Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations

2012 has been a great year for movie adaptations based on or loosely tied to books. Argo, Beast of the Southern Wild, Les Misérables, Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook are all from adapted screenplays.

Now that the Award Season is behind us, time to move forward to see what some of the upcoming movie adaptations are in the works. The following is a list of films in various stages of development, with some scheduled to be released in 2013. Time to read or reread the books before your see the movies.

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A Most Wanted Man 

A Most Wated Man

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in John le Carré’s thriller (2008) with a contemporary theme of international war on terror. Hopefully it will reprise the depth of the star-studded Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Robert Wright, Rachel McAdams, and Willem Dafoe are in.

A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle in Time

After the success of LOTRNarnia, The Hobbit, some think it’s time to remake Madeleine L’Engle’s YA Sci-Fi classic A Wrinkle In Time. Disney it is, together with Bedrock with Jeff Stockwell (A Bridge to Terabithia, 2007) writing the script. Let’s hope it’s a production worthy of its literary source.

Before I Go To Sleep 

Before I Go to Sleep

Adapted from S. J. Watson’s popular and intriguing novel about a woman having bouts of amnesia every morning she wakes up. If your memory or enthusiasm needs a little prodding, here’s this cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong. Nobody can forget Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (TV 1995), but do you remember Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley in Emma (TV 1996)? Both were in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Mark Strong in the recent Zero Dark Thirty (2012). I can’t wait for this one. Will have to read the book first.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The popular and acclaimed YA book by Markus Zusak with setting in WWII Nazi Germany. YA or not, it’s been on the NYT Bestseller List for over 4 years. Interesting fact is, Downton Abbey director Brian Percival will helm the production, which will star Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, 2010) and Emily Watson (Anna Karenina, 2012). The young Canadian actress Sophie Nélisse who’s brilliant in the Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar (Canadian entry for Best Foreign Language Film, 2011) will play young Liesel.

Devil’s Knot

Devil's Knot

Based on Mara Leveritt’s book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Threethe true case of the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of three teenaged boys for eighteen years for the murder of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas. Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon star. Acclaimed Canadian director Atom Egoyan helms, with music score by the recent Oscar winning Canadian composer for Life of Pi Mychael Danna. Yes, sounds like an international joint effort. The film has a 2013 release date in the U.S.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Completed in 2012, but delayed its release until May 2013. Just as well, considering all the mighty rivals of last year’s movies. The trailer looks unsettling, and in 3D, I’m afraid the Baz Luhrmann version may focus on the loud and glitzy but ignore the true colours of Jay Gatsby. Of course, innocent until proven guilty. My eyes are peeled. Leo DiCaprio is Jay, Carey Mulligan Daisy, Isla Fisher Myrtle, Tobey Maguire Nick. Quite a cast.

The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Claire Tomalin’s account of Charles Dickens’ affair with the young writer Nelly Ternan will be brought to screen with script from Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) to be directed by Ralph Fiennes, who will play Dickens himself. To add to the rave, Kristin Scott Thomas is also on board. Felicity Jones will be playing Nelly Ternan. Fiennes never ceases to amaze us with his versatility, after directing Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in postmodern style, now comes Dickens.

The Piano Tuner

The Piano Tuner

It has been reported that the iconic German director Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 2010) is directing the movie adaptation of this 2002 book by Daniel Mason. Set in 1890’s Burma where the British Empire was having its glorious era, the chords of harmony and dissonance ring. Not a lot of info on it, but as I read a few book reviews, which are all careful not to reveal any spoilers, I can see this can be a colourful and thought-provoking cinematic offering in the hands of an auteur whose career has spanned half a century.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Don’t rant about Jane Austen’s novels being turned into just too many movies. Shakespeare probably holds the record. This time, a 21st C. version of Romeo and Juliet will be written by none other than Julian Fellowes, who has brought us the wildly and globally popular Downton Abbey, something Shakespeare just might approve. The new pair of star-crossed lovers? Douglas Booth (Great Expectations, TV 2011) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, 2010), with a cast of prominent US and British actors.

