Update on the Ready Player One Movie and Armada’s New Release Date

Armada-Ernest_ClineNews on the ‘Ready Player One’ movie has been somewhat scarce of late, but the recent announcement that the script is being rewritten by Zak Penn signals that not all is lost for the adaptation of Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel. Although it’s not incredibly promising when the only update you get on a long delayed production is that it’s undergoing rewrites, at least this means that the movie is not completely mired in development hell.

Admittedly, ‘Ready Player One’ is tricky material to adapt. It’s a highly referential, 80s nostalgic sci-fi tale that more than likely requires a CG heavy budget. But I’m confident if they put it in the rights hands and give them the necessary resources, they can do it justice. Hopefully the recent box office success of somewhat kindred sci-fi spirit ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ will give it a nudge in the right direction.

Although the movie rights to Cline’s next book ‘Armada’ have already been sold, the book itself seems to be experiencing some delays, too. Originally announced back in 2012 and slated for a September 2014 debut, ‘Armada’ is now looking at a July 2015 release date. There aren’t many details about why it got pushed back, but delays like this aren’t uncommon in publishing, so I’m sure they are just touching it up. Either way, I look forward to its release. I’m sure the wait will be worth it.

Snowpiercer: Summer’s Secret Hit

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I’d spent a significant amount of time hyping ‘Snowpiercer’ before its release (even going as far as putting it on my best movies of 2013 list before I had actually seen it), so I have no idea why I waited so long to sing its praises. I got a chance to see it back in April when I imported the cool looking French DVD a few months before the Weinsteins got over their squabbling and released it in June. I’m not sure what caused the delay in writing about it. Maybe I was just mulling over the complexities of the story or compiling the elements that I liked about it. Either way, like all of Joon-ho Bong‘s movies, there was a lot to process and I found myself thinking about it not only the next day, but weeks and months later.

I get that the movie wasn’t for everyone and those that were expecting straight turn off your brain popcorn fun couldn’t overlook some of the allegorical aspects of the film (and even then, I know there are people who just straight hated it), which is certainly fine, but I thought it was wonderful and should finally cement Joon-ho Bong as one of the best filmmakers out there. In my opinion ‘Snowpiercer’ is an eccentric masterpiece and it marks the third master class film Bong has made for three different genres (respectively, ‘Snowpiercer’ as dystopian sci-fi, ‘The Host’ as a monster movie and ‘Memories of Murder’ for the serial killer genre).

And while America has seemingly embraced it in even its semi purgatory limited/VOD release, I am really happy to see the sheer amount of theories and attention it has received weeks after most releases have faded from the clipped attention spans of summer moviegoers. One such theory about the film’s meaning is in the video below, an interesting take on Snowpiercer’s class warfare (I know almost all theories about the film confront class warfare, but this one has an intriguing interpretation of the middle class, especially in the roles of Namgoong and Yona).

Either way, I highly recommend checking out ‘Snowpiercer’ if you are looking for something outside of the traditional summer mold. ‘Snowpiercer’ is still in theaters, available on VOD and if you have a region free DVD player, you can even import the French DVD from amazon.

Also, in somewhat related sci-fi news, you should go see ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ It is awesome. So is the soundtrack.

Snowpiercer Extras:

- The Snowpiercer Graphic Novel (amazon)

- Snowpiercer’s Gnostic Symbolism (io9)

- Chris Evans on Snowpiercer (hitflix)

- Breaking Down The Filming Techniques Used in Bong’s 2009 ‘Mother’ (youtube)

- 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Snowpiercer (hitflix)

Trailer For Dennis Lehane’s ‘The Drop’


The new trailer for ‘The Drop‘, the upcoming adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s (‘Mystic River’ and ‘Gone, Baby, Gone’) short story ‘Animal Rescue’ and now forthcoming book of the same name has hit the internet, and needless to say it looks amazing. Mostly because of Tom Hardy, but Noomi Rapace, a moody score and the late great James Gandolfini don’t hurt either. The novel releases September 2, 2014, while the movie is due to release ten days later on September 12, 2014.

