The movie adaption of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit hits theaters December 14, and critics and fans are already raving about it. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of Peter Jackson's planned trilogy chronicling Bilbo Baggins' unexpected journey through Middle-earth to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
A prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey retains the films' larger-than-life atmosphere as, once again, the fate of Middle-earth rests in the hands of a hobbit. For J.R.R. Tolkien's loyal readers, it is another chance to see one of his epic adventures up on the big screen. While you wait for the big day, check out the movie tie-ins being published for children and adult readers alike.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide contains exclusive interviews with director Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and principal cast and filmmakers, and is filled with behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the movie.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Visual Companion is richly illustrated with more than 100 color photos from the film and features two brand new fold-out maps that give readers a sneak peek of the film before its release.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie Storybook recreates Tolkien's story with vivid pictures from the upcoming movie. This book is a great sneak peek at the upcoming film for younger audiences and will be a way for them to relive the action long after you leave the theater.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—The World of Hobbits, with pictures from the film, serves as a sort of field guide to hobbits. Children will learn all they want to know about hobbits, from their appearance and appetite to their friends and foes.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Activity Book features facts, pictures and activities from the film. This activity book will keep children entertained and learning about one of their favorite subjects: the Hobbit!
Also, check out a new edition of The Hobbit with a movie tie-in cover (Mariner Books) along with a boxed set of all three of The Lord of the Rings books plus The Hobbit (Del Rey).
To further illustrate why we are so excited for The Hobbit in theaters, check out the movie trailer:
Will you watch The Hobbit in theaters? For Tolkien readers, are you excited about the adaption?
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon will lead an all-star cast in the film adaptation of David Mitchell's 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas. This era-spanning book, a novel told in six voices that our reviewer described as "complex literary origami" would be as daunting a task for filmmakers as it must have been for the writer. But the producers taking this one on are none other than the Wachowski siblings, who became famous with the Matrix trilogy. If anyone can cover mind-bending time-travel, historical and future settings, and possible reincarnation in one movie, they're the ones to do it. The Wachowskis will be working in tandem with Tom Twyker (Perfume, Run Lola Run, etc), who, rumor has it, will be filming the historical scenes with a separate crew.
Before my showing of Midnight in Paris last week, they screened the trailer for the adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings' The Descendants (read our review of the book here), which was filmed last year in Hawaii.
It looks about as faithful to the book as a movie can be, and the lush Hawaiian scenery alone might be worth a visit to the theater. The film will be released on November 23—will you see it?
Everyone's favorite rugged sleuth now has a face: Tom Cruise will play Jack Reacher in a film based on Lee Child's One Shot. From the actor's official website: "[We are] excited to confirm that Tom Cruise will play the rugged Jack Reacher in the movie ‘One Shot,’ adapted from the 2005 Lee Child novel."
Not everyone is so excited. Most are citing Cruise's short stature and everyman persona as traits that make him exactly wrong to play Reacher. "[I]f you’re casting Jack Reacher, a French/American ex-military cop who stands 6’5? and often breezes into any given burg looking like a giant disheveled blond bum, then Tom Cruise is the opposite of the man you should be looking for," states slashfilm in a post that doesn't mince words.
EW's Popwatch is more enthusiastic. "Reacher is like a grittier, real-world version of Ethan Hunt from the Mission: Impossible series — he drifts from town to town with no luggage, pitching in to help crime victims, and using his military training and resourcefulness to get out of jams." Lee Child also approves. "Reacher's size in the books is a metaphor for an unstoppable force, which Cruise portrays in his own way," the author told Deadline.
Cruise was pretty good in the MI movies, so maybe he's got a shot here. The film starts shooting September 27 in Philadelphia—which, coincidentally, is the day the 16th Reacher novel, The Affair, will be published by Delacorte.
Just one question remains: where does Cruise as Reacher lie on the scale of book-to-film casting nightmares?* Weigh in in the comments!