The Sea

The Sea

Irish writer John Banville adapts his own Booker-winning novel (2005) of the same title. Ciaran Hind (Persuasion, 1995) stars. Banville has also written the screenplay of the Oscar nominated movie Albert Kobbs with Glenn Close. I was planning to read The Sea last year for the Ireland Reading Challenge but later made another choice. Now knowing there will be a movie, I should get back to it.

Suite Française

Suite Française

The heart-wrenching novel by Irène Némirovsky with setting in German occupied WWII Paris. Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long, 2008) and Michelle Williams star with Rust and Bone actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Glad to know screen adaptation is written by the Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, who has given us such memorable films like The Browning Version (1994), The Pianist (Oscar win 2002), Being Julia (2004), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Oscar nom, 2007), and the recent Dustin Hoffman directorial debut Quartet (2012). I’m reading this book together with the Bonhoeffer bio. Can’t wait to see the film.

The Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew

Yes, another Shakespeare’s play in the works. This one will be adapted by the screenwriter who has brought us The Iron Lady (2011), the movie Meryle Streep won an Oscar for playing Magaret Thatcher. Coincident? This time, the iron lady is Katharina, and she’ll be played by recent Oscar winner Anne Hathaway. From Fantine to the Shrew? She’ll need a lot of method acting and we’ll need a lot of forgetting to see her in that new role. As for Petruchio? Let me know who you think should be the one. No, I’m not the casting director, but I’ll put in a good word for you.

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Do you know of any other literary titles to be adapted into films in the coming year? Let me know in a comment.

Thanks for your input, here are the titles some of you have added to my list:

Serena

Broken

Mr. Morgan’s Last Love

August: Osage County

Much Ado About Nothing

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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.

44 thoughts on “Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations”

  1. I love it when Arti goes to the movies — or gets ready to! Suite Francaise is clearly my kind of movie. Very into the WWs and Paris. What’s not to love? Oh, and Kristen Scott Thomas. I’ll line up for that one! Curious about The Invisible Woman and the LeCarre, too. And Colin Firth doesn’t need to worry about being in the unemployment line, does he? Well, that’s fine with me, any ol’ day of the week! Thanks for this — I may look into some of these books sooner rather than later.

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    1. Jeanie,

      You know, Downton Abbey got me interested in the WWI era. Now reading Bonhoeffer’s bio, I’m into WWII and the atrocities during that time. Not happily enjoying reading or seeing them, but the historical facts that I had not known before. Many movies I’ve seen with this setting, and many more, books and movies to delve into. Suite Française is one of them. And, I just might watch Valkyrie the film again. As for CF, I hope he’ll maintain his calibre and even surpass with his upcoming works. KST remains one of my all time faves.

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  2. I am most excited about Serena which is coming out this fall and has Jenn Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in it. Which is kind of odd since they just did Silver Linings Playbook.

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    1. Ti,

      Thanks for adding this one. I admit I’m not familiar with this book/movie. As for JL and BC together again, I’m not surprised at all. When they’ve struck up a rapport, might as well get on with a few more, the producers/directors must have this in mind. And, I’m sure the audience would love to see more of them together.

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  3. I expect you and I will be reading each other’s blogs quite a bit this year!! We have some amazing looking films to see but books to read first, eh? The LeCarre excites me – TTSS was such a well-crafted film and this cast, well it gets my mouth watering. Thanks for catching me up on that; I had missed that news entirely! Do you have any idea when it’s slated to come out?

    One that you’ve not mentioned yet is Broken. The independent film based on the book by Daniel Clay comes out in the UK on March 8th.The film stars Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy and Rory Kinnear who won a BIFA for Best supporting actor, while the film took itself took Best Feature.
    I’ve read the book – a riveting page turner – and I am lucky enough to be able to post my interview and host a Signed Book Giveaway.

    Another is Mr. Morgan’s Last Love.
    It’s the adaptation of the French novel La Douceur Assassine by Francoise Dorner so I won’t be able to read it but for those who do (do you, Arti?)- it stars Michael Caine, Clemence Poesy and Gillian Anderson. Caine’s character, Mr. Morgan is a widow who has a close friendship with a younger woman (Poesy).

    I posted the trailer on my blog last week – here’s the link if you want to take a look
    http://tinyurl.com/bujtws6

    Here’s to an exciting year!

