2020 Adaptations: From Book to Screen

Books are increasingly becoming Hollywood’s most treasured manna–the star-stuff that inspires the year’s buzziest television films and movies. Here are some books and series coming to screens big and small this year:

Let’s start with adaptations with Northwest ties!

Another film based on Frank Herbert’s Dune will be released by director  Denis Villeneuve, who previously directed “Arrival,” which was based on local author Ted Chiang’s short story “The Story of Your Life.” The cast will include Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, and Oscar Isaac. It should be mentioned that Tacoma recently anointed the Dune Peninsula and Frank Herbert Trail at Point Defiance Park.

Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country will be an HBO mini-series executive produced by Jordan Peele and J. J. Abrams is a Lovecraftian look at Jim Crow America and the horrors of racism starring Jonathan Majors and Michael K. Williams.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived in a shopping mall, will be a film directed by Thea Sharrock, starring Angelina Jolie and Sam Rockwell.

Now, on to adaptations by authors further afield:

Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity will be a Hulu TV series with a gender-flipped main character played by Zoë Kravitz, whose mother Lisa Bonet starred in the original, about the life and romantic entanglements of a record store owner.

Jane Austen is never out of style and a fresh revival of Emma by director Autumn de Wilde with a screenplay by Booker Prize-winner Eleanor Catton should bring this match-maker a new audience.

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton is a debut that will be directed by George Clooney, starring George Clooney and Felicity Jones. My colleague Kara  called it a “beautiful page-turner” and described the set-up: “Two narrators: One in space and one in the Arctic; a female astronaut and an aging Astronomer, both coming to terms with the fact that something has happened that has cut off communication.”

Philip Roth’s bestselling alternate history The Plot Against America, starring Winona Ryder and Zoe Kazan, posits the isolationist and anti-Semitic Charles A. Lindbergh as winning the Presidential election instead of Franklin Roosevelt.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng about a big shake up in the suburbs is also being adapted as a Hulu series by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Cherry by Nico Walker, directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Tom Holland, is an autobiographical novel about the currently incarcerated author’s life as an Army veteran who becomes addicted to opioids.

Sally Rooney’s buzzy Normal People, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, features a complex love story between two Irish youth.

What adaptations are you excited to see this year? What did you read that you would love to see on the screen?

A couple of sources that list even more adaptations to be aware of are these articles from LitHub and BookRiot.

~posted by Misha

And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019

Yep: that’s Cate Blanchett, right here in our library!

If Beale Street Could Talk, First Man, BlacKkKlansman, The Wife, Can You Ever Forgive Me? – many films nominated for Oscars this year – and every year – started off as books. 2019 will be a great year for bookish Seattleites, with film adaptations of both Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go Bernadette, the latter featuring scenes filmed in our own Central library!(Digression: Seattle film buffs have to check out these amazing Then and Now videos featuring side by side reshoots of such classic Seattle set films as Cinderella Liberty and Harry and the Hendersons.)

Here are just a some of the other books coming soon to a theater near you:

Continue reading “And the Winner Is… Books to Movies, 2019”

Down with the Sickness

I just got hit by a winter cold and it hit me hard…usually I only need a day to recover, but not this time. Went back to work on day three and was miserable. Took another day off hoping to get through it – I spent most of my time away moving from the bed to the couch then back to bed again. I couldn’t even read because I couldn’t concentrate, but I did get a lot of time with the television screen.

Pulled out an old favorite of mine, Across the Universe, starring Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood. Not only does it have one of the best soundtracks, but just the visual effects and story are so beautifully done. It does a remarkable job of bringing The Beatles lyrics to life and creating a story of its time. Continue reading “Down with the Sickness”

Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2019

Two quintessential Seattle novels — Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Art of Racing in the Rain — are coming to a movie theatre near you in 2019! Some scenes for Bernadette were filmed at our Central Library (and, yes, Cate Blanchette was there, AT OUR LIBRARY!). We can’t wait to see if we made the final cut.

Many other books have been adapted for the screen and will make their debut in 2019, and we’ve listed 10 here with links to the books that inspired them. Time to read and re-read some of these treasures:

The Rhythm Section (opening Feb. 22)
The Book: The Rhythm Section by Mark Burnell.
College student Stephanie Patrick’s life is destroyed after the crash of flight NEO027; her family was on board and there were no survivors. She spins out of control until a reporter discovers the crash was not an accident and Stephanie finds a new focus: revenge.
The Film: Directed by Reed Morano; stars Blake Lively, Jude Law. Continue reading “Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2019”

Page to Screen: Never mind The Dark Tower – here comes IT!

Okay, so the new film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series wasn’t quite what we’d hoped for. Many fans of the books feel the film entirely missed the mark, while newcomers to King’s elaborate mythos wonder what all the fuss was about. As a film sequel seems unlikely and it may be some time until somebody brings this to big budget television where it naturally belongs, we suggest you try out the books. Better yet, listen to the audiobooks, masterfully read by Frank Muller and George Guidall over 145 hours, or as we call it in Seattle, a couple of months’ worth of commuting.

Continue reading “Page to Screen: Never mind The Dark Tower – here comes IT!”