‘Gone Girl’ Trailer


The trailer for David Fincher’s adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestseller ‘Gone Girl’ has hit the internet this week. The preview, which channels a little bit of ‘Zodiac’ along with pretty much every movie David Fincher has made, gives us an eerie montage of Ben Affleck insisting that he didn’t kill his wife (Rosamund Pike) while intercutting some footage of their apparently tumultuous relationship.

The adaptation definitely looks like it will be a good one and Fincher, whose last film was based on another popular book in ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, surely knows the expectations associated with fan heavy source material. So, I’m sure he’s up for the task. It is also cool to see that Gillian Flynn was able to write the screenplay for the adaptation, a chance that most authors don’t get when their books head to the silver screen. ‘Gone Girl’ hits theaters later this year on October 3.

Related:

- Gillian Flynn on adapting her book and advice for writers (hollywoodreporter)

- ‘Gone Girl’ movie page (imdb)

- ‘Gone Girl’ the book (goodreads, amazon)

- Gillian Flynn’s page (gillianflynn)

- Other book adaptations to be on the lookout for in 2014 (flavorwire)

 

The Book Thief Trailer

The first trailer for Markus Zuzak’s ‘The Book Thief‘ was released to the internet today. The book, a phenomenal YA story following the life of Liesel Meminger in Germany during the Holocaust, has earned heaps of praise and awards since its release in 2006. Downton Abbey vet Brian Percival is at the helm of the adaptation to direct and it is also very cool to see Geoffrey Rush in the cast, since he is usually amazing in whatever he does. Although I do find it odd that this trailer appears to suggest that the movie has removed the “story as narrated by Death” angle, which I thought was a fairly pivotal part of the book. This trailer seems to imply that Liesel herself has taken over the narration duties, but we shall see if that is true or not. ‘The Book Thief’ is currently slotted for an awards season November 15, 2013 release.

‘Catching Fire’ Gets A Proper Trailer


The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire finally got a proper trailer this weekend at Comic-Con, showcasing the troubles that are in store for District 12 victors Katniss and Peeta on their post Hunger Games tour. Be warned, this trailer has mild spoilerish material confronting the main twist of this book, which honestly is going to be public knowledge by the time this movie rolls out in November, but if you want to go into this one completely fresh, I would avoid watching this trailer.

Fox Acquires TV Rights For Patrick Rothfuss’ ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’

patrick-rothfuss-art-by-marc-simonettiAccording to io9, Fox has recently acquired the television rights to Patrick Rothfuss’ epic fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicle. Set in a world where magic exists but is often shunned outside of academic settings, the story follows the exploits of young protagonist Kvothe who tries to avenge the death of his family and make a name for himself in the world. This is the news blurb from Deadline on the pick up.

New Regency Productions and 20th Century Fox Television have optioned Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy trilogy The Kingkiller Chronicle to develop into a drama series. Eric Heisserer (Hours, The Thing) is attached to adapt the series and will exec produce. Arnon Milchan, Andrew Plotkin, Brad Weston and Robert Lawrence (Die Hard With A Vengeance) also serve as exec producers. Set in a compelling world where the sharpest minds can master magic, The Kingkiller Chronicles tells the story of Kvothe, a streetwise young man who hopes to one day hunt down the mysterious group that murdered his family.

Seeing as Fox snapped up, developed and then failed to greenlight Lev Grossman’s similarly popular YA fantasy series The Magicians, we’ll have to see how this adaptation fares. Patrick Rothfuss’ world and characters are just too rich to squander and I hope that they take some pointers from HBO’s Game of Thrones adaptation and try to get it right, because this series is worth the effort. It’d be a shame to drop the ball on this one. Learn more about the pick up on the always cool fantasy/sci-fi super site io9.