More Upcoming Books into Movies

Wondering what to read in the fall? Here are some books being adapted into movies at various stages of development. Some may come out later this year, most in 2012, and others may materialize even further. Your book group may be interested to look at the following titles. Some are bound to generate lively discussions. Consider this a sequel to my earlier list which you can find by clicking here.

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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Can’t resist mentioning this again. Joe Wright of ‘Atonement’ directing, Tom Stoppard screenplay, and an excellent British cast)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (James Franco directing)

Austenland by Shannon Hale (Keri Russell)

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

Coriolanus by William Shakespeare (Ralph Fiennes directs and stars)

Crooked House by Agatha Christie (Gemma Arterton)

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes)

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Kenneth Branagh directing)

The Humbling by Philip Roth

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler

Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell (Kenneth Branagh directing Anthony Hopkins)

Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

King Lear by William Shakespeare (Al Pacino)

Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (Hugh Laurie)

Paradise Lost by John Milton (Bradley Cooper as Lucifer)

Romeo and Juliet by WIlliam Shakespeare (Hailee Steinfeld)

What Maisie Knew by Henry James (Julianne Moore)

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin

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I know many book lovers are usually hesitant to see their beloved stories and fictional characters transposed on screen. But just imagine for a moment a best-case scenario, which book would you like to see adapted into a movie? And, who do you have in mind as the ideal cast?

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CLICK HERE to read related posts:

“Can a Movie Adaptation Ever be as Good as the Book?”

“Upcoming Books Into Movies — List 3”

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Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

24 thoughts on “More Upcoming Books into Movies”

  1. I, for one, love to see what they do. I have yet to see a really good version of Great Expectations, but, Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter? One can hope…. 🙂
    The Book of Negroes would be an excellent film if allowed to be epic in length. Maybe better as a mini-series on HBO?
    I suppose I must read Paradise Lost. There is no way I could allow myself to see the film first! I expect I have time…

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    Michelle,

    I quite enjoyed David Lean’s Great Expectations (1946) but not the modern versions. So I look forward to this new one. HBC is Ms. Havisham and RF is Magwitch. Should be good.
    I’ve The Book of Negroes on my shelf, but haven’t read it. That’s the kind of books I want to read first before seeing the film.
    Paradise Lost? A bit too ambitious a goal for me. However, I intend to read Anna Karenina before watching the movie, and it’s going to be a good one considering the people involved.

    Arti

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    1. I left the Book of Negroes on my shelf for several months before I finally picked it up. Make sure you have time – it is outstanding…. I stayed up late a couple of nights!

      Like

  2. I am very hopeful for Anna Karenina. Great book, and the director is excellent (and a good fit). It’s shaping up to be one of the best of the batch.

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    beckony,

    Yes, I’m really excited about this one. I’ve enjoyed Joe Wright’s Atonement but not so much his Pride & Prejudice. The cast here is great, so I hope he’ll do a good job. But, to the book first, for me.

    Arti

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  3. Oh goody! I love your books to movies post and have referred to the previous one several times. Sometimes just to keep up with what movies are coming up next. I read Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand just last year. It’ll be interesting to see how it looks on screen. I liked the subtle nuances in the story.

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    nikkipolani,

    I’m reading Major P. now and yes, I can see a movie there. Hope that one works out.

    Arti

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  4. Yes, I love your books to movies post too. Hugh Laurie in Mr Pip? Interesting, and sounds a goer.

    Books like Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society are, I think, the sorts of books that should translate well to film – in fact they are probably the sorts of books I’d happily see as a film without feeling I need to read the book first (except in their cases I have, read the books that is).

    A new adaptation just out in Australia – but I missed a special screening due to medical “stuff” in the family, is Patrick White’s Eye of the storm. By all accounts it’s a good adaptation (but I would like to read that book first).

    Well, that’s enough rambling I reckon for tonight … but thanks as ever for you list.

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    1. wisperinggums,

      It’s my pleasure to compile this list. You’re right about Major P. and Guernsey. It’ll be interesting to see how Kenneth Branagh directs it. I’m just wondering whether some of these contemporary fiction as they are written, if the authors have a movie in their mind. If I were writing a book, I definitely would have that thought … sell the movie rights after it’s published. Kill two birds with one stone 🙂

      For Patrick’s White’s Eye of the Storm. I’ve heard of it but haven’t seen it come around here, and doubt whether it’ll be screened here. After The King’s Speech, I’m really curious to see more of Geoffrey Rush in a leading role. I watched Shine again, and it was so satisfying. Too bad we don’t have too many Australian films released here. Bright Star is the last one I saw.

