Although there was some bad news on the sci-fi front this week with Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity being delayed until 2013, principle photography did begin on Bong Joon-ho’s English language debut, Snow Piercer.
For those unfamiliar with Bong Joon-ho, he is the South Korean director responsible for the criminally underrated The Host and Memories of Murder. Snow Piercer, which has been in the planning stages for a few years now, is an adaptation of a French graphic novel called Le Transperceneige.
The sci-fi adaptation, which chronicles the struggles of a group of survivors on a train in an ice covered world, will feature a diverse cast including “Song Kang-ho, Ewan Bremner, John Hurt, Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell and the presence of Oldboy director Park Chan-wook as a producer” (via twitchfilm).
Along with the English language debut of fellow South Korean Jee-woon Kim, 2013 should be a good year for South Korean directors as they will finally get a chance to have their work exposed to Western audiences on a much larger scale. Really can’t wait to see Snow Piercer, especially with this cast (even though the cover of the comic makes it look like bald Hugh Laurie and bald Scarlett Johansson should have played the title roles).
So, just a quick update on ‘The Exiles of the New World.’ Last week, the book received a nice shout out on ‘The Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards’ on 91.5 WBEZ(Chicago’s NPR station). Mary Dempsey (who is a family member for full disclosure) was on the show and was nice enough to plug my book (albeit a bit of a shameless plug) as part of her summer reading list recommendations. All the same, she is still too kind for mentioning it and saying nice things about it on the radio. I thank her for that.
You can listen to a stream of the broadcast on the linked story (my book is mentioned around the 28:40 mark), but I would strongly encourage people to listen to the broadcast in its entirety and check out the other recommendations. I have already added a few of them to my reading list including Solace by Belinda McKeon.
Also, I wrote a guest post over the weekend at Writer’s Party on crafting great twists in your story. Make sure to stop by their site and peruse the author interviews and events they host. They are good people. The site will be hosting a free kindle copy giveaway for my book. All you have to do is leave a comment on the post before the 10th and you could win a free kindle copy of ‘The Exiles of the New World.’ More info on the giveaway is on their contest page.
Stephen King returned to his sprawling Dark Tower fantasy series this past week with the release of The Wind Through The Keyhole, a tale that takes place sometime between the events of the fourth and fifth books of the series. King, who once declared that he was done with the series, it seems was drawn back to the tale of Roland, the Gunslinger. And why not? It’s such an expansive, interesting world, and I don’t fault him one bit for jumping back in. Reviews seem to be glowing so far for this book too. So, kudos again to the book writing machine that is Stephen King.
It was also a little disappointing to hear that asteroid mining might be declared illegal, seeing as that my next kickstarter project was either going to be an asteroid mining project or a mini-fridge segway attachment. Now, I guess I’m defaulted into the segway fridge all the way, which to be honest is a little bit less ambitious. This bit of information also sullies a few bits of asteroid related fiction too. It means that all the surviving astronaut characters in the movie Armageddon would have been championed as heroes when they returned to Earth, but would have been promptly arrested thereafter for space treason or whatever bit of silly legislation this legal snafu falls under. Talk about a buzz kill. Anyway, here are the writing links for the week.
– AV Club Reviews Stephen King’s The Wind Through The Keyhole (avclub)
– David Brin: The Need To Restore Optimism To Science Fiction (io9)
– Season 2 Of BBC’s Sherlock Debuts Stateside On PBS This Weekend (mcclatchydc)
– Paolo Bacigalupi Interviewed For The Drowned Cities (sfsignal)
So, this is part three of our books to movies feature, which profiles upcoming film adaptations of novels. This entry mostly covers adaptations on the 2013/2014 horizon, but we do peg a few 2012 releases for those wondering what’s just around the corner.
The Graveyard Book (2014) – By far my favorite of Neil Gaiman’s works, The Graveyard Book, a mild homage to TheJungle Book, is the story of Nobody Owens, a boy who is raised in a graveyard by ghosts after his parents are killed. The film adaptation received some forward momentum this week when director Henry Selick signed on to helm the project. Selick, a stop-motion specialist who has worked with Gaiman before when he directed Coraline, seems like a perfect fit for this material with Coraline and A Nightmare Before Christmas under his belt. Reporting site io9 seems to think this adaptation will be an animated film, which makes sense with Selick’s background, but for some reason I always pictured this as a live-action movie. Looking forward to either take on the production.
