Six out of the nine Best Picture Academy Award nominees this year were based on books: Hugo, War Horse, Moneyball, The Descendants, The Help, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Prior to the ceremony on Feb. 26, Shelf Life will read or re-read each of these books, in addition to a few others that inspired nominees in different categories, and do a side-by-side with the film version. Today, we’ll take a look at Hugo, which is nominated for 11 Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Spoilers ahead. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Film Adaptations (21-30 of 48)
Even though John Green’s 2005 novel Looking for Alaska never got made into a movie despite a few attempts, I feel more optimistic about his new best-seller The Fault in Our Stars actually reaching the big screen. The story of two teenagers with cancer falling in love, which was optioned last week by Fox 2000, has an amazing blend of humor and tragedy. And with his massive online following and strong sales, Green’s profile has risen considerably since 2005.
I never visualized actors while reading The Fault in Our Stars, but the kids playing the leads, Hazel and Augustus, would have a huge challenge ahead of them. They’d have to be funny, capable of rapid-fire verbal sparring, and at the same time, take their performances into heavy territory without falling into melodrama. They’d have to be the sort of kids who are a bit wise beyond their years but are still into into video games and America’s Next Top Model and nihilistic Dutch authors. READ FULL STORY
Will Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor become the next huge books-to-movies franchise? It took a huge step toward that rarefied status today when Universal Pictures announced that it has acquired worldwide rights to the young adult fantasy novel, EW has learned exclusively.
Taylor’s thrilling, fresh novel — the first in a trilogy — centers on a young blue-haired girl named Karou who encounters unusual creatures and dangerous angels as she travels the world to carry out mysterious errands. EW’s Sara Vilkomerson wrote, “This smartly plotted, surprising, and fiercely compelling read will hook you from its opening pages. … Seriously, cancel all plans once you begin; you won’t want to put it down.” Daughter has made several major year-end lists: It was the sole young adult title in Amazon’s top 10 best books of 2011, and the New York Times named it one of five notable young adult books of the year. READ FULL STORY
Marilyn Monroe was such a big star at her height that one young man’s brief encounters with her spawned not one but two memoirs, which in turn inspired a feature film that’s currently generating Oscar buzz. The two books by the late Colin Clark both document the author’s experiences at the age of 23 as the third assistant director — or really, as an errand boy — on the conflict-ridden, six-month-long shoot of The Prince and the Showgirl starring Monroe and Laurence Olivier. His first book about the shoot, The Prince, the Showgirl, and Me (1995), consists of his day-to-day, fly-on-the-wall journals of his on-set observations. The second book, My Week With Marilyn (2000), takes a deeper look at a magical nine-day period (mentioned just briefly in the first book) in the middle of that six months in which Monroe lured Clark into a semi-romantic affair. While the two books — published only five years apart — take a markedly different stance on Monroe as a person and an actress, My Week With Marilyn the movie, as the title would suggest, adheres very closely to the book of the same name, although it draws some expository details from the first book as well. Weinstein Books, the publishing arm of the studio that produced the film, has released the two books in one volume for the first time. Whether you have or haven’t seen the movie, is the book worth reading? (Minor spoilers ahead). READ FULL STORY
Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline, has optioned Wildwood, the middle-grade fantasy novel by Decembrists lead singer Colin Meloy, Variety has announced. Wildwood centers on a girl named Prue McKneel, who is forced to leave the flannel-and-coffee-house world of Portland, Oregon, and enter the bordering “Impassable Wilderness” after her brother is kidnapped by a murder of crows READ FULL STORY
For his feature debut, director-screenwriter Dan Rush built Everything Must Go around the central concept of Raymond Carver’s 1977 story “Why Don’t You Dance.” But Carver’s story, as Rush puts it, is “pretty dang short,” so he had to make some bold creative choices to beef up the narrative. (Some other notable Carver adaptations: Robert Altman’s Shortcuts and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyne). It’s a bold choice, generally, for any filmmaker to adapt Carver’s work. His stories typically center on disaffected, working class individuals in a gray-skied America; he writes with economical prose (kept even snappier with the help of editor Gordon Lish), and his characters rarely say what they mean. Rush spoke to me about the tall task of creating a cinematic arc out of a very short Carver story, and his decision to cast Will Ferrell in the main role of Nick Halsey. Everything Must Go is available on DVD Sept. 6. READ FULL STORY
One of Hollywood’s most esteemed fanboys won’t be attending Comic-Con 2011 this week. But David S. Goyer says he has a good excuse: He’ll be working on director Zack Snyder’s forthcoming Superman relaunch starring Henry Cavill — the superhero opus most likely to be the biggest story of next year’s Comic-Con. “It would the height of irresponsibility to break away at this point to go to Comic-Con,” the Man of Steel screenwriter (also a key member on Christopher Nolan’s Batman team) told EW in an interview last week. (The film, slated for release next year, begins shooting next week.) Not that the Hollywood hyphenate isn’t capable of multi-tasking. Goyer is also currently brainstorming a new Godzilla flick and adapting his just-published sci-fi novel Heaven’s Shadow, co-written with author and TV producer Michael Cassutt. The book, set in the near future, has rival groups of astronauts – American (in a ship called Destiny) and an alliance of Russian, Indian, and Brazilian interests (in a ship called Brahma) – racing toward a mysterious “near Earth object” (wittily dubbed “Keanu”) hurtling toward our sun. The premise seems vaguely Armageddon-ish, but takes a surprising, challenging, mind-expanding leap into 2001: A Space Odyssey territory. It’s smart, serious, crackerjack-paced sci-fi, expressed through relatable characters and drama that will entertain hardcore geeks who love well-researched Big Ideas and anyone who likes spacey escapism.
French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr by starring in a film adaptation of Big Sur, joins the ranks of James Franco and Sam Riley in playing a beat writer. Published in 1962, Big Sur is the autobiographical novel of a celebrated young author who flees the literary hub of New York for a cabin on the coast of California. Josh Lucas will co-star as Cody Pomeray, a Neal Cassady-type character, and Kate Bosworth will also have a role. READ FULL STORY
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