Life of Pi by Yann Martel has sold more than seven million copies worldwide. No doubt the Booker Prize-winning novel about a boy named Pi stranded on a lifeboat—with a Bengal tiger!—has moved countless readers. (President Obama famously called the novel "an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling.")
On November 21, you can see Ang Lee's film adaptation of the novel—in 3D. Today, 20th Century Fox debuted the trailer:
What do you think? I have to say that I am so excited. Though it was thrilling to imagine a 16-year-old boy stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—alone with a 450-pound tiger—it is quite something to see the scenario in color, on the screen. This looks like a book adaptation that may actually leave viewers breathless.
But people can't stop talking about it, particularly guessing casting on the RP1 Facebook page (Jesse Eisenberg? Ellen Page? Robert Downey Jr.?) and speculating about how the movie will move between actual and virtual reality.
Cline recently talked a bit about the movie here:
"It has the kind of, uh, Inception level of visual creativity that you can go with. That's why I'm really excited for the director to get hired. We're still in the very early stages, but once the director comes on board and brings, like, whatever their visual, you know, whatever their vision is to the OASIS, I'm really excited what's going to happen."
Since being nominated for an Academy Award at the age of 20, Jennifer Lawrence hasn't lacked for work offers. She landed the Hunger Games trilogy and the role of Mystique in the latest X-Men installment; now she's hard at work on Serena, based on Ron Rash's 2008 novel of the same name. (read our review) Though the film shares the same Appalachian setting as The Hunger Games, production has started in Prague, where the below shot of Lawrence and her co-star Bradley Cooper, were taken.
Cooper plays Serena's husband, George Pemberton, a wealthy lumber baron. The two return to their rural North Carolina town as newlyweds, but he soon realizes his beautiful bride has a ruthless side. As our reviewer put it, "the Pembertons do not shy away from violence. Instead, they embrace it and use it to their advantage at every turn."
Should be interesting to see Lawrence play the bad girl instead of the hero. Are you looking forward to seeing Serena on the big screen?
Despite having a channel name that must be abhorrent to readers everywhere, the Syfy network has scooped up the rights to a few lesser-known titles from best-selling authors Stephen King and Charlaine Harris.
Harris' Harper Connelly series, featuring a tough female protagonist, has been optioned for a paranormal drama series called "Grave Sight." After being struck by lightning, Harper can "hear" the final thoughts of dead people, which lead her to their bones. A writer from "Law & Order: SVU" has been drafted to write the pilot. No fairies or vamps here; other than Harper's psychic talents, this four-book series is grounded in gritty realism. Harper and her stepbrother/business partner, Tolliver, both had drug-addict parents, and Harper lives in hope (and fear) of learning something about the fate of her older sister Cameron, who went missing years earlier.
Meanwhile, the channel has also optioned Stephen King's The Eyes of the Dragon for a "movie or miniseries," according to EW. This is one of the few King books that could be parent-approved—King began it as a bedtime story for his daughter Naomi and named one of the main characters after her. (Think a step up from the Narnia series, with a dash of The Princess Bride.) As EW notes, the "Game of Thrones" era is the perfect time to bring a story set in a fairy-tale kingdom, featuring an evil magician who threatens a weak king and his two very different sons, to the small screen.
The 84th Annual Academy Awards are on Sunday, and since six out of nine of the Best Picture nominees are based on books . . . I thought we'd do a little book-to-film celebrating!
Keep scrolling for trailers of all nine Best Picture nominees, along with corresponding book tie-in information (when applicable). Which movie are you pulling for? What movie-based-on-a-book got snubbed? (Ahem, We Need to Talk About Kevin.)
Baesd on The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
EXTREMELY LOUD & INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Based on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Based on The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Based on The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS
THE TREE OF LIFE
Based on War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
We told you this morning that Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts is #10 on our Best Books of 2011 list, but now I have another exciting tidbit to share. The Hollywood Reporter has, well, reported that Universal has optioned the rights to Larson's riveting nonfiction book about the first year of Nazi rule, with Tom Hanks to produce (and possibly star).