The Giver (2014) – Actor Jeff Bridges is taking the proactive approach to nabbing a highly sought after role as he has optioned the rights to Lois Lowry’s Newberry Medal winning novel and is set to star as the elderly Giver. The story follows the character of Jonas, a young boy who lives in an apparent utopia until he begins to learn the dark lengths his society goes to maintain their “perfect” ways. This book has always stuck with me after reading it as a child, so it will be interesting to finally see this one come to life on the big screen.
The Jungle Book (2014) – Speaking of The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling’s classic will be seeing a live-action adaptation coming in the near future with Harry Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves set to write and direct. While this won’t be the first-live action version of the Jungle Book, we certainly hope it improves upon the so-so 90s version and captures some of the feel good nature of the 60s Disney version. I predict its success will hinge on having a healthy ratio of swinging with monkeys to duets with bear scenes.
Catching Fire (November 22, 2013) – The second movie of the Hunger Games series recently lost its original helmer (Seabiscuit director Gary Ross), but quickly gained a replacement when Constantine director Francis Lawrence stepped in to fill his shoes. Lawrence may not have been at the top of everyone’s list (Alfonso Cuarón anyone?), but I’m certainly all for giving him a shot. Although I’m not a huge fan of the look of his I Am Legend adaptation, Constantine did have a pretty unique art style to it and he did cast Peter Stormare as the devil, so points for that.
The Book Thief (2014) – Marcus Zusak’s YA adult novel has found a director in Downton Abbey alum Brian Percival. Even though Downton Abbey is a show about stuffy rich people and their help and The Book Thief is a holocaust tale narrated by death, I’m sure Percival has the dramatic chops to make this work. The Book Thief, while heavy in subject matter, is probably one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. I have no idea if it will translate well on the big screen, but if it even flirts with being half as good as the novel, then it will truly be something to behold.
Divergent (2015) – Veronica Roth’s dystopian YA book, which was released during the influx of YA dystopian sci-fi that seemed to pop up after the success of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, follows the story of the young protagonist Beatrice Prior. The synopsis is as follows, “In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.”
Legend (2014) – Marie Lu’s dystopian novel Legend follows the story of June and Day, two kids born on opposing sides of a conflict. June, a prodigy being groomed for the Republic’s highest military positions and Day, the country’s most wanted criminal, must come together to discover the dark secrets their governments keep and why they seek to pit the two against each other.
Earthseed (2014) – Originally written in the 80s, Earthseed joins the glut of YA books being optioned as it was snapped up by Paramount Pictures and slated for a 2014 release. The story is about a group of children on a ship who must survive a series of tests to ensure the survival of the human race.
Much Ado About Nothing (2012) – Joss Whedon’s modern adaptation of the classic Shakespeare tale stars Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg and Amy Acker. Although there is no set release date, this still should hit theaters sometime this year. I guess Whedon decided against releasing it in the early half of 2012 as it would compete against his other two heavy hitters Cabin in the Woods and The Avengers. Footage and pictures from the film are finally emerging though.
50 Shades of Grey (2014) – 50 Shades of Grey is one of the hottest properties on the market right now as Universal Pictures has purchased the rights for a sum rumored to be somewhere around the $3 or $4 million range. The book, a steamy romance novel about people doing steamy romance novel things, has been selling like hot cakes since it came out, mostly bolstered by a word of mouth campaign from fans. It even has its own table at Barnes & Noble, so you know it’s big time (or was written by an overzealous B & N employee). I guess we’ll see if that same fan support can turn it into a box office success.
Alex Cross (October 26, 2012) – Based on James Patterson’s best selling Alex Cross mystery/thriller series, Tyler Perry will take over the role once occupied by Morgan Freeman and play the title character in the movie, which is based on the I, Alex Cross entry into the series. Although a release date has been set, let’s hope that the legal troubles that mired this production late last year have cleared.
Cloud Atlas (October 2012) – The Wachowski brothers and Tow Tykwer are teaming up for this film based on author David Mitchell’s book. The film will follow, “an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.” So, yeah… I don’t really know what that means, but when you put the Matrix directors together with the Run Lola Run director, you should at the very least come out with a visually stunning product.
Make sure to check out part 1 and 2 of this feature.