Actor, writer and onetime Oscar host James Franco has been tapped to star in TV streaming service Hulu's adaptation of 11/22/63 by Stephen King. Franco will play Jake Epping, an unassuming high school teacher who travels back in time to kill Lee Harvey Oswald.
King has an executive producer credit for the adaptation, which was optioned by J.J. Abrams' production company and will air as a nine-part "limited series." This is the highest profile original program to date for Hulu, which has yet to have a breakout hit like Netflix's "House of Cards" or "Orange Is the New Black." Though previous adaptations of King's work are definitely hit or miss, they're always high profile, and the hook of 11/22/63 is an attention-grabber. Will you watch it?
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?
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!
Today's Groupon is of interest to readers: you can purchase a ticket to see the film version of Michael Connelly's The Lincoln Lawyer for just $6. The film hits theaters this Friday.
Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei, William H. Macy, and Ryan Phillippe star in this adaptation of Connelly's 2006 novel about a lawyer who solves cases from the backseat of his Lincoln. We called the book "an eye-opening look at how the criminal justice system really works"—will the movie be the same? For $6 you can be the judge! Come back and leave us a comment if you see the film.
Related in BookPage: more on Michael Connelly's books.
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?
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
With a movie adaptation set to hit theaters in just a month, now felt like the right time to finally read Dennis Lehane's best-selling suspense novel, Shutter Island. Nothing creeps me out more than something set in a mental institution, and this novel was no exception. It's 1954, and Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner have been sent to an island insane asylum to find a missing patient. But when a storm sets in and the doctors start acting suspicious, Teddy begins to question his mission—and his sanity.
"Beyond the wall, that way"—he pointed past Ward B—"is the original commander's quarters. You probably saw it on the walk up. Cost a fortune to build at the time, and the commander was relieved of his duties when Uncle Sam got the bill. You should see the place."
"Who lives there now?" Teddy said.
"Dr. Cawley," McPherson said. "None of this would exist if it weren't for Dr. Cawley. And the warden. They created something really unique here."
They'd looped around the back of the compound, met more manacled gardeners and orderlies, many hoeing a dark loam against the rear wall. One of the gardeners, a middle-aged woman with wispy wheat hair gone almost bald on top, stared at Teddy as he passed, and then raised a single finger to her lips. Teddy noticed a dark red scar, thick as licorice, that ran across her throat.
Related in BookPage: our interview with Lehane for The Given Day.
After the jump, you can watch the trailer for Martin Scorcese's adaptation Shutter Island—like the novel, it's guaranteed to give you the creeps!