      Like

      1. Yes, one can’t help thinking that some writers do have their sights on movie rights. Can’t blame them I suppose though it’s a shame when it feels that their eye is more on that than on the literary side.

        It’s a shame so few Aussie films make it overseas. My friend in California is sorry that she sees so few. Bright Star was quite a major co-production which is probably why it was seen more widely. Some get to Sundance but that doesn’t seem to guarantee them US distribution.

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  5. I just can’t imagine As I Lay Dying as a film. That’s one I’m going to have to re-read and be sure to see on the screen. No – I can’t even imagine it. 😉

    On the other hand, I think Let the Great World Spin ought to translate pretty well. I’ve got the book now and have dipped into it. I guess I should finish it one day!

    .

    Linda,

    Yes, I think it’s a challenge to bring the internal out into the visual. For some reasons, I’ve missed Faulkner’s book all through school and college… but that’s one that I’ll read before seeing the movie. BTW, Steinbeck’s East of Eden is also in development (on my first list). His books have been adapted for screen more often.

    Let the Great World Spin as you said is almost script-ready. You know Colum McCann is not only a novelist but a screenwriter as well. So that’s convenient. I’m sure the author is the best person to turn the book into a screenplay.

    Arti

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  6. Excited to learn about Great Expectations! I love Helena Bonham Carter. Oh, I hope it’s good! And Hugh Laurie in Mr. Pip also has my interest. I haven’t read the book, yet but I will before I see the movie.

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    Stefanie,

    Unlike popular opinion, I’m not that keen about the book Mister Pip. But hopefully Hugh Laurie can do a good job there… I think a lot of work has to be done if the screenplay is to work well.
    And yes, HBC is one of my favourites so I look forward to GE.

    Arti

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  7. What a fascinating list! Yes, I agree about Great Expectations and the Italian Shoes sounds good too! Thanks, Arti! Something fun to look out for!

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    jeanie,

    Have you a chance to look at my previous list of 50 films adapted from literary works to be released? Some have already been screened. There may be more that would interest you. Thanks for visiting!

    Arti

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  8. wow – what a huge list. Where do you find all your information, Arti? I think Major Pettigrew would make a good movie (I actually enjoyed Miss Pettigrew LIves For A Day – not that they are relatives or anythihg) and I like Agatha Christie adaptations if they are done with accuracy. I saw one that had been completely altered and which ended with two lesbian lovers as the culprits – poor Agatha spun in her grave.

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    Litlove,

    I got most info from the resourceful site imdb.com Others from Googling. Let’s hope this upcoming Agatha Christie movie will do the author justice. Actually, let’s hope all of them will do their source material justice… don’t want to disappoint Shakespeare, Dickens, Tolstoy or Milton, do we?

    Arti

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  9. I’m looking forward to seeing many of these books made into films. I had the good fortune to meet Helen Simonson earlier this year. She’s hilarious, and she was very inspiring to a would-be novelist. As I read her book, I could definitely see a movie. I told her that, and she said that a movie was being discussed. Glad to see it’s in the works!

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    Cathy,

    Yes, I still remember your post on Helen Simonson: “Procrastination and Perseverence”, about how it took Simonson five years to finish the book, her masters thesis. She has created lively characters that would be natural to be transposed on screen. What is five years if one can write a bestseller which later is turned into a movie. All the more encouraging for aspiring novelists. The best to you in your endeavour!

    Arti

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  10. Without realizing it until afterward, I saw a film made from a book yesterday – The Help. It wasn’t a “great” film. I don’t expect any Oscar nominations for it. On the other hand, it was a thoroughly engaging film, and very enjoyable – not the least because it was as much about writing as about race relations in mid-century Mississippi.

    And, my friend said she thought they’d done an excellent job of turning the book into a movie. As she said, the book made her want to see the movie, but she’d rather see the film again than read the book again. 😉

    .
    Linda,

    ‘The Help’ is on my first list of “Upcoming Books into Films” which I posted in Dec. last year. So now we’re seeing some of those titles on screen. I know the book is very popular and now the movie. But with so many TBR titles in boxes and on my shelves, I’ve decided to let go of this one. Upon viewing the trailer I think I’ll skip the movie too. Viola Davis is great in ‘Doubt’, and I know she has a respectable role here too. Also, I want to see Jessica Chastain again after ‘The Tree of Life’, but somehow I’m hesitant to watch them in this movie. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it… as with many others I know. (I’ve a reader coming to Ripple Effects to check to see if I’ve written a review on it.) Well, sorry to disappoint anyone. 🙂

    Arti
    (P.S. Oscars? Don’t be surprised if it does get some noms.)

