New and improved! Now with even more Benedict Cumberbatch dragon voice and stubborn dwarf posturing. But seriously, this needs to get here soon. I don’t want to wait until Dec. 13 to see it.
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.
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.
According 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.
This week’s writing links feature a secret J.K. Rowling book, pictures from the upcoming adaptation of The Maze Runner, a possible Guillermo del Toro/Charlie Kaufman Slaughterhouse-Five team-up on the horizon and the AV Club’s review of The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.
Earlier this week it was revealed that Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling was the secret author of a crime fiction novel called The Cuckoo’s Calling, which she published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The book, which had already been out a few months, had been reviewed well but sold in relatively modest numbers. Until now, that is. Once Rowling was outed as the author, sales of the book supposedly jumped up 150,000%, which is pretty absurd and great if you ask me. I was very tempted to dig through old reviews of the book to see if there were any scathing comments about Robert Galbraith never amounting to anything or selling more than a few copies of his books. That would have been quite entertaining. Either way, the book is selling like steroids at the All-Star game right now and you’ll be lucky to find a copy at book stores. Take that, Fifty Shades of Grey!
In book adaptation news, photos are emerging for the movie version of YA bestseller The Maze Runner. The story, which honestly plays a bit like a Cube/Hunger Games mash-up, will inevitably be lumped together will the slew of YA fantasy/sci-fi movies on the horizon, including Ender’s Game and Catching Fire, but it has the capability to stand on its own feet if it’s done well. It will be interesting to see what the infamous rolling balls of death known as the ‘grievers’ will look like.
Also, there is talk that the Guillermo del Toro/Charlie Kaufman version of Slaughterhouse-Five may once again have legs after initially wasting away in limbo. Many of the projects (or budgets) that del Toro will be allowed to take on may hinge of the success of his recently released Pacific Rim, so the next couple of months will be very telling for him. While his Robots vs Kaiju film has had a sluggish start to its domestic box-office, an international cast and Asia-centric material has the movie performing well internationally. Here’s to hoping that the trend continues overseas and the movie makes some money. Idris Elba cannot cancel the Apocalypse unless you go see the damn movie.
– Pictures From Upcoming The Maze Runner Movie (io9)
– J.K. Rowling’s New Secret Crime Thriller (cnn)
– Neil Gaiman: The Magic of Fiction (locusmag)
– AV Club Reviews Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s Sequel The Long War (avclub)
– Space Time Loops May Explain Black Holes (yahoo)
– Michael Connelly’s Favorite Bits of Writing Advice (writersdigest)
– Amazon Launches Comic Book Imprint With Adaptations (avclub)
– 50 Places Every Literary Fan Should Visit (flavorwire)
– Guillermo del Toro To Adapt Slaughterhouse-Five With Charlie Kaufman (avclub)
– How I Got My Agent: Lori Roy (writersdigest)
– Which Book Species Are You? (bookpatrol)
Snowpiercer finally got some new media this week including a trailer, some behind the scenes featurettes (you might need to brush up on your Korean) and a slew of character posters featuring brooding Chris Evans, brooding Jaime Bell and not nearly as concerned Kang-ho Song. Still no date for the US release. Summer 2013 is listed on the most recent trailer, but I doubt that will hold up for the American release. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see this one before 2014. Thanks to E-Sween for the heads up on this recent media barrage.
Lost in yesterday’s exciting Blackhawks comeback win (at least here in Chicago) was the premiere of CBS’s Under the Dome adaptation, which debuted to solid ratings despite stiff competition from the Stanley Cup finals. The pilot, which received glowing reviews from most media outlets, may have spawned a bona fide hit for CBS’s summer schedule.
For those unfamiliar with Under the Dome, it is a 13-part mini-series adapting Stephen King’s oversized tome of the same name, brought to television by Brian K. Vaughan (of Lost and Y: The Last Man fame). The story follows the struggles of a small town in Maine (of course) after they are sealed off from the world by a mysterious clear dome.
It has been awhile since I read King’s book, but it seemed like most of his story was intact when I watched the pilot. Overall, I found it to be a solid hour of television. It was nice to see Dean Norris getting some work fresh off his run on Breaking Bad and I will always endorse putting Jeff Fahey in anything that requires a grizzled veteran character who has “seen too much” in his time on the force/as a pilot/as president/etc.
With a high concept premise like this, Under the Dome was certainly hit or miss territory (as all of King’s stories seem to be when making the jump to screen), but it seems like they did a good job with the pilot and have roped in enough viewers to keep them around for the other twelve episodes of the story’s arch.
With more than a few comparisons to Lost (developer Vaughan and pilot director Jack Bender both come from Lost backgrounds) already being made, the true test for Vaughan, King and company will be to keep up the momentum of the pilot without getting bogged down in too many conspiratorial elements. Sure, the mystery of the dome will keep people watching, but if they neglect the characters in favor of lofting a load of dead end mysteries and cheap thrills at the audience (a pitfall that certainly befell Lost at points), you may have the recipe for a ratings dip and a quality decline.