There are a number of upcoming book adaptations that didn’t get covered in the first part of the feature I did last week, so I thought I would try to highlight some that slipped through the cracks. A few of these are high profile books that have remained in development limbo for whatever reason, but we’ll include them in case they gain some steam and suddenly find themselves back in good standing with the studio/network that snapped them up.
The Gunslinger aka The Dark Tower Series (2013) – With Universal passing on the Ron Howard/Javier Bardem pitch for Stephen King’s fantasy epic, this one might be in development limbo for some time. Because truthfully, if you pass on something with Javier Bardem as the proposed star, this doesn’t bode well for the overall health of the project. I don’t really know how the pitch is going to get much better than having Javier Bardem play Roland. However, the good news is that HBO is slated to produce a Dark Tower mini-series that was originally intended to fill in the gaps between the movies/books. Hopefully some small screen attention will get its big screen counterpart back in the good graces of Universal and on its way back into production.
Ender’s Game (2013) – Despite author Orson Scott Card receiving heaps of negative attention regarding some of his personal views, this sci-fi classic remains a hot property. ‘Hugo’ star Asa Buttefield is set to star as Ender while Ben Kinsley has just recently joined the cast in an unknown role (possibly someone intense, angry or fatherly). Harrison Ford’s name is also floating around the casting rumor mill, but no official word if Han Solo will take to space one last time.
The Sparrow (2013) – This is still listed as a 2013 release, but the truth is that this production will probably never see the light of day. I know Brad Pitt has made it a labor of love to get this book on the big screen, but never in science fiction history have I encountered a story that has such an excruciating gut punch of an ending. It’s beautifully written, but I don’t know how people would react to seeing this story unfold on the big screen. Absolutely brutal.
Y The Last Man (2013) – With the small screen success of similarly paced graphic novel ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Y The Last Man’ may finally get that final push it needs to get made. This fan favorite has been stuck in limbo since director DJ Caruso waffled on officially getting production underway. His version was also rumored to star Shia LaBeouf as Y, which may explain its quick descent into limbo status. Hopefully this one will find its feet and its Y, since, you know, he is the last man alive.
The Snowman (2013) – Martin Scorsese is in talks to direct the seventh book in Jo Nesbo‘s series about detective Harry Hole. This Scandinavian serial killer thriller is being hyped as the unofficial successor to Stieg Larsson’s ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ throne. ‘The Snowman’ is the story of, “A child who wakes up to find his mother has disappeared during the night. Outside, a snowman has appeared out of nowhere, the calling card of one of the most terrifying serial killers in recent fiction. A letter from the perpetrator draws Detective Hole further and further into the case, and together with his new partner, Katrine Bratt, he hunts the Snowman through twists and turns that become increasingly personal and may drive Hole to the brink of insanity.” Only time will tell what kind of splash this overseas bestseller will make when it reaches U.S. theaters.
Silence (2013) – Scorsese will take on Shusaku Endo’s novel before he tackles Nesbo’s ‘The Snowman’. ‘Silence’ follows the tale of two Jesuit priests that face persecution when they travel to Japan to spread Christianity. With Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro already onboard, this film does not sound like light popcorn fare.
The Bourne Legacy (August 3, 2012) – The fourth Bourne movie is supposedly a go next summer with Jeremy Renner taking over for Bourne staple Matt Damon. Author Eric Van Lusterbader penned this book after he inherited the series from Robert Ludlum when Ludlum passed away in 2001. No reports on what sort of household object/periodical Bourne may use to kill corrupt operatives with in this movie.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer (June 22, 2012) – The first of author Seth Grahame-Smith’s books set to be adapted by Hollywood, this satirical farce sheds light on President Lincoln’s fictional days as a vampire slayer and persecutor of their slave-owning helpers.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2013) – The second of Grahame-Smith’s adaptations is his re-imagining of Jane Austen’s classic, with added zombies. The production recently hemorrhaged writer/director Mike White, but still has Natalie Portman attached to it, which, as we know, has the power to get anything onto the big screen.
The Great Gatsby (December 25, 2012) – Baz Lurhman and Leonardo DiCapri reteam to take on this F. Scott Fitzgerald classic. Lurhman is expected to bring his bright and theatrical style, while DiCaprio will play the role of Jay Gatsby and Tobey Maguire will take on the role of Nick Carraway.
Life of Pi (December 21, 2012) – Tobey Maguire will also appear in the big screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Yann Martel. ‘Life of Pi’ is the story of Pi Patel, the son of a zookeeper, who finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Although it has been a few years since I read it and the synopsis sounds like a game of Jumanji that got out of hand, I remember it as a well written, spiritually charged story. Should be interesting to see if it works as a film narrative.
On The Road (2012) – This adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s thinly fictionalized autobiography of the same name will cover a work that is often credited with being the soul of the Beat movement. Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi and Terrence Howard will all star in this 2012 release.
One Shot (February 3, 2013) – Based off a book in Lee Child’s crime series, this story follows a homicide investigator who probes a case involving a trained military sniper who shot five random victims. What is most notable about this adaptation? German director Werner Herzog will star as one of the villains. Sold.
Robopocalypse (July 3, 2013) – Daniel H. Wilson’s Asimov inspired tale is set for theaters in Summer 2013 with Steven Spielberg committed to directing. The story follows bands of survivors as they try to survive the robot apocalypse after a sentient artificial intelligence system is unleashed on the world.
Now Wait For Last Year (2014) – Another of Philip K. Dick’s stories is finding its way into theaters with ‘Lord of the Rings’ producer Barrie M. Osborne signing on to produce this adapation of Dick’s 1966 book. ‘Now Wait For Last Year’ is about an alien species that teams up with humans in the future to combat an invading species that wishes to eradicate them both.
The Host (March 29, 2013) – Stepheine Meyer tests her post ‘Twilight’ legs when her alien invasion book ‘The Host’ comes to theaters in Spring 2013. ‘The Host’ is about an alien species called Souls, who invade and inhabit humans. I smell a really weird love triangle somewhere in this story.
I’m looking forward to quite a few of these, I think The Great Gatsby should be good, although I’m not really sure why they felt a remake was necessary. The casting is great, and as long as Baz doesn’t go overboard (Ughh, Australia) it should be quite a show. Don’t really know why they’re filming it in 3D though?!
On The Road was filmed quite awhile ago, I remember seeing early pics of Kristen Stewart on set and feeling very, very sad about it. I personally can’t see it making a particularly good film, if they’re making it with commercial success in mind. It’s too windy and chaotic to be anything other than an indie flick that gains a loyal cult following. Though that’s the literary purist in me I guess.
Yeah, Kayleigh. I have to agree with you. I can’t really see why in the world The Great Gatsby would need to be filmed in 3D. I don’t quite see the appeal of 3D dinner parties, but maybe we’re missing something. I really hope most of these adaptations don’t turn out to be poor films, but when you have a crop this big, some are bound to disappoint. Sometimes it just doesn’t translate well from prose to film for whatever reason.
I think with the quality of fantasy and sci-fi film and tv recently we can (hopefully) expect that those ones will at least be visually spectacular. It also seems like a few of them are going with no-name or lesser known actors in lead roles which always seems to result in superior films. I have high hopes!
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