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  11. Three new films of Shakespeare plays? I’m so happy. Pacino as Lear should be fantastic, but I would still prefer to see him in it on the stage.

    As for Anna Karenina, I am so excited to read this. I love this book, although my book group still reminds me of this choice from 6 years ago. I still wonder how they could not have liked it. And I would go to ANY film made from screenplay by Tom Stoppard. I saw Stoppard’s Arcadia on Broadway just before it closed last Spring and I still think about it weekly — and am about to re-read the script for the 3rd time. The first time was immediately after the play — I stayed up all night, the second time was two days later, just before I left NYC and left the collection of plays with my cousin (it was her book, after all). I think Stoppard will do a wonderful job with the screenplay. Excited. Can’t wait. Yeah, I know I already wrote that — I’m that happy!

    Just started re-reading Paradise Lost (read 30 years ago in college) based on continued urging from a friend. I cannot imagine how this will work as a film. Imaging how Hollywood could butcher this just seems so awful!

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    1. AnneCamille,

      Welcome! Yes, Shakespeare would be most gratified. Also, you’re right about Tom Stoppard. Funny the most memorable work of his for me is reading his play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead decades ago. 🙂 I still remember the line starting with: “On the other hand, the toes…” Ha, all the trivial things one remembers. Anyway, with Stoppard writing the screenplay and Wright directing, with the talented and relatively young cast, I’m excited just to read about it. Got to go start the book and finish it before it comes out next year.

      I’m looking forward to reading your posts on the plays you saw in NYC. What… 7 plays in 6 days? I’ve tried something like that for a Film Festival but not with plays. What a wonderful experience it must have been. Will definitely watch for them at your blog.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment!

      Like

  12. Wow, that’s quite the list. Paradise Lost? Not what I would have expected to see! I’m curious about What Maisie Knew and the Tolstoy one. And Faulkner as well.

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    Dorothy,

    I’ve a feeling that Paradise Lost could be one of those super fantasy, like “Thor”. They just might throw in the 3D effects. Well, all my speculations. Hope it’s a decent one.

    Arti

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  13. I bought The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin when we came back from St Petersburg, Russia, but then I left it on my shelf. I guess I should read it before seeing the movie. Another book I read and liked was Sarah’s Keys – I think it will be, or has already been released. I liked the book and am curious about the film.

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    Vagabonde,

    Just curious, is your copy in Russian? I’ve a feeling that you can read Boris Akunin’s book in its original language. 🙂

    As for Sarah’s Key, I’ve been waiting for the movie to screen here. I sure hope it’s a better rendition than the book, since it’s such an important subject. To be honest, I’m quite disappointed with the book because of the writing and its structure. Hope the movie can do justice to all those victims of Vel d’Hiv, and oh, so many of them were children.

    Arti

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  14. Please tell me that James Franco directing As I Lay Dying is a joke!

    Faulkner – my favorite American novelist – is practically unfilmable – but only someone of a Malick-stature and mindset could even begin to tackle a film adaptation of any of his novels.

    This Franco business doesn’t not sound good at all.

    .
    David,

    As you can see from the link, it’s no joke. But I can sense you just might feel he’s a bit too over-rated? I tend to agree with you, but then again, maybe I shouldn’t say so soon…

    Arti

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    1. Ah – a dreaded and accidental double negative in the last sentence – maybe it’s an omen? Maybe Franco will surprise us. And maybe pigs will fly. You never know.

      .
      David,

      I’ll just leave that in there… Freudian slip? Let’s just wish him all the best in his career. I think what he needs might well be experience. That he can gain a lot by directing (?)

      A.

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      1. Arti – good point. Ben Affleck (a terrible actor) has turned into a solid director. The same could happen for Franco I suppose. I did check out the link, too – I do give credit to Franco – he does seem to know and respect deeply the source material, so his motives, at least, seem pure. It’s all a matter of execution, though. We shall see.

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  15. What a wonderfully informative post! How do you stay abreast of such knowledge, Arti?! The very first title you listed has me practically jumping up and down; I love, love, love Anna Karenina and have read it numerous times. It makes me feel like reaching for it again right now. Wish we could see that film together…

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    Bellezza,

    That first title now is high on my TBR list… before the film comes out. Yes, I’m excited just looking at the cast and people involved. The Internet is flooded with new info every minute, I find it hard to stay afloat. 🙂

    Arti

    Like

  16. This is really a good idea, Arti. To visualize a story while reading, and how I would depict it in film is an excellent way to comprehend what is happening. I have had poor comprehension my whole life reading. I would like to see Great Expectations . . . and Paradise Lost!!! Has anyone ever made that into film before, I wonder? Fascinating, wow.

    Like

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