BookPage interviewed Larson for our May issue. Here's a sampling from the conversation, about the author's research for the book:
“When you get immersed in this era there’s something so repulsive about it that it can really drag you down,” Larson explains. “No one really studies the very first year of Hitler’s rule. This is about the first dark warnings on the horizon.
“What I found was that when you’re writing a book like this, in territory that has been pretty heavily mined in other ways, you have to read the basics. And there are a lot of basics to read. You just have to read and read and read. That’s what starts to infect you,” he says. “It’s the accumulation of these little bits and pieces of horror. It began to drag me down. And you feel this immense frustration: Why didn’t anybody do anything?”
Though Larson, author of The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck and Isaac’s Storm, has never had a book be turned into a movie—faithful blog readers will know that The Devil in the White City is under development with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star.
By the way, though I'm sure many authors dream of having their books turned into blockbusters and finding themselves on "best of the year" lists, Larson has another distinction. On a downtown walk over the weekend, I stopped by the Legislative Plaza (home of the Southern Festival of Books) to see what was going on with Occupy Nashville. The "People's Library" was stocked with a good number of volumes, mostly old paperbacks. However, I spied one protester deeply engrossed in a hardcover: a copy of In the Garden of Beasts.
What 2011 books would you like to see made into movies?
Reactions were mixed when we posted that Katherine Heigl was taking on the role of Stephanie Plum, but the reaction of Plum's creator, Janet Evanovich, was unequivocal. "[I]t was everything I could have wanted and more. I was almost in tears when the movie ended. I was so relieved," she told USA Today. Check out Heigl and Evanovich in the clip below—the two actually became fast friends after their first phone conversation.
One for the Money opens January 27. Will you see it?
Just in case any readers missed the big reveal on Good Morning America today, here is the official Hunger Games trailer!
Ever since I read The Hunger Games and heard it was being turned into a movie, I've thought that it's one thing to read about teenagers massacring each other—and another thing to see it unfold on a 50-foot tall screen. (Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure which is worse. It's pretty horrifying to have those images come alive in your imagination.)
If you've wondered about the look in Katniss's eyes when she hears Prim's name called during the Reaping, or when she talks to Gale . . . wonder no more, and watch the trailer now.
The movie hits theaters on March 23. Who's excited? (And who's worried that she will have to watch half the movie with covered eyes?)
It's been a big year for fans of Maggie Stiefvater. The final book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Forever, came out in July . . . and just last week she released a new stand-alone book, The Scorpio Races. This novel is about a couple of teens who risk their lives in dangerous horse races on cliffs.
Trisha and I had the opportunity to meet Maggie at the American Library Association conference in New Orleans this year. Trisha talked to her about leaving her characters from the world of Shiver behind, and Maggie told us a bit about her research for The Scorpio Races.
Best part of the interview: When Maggie tells us how she had the opportunity to have a romantic day of sightseeing with her husband while she was on tour in Paris—and instead she whisked him off to go look at cliffs as research for the new book.
I linked to this video back in July, but I wanted to share it again in case any of you need reminding about The Scorpio Races. Other news: Today on Publishers Marketplace it was announced that Warner Brothers has bought the film rights to the novel.
Here's the interview from ALA:
Just for fun, check out this awesome stop-motion trailer that Maggie created for The Scorpio Races:
Have you read, or will you read, The Scorpio Races? We'll let you know if we hear any more details about the movie . . .
The Hugo Movie Companion reveals the magic behind the movie through essays by Brian Selznick, illustrations from the novel and gorgeous, full-color photographs from the movie. It even includes a short essay by Martin Scorsese on "The Birth of Cinema."
The book illuminates the minds behind the costumes, props and characters in Hugo, but what interests me most is the story's fascinating history. Selznick delves into the world of automatons, filmmaking pioneer Georges Méliès and much, much more.
Check out the movie trailer:
The companion book makes one thing clear -- The Invention of Hugo Cabret is not just for kids. It's for anyone with a big imagination . . . and certainly film enthusiasts.
Are you excited about Hugo?