaving surgery. The book has spent more than 150 consecutive weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and with a movie in the works it will no doubt stay there for at least a few dozen more. Check out the tear-jerker of a trailer below.
With its themes of family and faith, I'm surprised they didn't slot this one for a holiday release. Do you plan to see Heaven Is for Real?
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Read our review of the Burpos' follow up, Heaven Changes Everything.
Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm a serious fan of Robert K. Massie. Especially his Romanov books. So when he came to Nashville recently to accept the Nashville Public Library Literary Award, I made sure to attend his talk at the University School of Nashville.
Massie said he was pleased with the choices made for the adaptation so far, especially the selection of a mature female producer (Debra Martin Chase, known for The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants). "I care a great deal about how my books appear," he said, especially because of the importance of historical accuracy. "As Voltaire would say, by that I mean they agree with me," he quipped.
Much of Massie's talk focused on his admiration for Catherine and her intelligence, curiosity and ambition—qualities that are not always appreciated in women, even today. He told the story of meeting a German official at a party in New York who thanked him for reminding the world that Catherine the Great was, in fact, German—and revealed that Angela Merkel, the world's most powerful female leader, keeps a portrait of Catherine on her desk. In his interview with me, he mentioned that one of his reasons for wanting to write about Catherine was to share the story of a woman who wasn't afraid to be smart and powerful with today's women, including his four daughters. Portraying this legendary leader will be quite a responsibility—let's hope they choose wisely.
Swedish production company Yellow Bird Entertainment, which produced the 2011 film based on the novel, sold the English-language movie rights to Summit Entertainment in 2011. The rights were then acquired by Lionsgate, and the project downsized to TV. "True Blood" executive producer Alexander Woo will write and executive produce the show.
I liked the movie adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I didn't care for "The Killing," so my expectations aren't high for Scandinavian suspense on American screens. What do you think, readers? Plan to check it out?
CBS has given the green light to the production of a pilot based on Koethi Zan's spine-tingling debut, The Never List, which was published in July. Zan will be a consultant on the project—but her novel will be adapted by the author A.M. Homes.
Homes is no stranger to dark dramas, and her offbeat humor could be a welcome addition to Zan's grim story of two best friends held captive and tortured for years in a dreary basement room with a few other women. From our review:
"Ten years later, Sarah is trying to live with what happened, including the loss of her best friend and the fact that her former captor is up for parole in four months. He has been sending letters from jail to the three surviving girls, and Sarah believes that there is more to these letters than the mindless ramblings of a madman. She is determined to find evidence to keep her tormentor in jail and put her own mind to rest."
While there's no a shortage of crime dramas starring tortured protagonists on the small screen these days, I'm curious to see what Homes, who wrote one of my favorite books of 2012, might bring to this iteration of that somewhat tired TV trope. Will you look for this pilot next season? Who would you cast as Sarah?
Did you get swept up in The Silent Wife phenomenon this summer? A.S.A. Harrison's superbly suspenseful tale of the unraveling of a 20-year marriage had readers feverishly turning the pages 'til the very last one. If you were one of them, then you'll probably be excited to hear that a movie adaptation is in the works, with Nicole Kidman attached to star as Jodi, the Silent Wife. Frankly, I can't think of anyone more perfectly suited for the role. No word on who will play the philandering Todd. One thing's for sure: He shouldn't be skinny. Although a charismatic ladies' man, Todd is repeatedly described as a big guy. I'm thinking perhaps Mark Ruffalo. What do you think about Kidman as Jodi? Who do you think would be a good Todd?