We just heard that his 1978 novel, The Stand, will be adapted for the big screen in a joint production by CBS and Warner Bros. Apparently the book-to-film treatment has been a long time coming, though the last drive ended with a punt to a 1994 TV miniseries starring Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald that got mixed reviews.
No word yet on who will write the script, or who will star in the iconic roles of Stu Redman, Frannie Goldsmith or Randall Flagg. Though The Stand is certainly cinematic, I'm not sure that a two—or even three—hour film can cover this 1,000-page (in the 1990 uncut version, anyway) behemoth, which features dozens of characters and epic, converging storylines.That said, I'll probably see it anyway. What do you think?
In case you missed it yesterday–a second trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I has been released. The movies just keep getting better; does this new glimpse have you looking forward to November 19?
Last weekend I saw Winter's Bone, a film based on a 2006 novel by Daniel Woodrell. An almost mythic story, excellent performances and a setting—the Missouri Ozarks—seldom seen on the silver screen combined to make this one of the best movies I've watched this year. Independent filmmakers agree; the movie won the 2010 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.
The success of Winter's Bone has inspired interest in Woodrell's backlist. Little Brown's Mullholland Books imprint will publish a collection of three of Woodrell's other novels as The Bayou Trilogy in Spring 2011. Two of his other novels, Tomato Red and The Death of Sweet Mister, are being reprinted by Busted Flush Press.
Have you ever found an author through a movie adaptation of their work?
The trailer for Never Let Me Go (based on Kazuo Ishiguro's latest novel) is live, and we have to agree with the Wall Street Journal: This is pure Oscar-bait. Starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Rampling and Andrew Garfield (Red Riding, 1974), the performances should live up to the nuanced source material and compelling story.
In fact, after watching the trailer, it looks like the transition to film will help ameliorate what was, to me, the novel's major flaw--its detatched narration. Sure, it was a reflection of the way the students at Hailsham were conditioned to think of themselves, and it added to the chilling aspects of the novel's premise (which, on the off chance the movie keeps it quieter than the book, I won't reveal here), but it ultimately left me not caring as much about the students' fates as I might otherwise.
Did you read Never Let Me Go? Will you see the movie?
Related in BookPage: our review of Never Let Me Go.
Novelist and filmmaker Peter Hedges will adapt his latest novel, The Heights, for the big screen—and serve as producer and director. This is the first time Hedges has adapted his own work for film since What's Eating Gilbert Grape? was released in 1993, though he has written original screenplays and was nominated for an Academy Award for his adaptation of Nick Hornby's About a Boy.
As prescient BookPage contributor Stephenie Harrison says in her review, "Given past precedence, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Heights one day graces a theater near you, but this is definitely one book you’ll want to read before seeing the movie."
No casting decisions have yet been made, of course—any readers care to weigh in?
This just in: our galley copy of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which is being released in the U.S. on May 25.
I still think it was silly of Knopf to wait so long to release Hornet (why punish the first, and probably most loyal, fans of the series? not to mention, the below screen cap suggests there were more than a few sales lost to ebooks, the UK edition and illegal downloads) but it has made the release of the finale an anticipated event.
The girl on the guerney could live with a piece of lead in her hip and a piece of lead in her shoulder. But a piece of lead inside her brain was a trauma of a whole different magnitude. He was suddenly aware of the nurse saying something.
"Sorry, I wasn't listening."
"What do you mean?"
"It's Lisbeth Salander. The girl they've been hunting for the past few weeks, for the triple murder in Stockholm."
Jonasson looked again at the unconscious patient's face. He realized at once that the nurse was right. He and the whole of Sweden had seen Salander's passport photograph on billboards outside every newspaper kiosk for weeks. And now the murderer herself had been shot, which was surely poetic justice of a sort.
But that was not his concern. His job was to save his patient's life, irrespective of whether she was a triple murderer or a Nobel Prize winner. Or both.
Are you counting the days until May 25?