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Tag: Film Adaptations (31-40 of 54)

'My Week with Marilyn': How the book stacks up to the movie


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

'Moneyball': Love the movie? Read the book by Michael Lewis


Even if you already saw and loved Moneyball this weekend, it’s still worth your time to read the book by author and financial journalist Michael Lewis. The movie does a great job constructing a narrative from what appears, on first glance, to be a somewhat un-cinematic story, but the source material drives home some of the thematic points in ways that the movie can’t. Reading the book after the movie doesn’t feel like a retread, but rather a closer look at Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt) and his Oakland A’s.

People who, like myself, hate baseball will be surprised by how much there is to enjoy in this book (see also: The Art of Fielding). Moneyball isn’t just about baseball; it’s about baseball statistics. On the surface, there’s no worse hell imaginable than having to stare at a page of player facts and figures (I just had to remind myself via Google what “RBI” stands for), but it’s a testament to Lewis’ reporting and writing that the chapter I found most riveting, even inspiring, was about Bill James, the Baseball Abstract author and statistician who inspired Beane’s seemingly counter-intuitive player recruiting philosophy. READ FULL STORY

'Wildwood' by Colin Meloy of The Decembrists optioned by 'Coraline' studio


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

'Everything Must Go' director Dan Rush on adapting Raymond Carver

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

'Dark Knight' scribe David S. Goyer on Comic-Con, Superman, and his new novel 'Heaven's Shadow'

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 Shadowco-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.


On the Books Apr. 19: 'Big Sur' to big screen, Jennifer Egan responds to Pulitzer win, and more

French-American actor Jean-Marc Barr by starring in a film adaptation of Big Surjoins 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

Michael Connelly says he sees 'Twilight' dad as Harry Bosch

Thriller author Michael Connelly has seen a couple of his characters embodied on-screen at this point—Clint Eastwood played Blood Work‘s Terry McCaleb, while Matthew McConaughey just took his turn as street-smart defense counsel Mickey Haller—but his most popular creation, Los Angeles homicide detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch, has remained solely in book form. Connelly introduced Bosch in 1992’s The Black Echo and has since written 15 more novels featuring him, sometimes alongside other characters like McCaleb and his half-brother Haller. With the release of The Lincoln Lawyer, EW asked Connelly whether there was anyone in Hollywood he could see taking on the role in a movie version, and the author suggested Billy Burke, who plays Bella’s sheriff father in the Twilight saga.

“Something about him…he’s got the mustache,” says Connelly. “Whenever I see him in movies, he’s very close to how I picture Harry Bosch.” Connelly admits that if they ever make a movie from one of his Bosch books, the producers would probably want to go for someone a little more A-list, but, hey, you never know. The author seems to have a particularly good nose for this kind of stuff: He totally called McConaughey’s casting. “Back when I was watching Tropic Thunder, where McConaughey plays an underhanded Hollywood agent, I said to my wife, ‘He could play Mickey Haller.’ That was the first time I thought about it, and then maybe a year later I got that message that it was McConaughey.”

On the Books Mar. 22: Exclusive info on 'The Gaggle,' new book deal for Elizabeth Kostova, and more

Jess Massa and Rebecca Wiegand are not only poster-girls for modern day dating, but also for 21st century book publishing. These best friends came up with a theory on “dating in the post-dating world” called “the Gaggle.” In a nutshell, the idea is that in a time when traditional dating relationships can’t be expected, women now have a group of guys in their lives who fulfill different romantic roles. Massa and Wiegand turned their idea into an interactive blog (, YouTube series, popular Twitter feed, and they even have a movie currently in development with New Line (screenwriters Emily Cook and Kathy Greenberg are attached), which will most likely be reminiscent of recent rom-coms with large casts, such as He’s Just Not That into You and Valentine’s Day. With an already strong brand and film option behind them, Massa and Wiegand, with A-list literary agent Alex Glass, shopped their Gaggle idea for a book, with Massa as author and Wiegand as co-creator. Massa told me exclusively they made a “significant six-figure deal” after a hotly contested auction among six interested publishers, with editor Kerri Kolen at Simon & Schuster coming out on top. Slated for spring of 2012, Massa will pen the book, giving a whole picture of the current dating world and its changing values, and describing the types of guys a girl might find in her Gaggle. Also exclusive to the book will be a rundown of a guy’s Gaggle of girls. READ FULL STORY

Reading the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar category: The book isn't always better

Winters-BoneImage Credit: Sebastian MlynarskiAs a huge nerd, the Oscar category I anticipate most each year is Best Adapted Screenplay. There’s something uniquely creative and scholarly about deconstructing a book line-by-line, condensing several scenes into one, inventing devices to lend greater truth to the narrative, and building with images the unspoken words that authors have the luxury of telling readers outright. I like imagining how beaten, dog-eared, and annotated the screenwriter’s copy of the source material must be, and the adapter’s inevitable hours of turmoil of having to sacrifice beautiful scenes for the ruthless economy required of a good film.

It bothers me when people say, “The book is always better than the movie.” It’s a blanket statement I think people say to sound smart, but it’s simply not true (unless you’re talking about Harry Potter). The Devil Wears Prada the movie was leagues better than the charmless book by Lauren Weisberger. The Godfather films will long outlast Mario Puzo’s pulpy potboiler. In the hands of screenwriters and directors who aren’t afraid to take risks, a film adaptation can elevate the source material into a new stratosphere. READ FULL STORY

'Red Riding Hood' director Catherine Hardwicke and novelist discuss the film and book - EXCLUSIVE video

Red-Riding-HoodImage Credit: Kimberly FrenchThe upcoming cinematic reinvention of the classic fairy tale, starring Amanda Seyfried as the crimson-caped protagonist, looks to be a long, long way from Grandma’s house and a lot closer to the violent psycho-sexuality of those fraternal creeps, the Brothers Grimm. While the script was written for the screen, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is releasing a novelized adaptation in advance of the film — today, in fact — written by first-time author Sarah Blakley-Cartwright. Blakley-Cartwright, Red Riding Hood director Catherine Hardwicke, and screenwriter David Johnson discuss the film and the writing process in some exclusive clips, featured in the enhanced e-book edition of the novel. Check them out below. READ FULL STORY

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