Man, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of hearing that one of your favorite novels is getting adapted for the big screen, is there? Who will direct? Who will star? Then the big day finally arrives. You pay $15 bucks for a ticket to plop your ass in a seat and $45 bucks on popcorn and soda only to discover what you already knew in your heart. Damn, the book was better. Here’s 5 adaptations of books we’ve previously reviewed that are coming your way soon. There’s a slim chance they could actually turn out good, right?
1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
You’ve never met a literary character like Maria Semple’s Bernadette Fox. She’s a certified genius, but she’s also highly eccentric. She lives in a decaying mansion with her Microsoft engineer husband and their 15 year-old daughter in Seattle. Bernadette is slightly agoraphobic – most of her personal errands are managed through a “virtual assistant” in India – and her condition deteriorates when the family begins to plan a vacation. Their daughter, Bee, insists they visit sunny Antarctica, and Bernadette isn’t exactly looking forward to the big trip. [full review]
Not much is known about this one except for the huge piece of news that Oscar nominated director Richard Linklater (Boyhood, Waking Life, After Midnight) is attached to direct.
2. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Being one of only a handful of authors to ever win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, author JoJo Moyes is no stranger when it comes to delivering massively appealing and deeply moving tales of love and human connection. Me Before You doesn’t buck this trend, but surprisingly it does find Moyes elevating her game and side stepping her label as a genre writer in the most clever of ways, as she subtly introduces an ethical dilemma into the equation and slowly allows it to build over the course of 400 plus pages until it can’t help but take center stage. [full review]
Currently in pre-production and tentatively due to hit theaters some time in 2016, this adaptation is directed by Thea Sharrock (who?) and stars British actors Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in the lead roles. In what can only be considered a cash grab, Moyes has penned a sequel titled After You (seriously, WTF?) which will hit bookstores in September of this year. Sure, whatever, why not really go for it and make it a trilogy?
3. The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
Twenty pages into The Family Fang I was struck with the odd sensation that I was reading a Douglas Coupland novel that was written ten years ago. That’s not to say that the novel feels stale or old, because it most certainly does not, but author Kevin Wilson does seem to owe some level of debt to Coupland’s “over the top absurd families in crisis” period of work which include the classics All Families are Psychotic and Miss Wyoming. In other words, everything is just so crazy that one can’t help but continue to quickly turn the pages in order to see what mayhem this train wreck of a dysfunctional family will get themselves into next. [full review]
This one is in post-production so it’s likely that we’ll see it soon. It’s got a pretty well known cast including Jason Bateman (who is also directing), Nicole Kidman, and Christopher Walken.
4. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
What Eggers’s novel offers up as its example of the American manufacturing decline is Schwinn’s inability to keep their profitable business afloat after union negotiations at their Chicago plant went belly up. And he does so by way of introducing readers to Alan Clay, a fictitious executive from the former bicycle manufacturer turned salesman for an IT firm that wants to provide end to end services for the entire population of to-be-developed King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC.) The centerpiece of their proposal is a new, state-of-the-art hologram technology which should revolutionize long distance communications. That is, if no one else has a similar competing technology and can provide their service at an even cheaper rate. [full review]
With a November 2015 release date scheduled, is this one attempting to position itself for Oscar gold? Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer is at the helm, and the impressive cast includes a pair of well known Toms, Hanks and Skerritt. Well, okay, Hanks is probably MORE well known, but who could forget Skerritt’s performance in Field of Lost Shoes? Yeah, we didn’t see it either.
5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
As a young boy Jacob Portman worshipped his grandfather. He hung on his every word as his head was filled with extraordinary tales of children who had all sorts of peculiar talents. One had the power to levitate, another to control fire, yet another had super human strength, and they all lived in a remote orphanage home on a mysterious island that was overseen by a single strange woman. Grandpa Portman insisted that he lived amongst these folks as a young adult and he even showed young Jacob pictures to back up his claim. [full review]
There was time when hearing that Tim Burton was directing something would get people really excited. That time ended around 1996. Still, even though this adaptation has been retitled Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars, and yes, Burton is directing, it will star Samuel L. Jackson as Barron and Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as Jacob. It still has a chance to be good, right? We’ll have to wait until March of 2016 to find out for sure.
What are some of your favorite books that you’d love to see adapted for the big screen?