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    1. Sim,

      Exciting year indeed. Thanks for adding these two to the list. I’ve not heard of them. I regret that I don’t know French. From the trailer it looks like one captivating film. I’ve a feeling though that it won’t come to our city. Same with Broken… all the release dates are for countries other than US or Canada. And I just checked on IMDb, Le Carre’s new work doesn’t have a North Am. release date either. Usually these films if they do come around to this side of the globe, it’s a year or two down the road. Let’s keep each other posted re. any heads-up. 😉

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      1. Definitely. Same thing for What Maisie Knew. We know it’s done but where is it? That’s another one I really, really want to see!
        So frustrating. You know, I have a producer friend who made an indie movie which featured Karen Black and Barbara Bains in major parts – there’ve been private screenings as well as festival after festival looking for a distribution deal but a couple of years later and nothing. When I think of the thousands of smaller films floating around without being seen it makes me quite sad.
        I do hope Broken gets a North American release – the author says that’s supposedly in the works. If it’s a big financial success over there, a Harvey Weinstein type (thank God he seems to love literature based films) may pick up the rights. That would be good.

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  4. Lots to get excited about here! I want to read The Invisible Woman asap! and Suite Francaise. Of course, I just read The Great Gatsby awaiting the flick and I loved the book The Sea – very curious how that will translate. I suspect (and hope) the movie Before I Go to Sleep will be better than the book. I know nothing about Taming of the Shrew and thus cannot offer any casting ideas.
    (and sorry! I haven’t yet been able to get Anna Karenina viewed! maybe soon, since it is finally available on DVD.)

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    1. Care,

      Yes, lots to read before the films come out. And I just gave a big smile when I read your thoughts re. Before I Go to Sleep: “I suspect (and hope) the movie Before I Go to Sleep will be better than the book.” Don’t we all wish they’d be! Thanks for stopping by the pond and throwing in your 2 pebbles. 😉

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  5. I need to get busy reading the four books I haven’t read before I see these movies. I like to compare how I imagined the characters and settings before I see how filmmakers have portrayed them. I’ve read the classics listed, and also “The Piano Tuner,” “Suite Francaise” and “Before I Go to Sleep,” but it would be good to do some re-reading, too!

    Thanks, Arti, for the update on what we can look forward to.

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    1. Cathy,

      You’re way ahead of me. I haven’t yet read any of these except The Great Gatsby and A Wrinkle In Time. The Shakespearean plays I read from ages ago, and I’ve seen their previous movie versions. I’m presently reading SF very very slowly since I’ve to get the Bonhoeffer bio finished first. Good titles for your book group, you think?

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      1. Many of these books I read for my book club, so I can’t take credit for being ahead on my own. Between my book club and you, I get plenty of great reading ideas. I’ve started the Bonhoeffer book. Thanks for recommending it!

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        1. Cathy,

          I hope you’ll find the Bonhoeffer book informative. Yes, I say informative since it goes into details in many areas, particularly the historical development of the German Church and B’s Confessing Church during the Nazi regime. Once past the middle, I won’t say it’s enjoyable in a sense that it’s like walking thru the film Valkyrie…

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    1. Diane,

      I’m surprised Werner Herzog has taken up the project of The Piano Tuner. So, I just want to read the book first before seeing any interpretation from him. I’ve always has Jane Campion’s The Piano in mind when I think of this title.

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  6. Who is directing Suite Francaise? I know the script has been bouncing around for awhile – didn’t know they were finally casting. This could be huge…or it could be a disaster. I’m worried about this one the most as I love the book so much (much like the upcoming adaptation of Serena to be directed by S. Bier and starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper).

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    1. David,

      According to IMDb, Saul Dibb is the director for “Suite Française”. The last time he directed it was “The Duchess” in 2008 with Keira Knightly and Ralph Fiennes. He doesn’t look like a prolific director, hope he’ll handle this new project competently. You can click on the title that will lead you to the IMDb page for the movie.

      As for “Serena”, I didn’t know about that one until Ti commented above. Good that Susanne Bier is directing that, I’m sure it’ll be in good hands. I love her “In A Better World”.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your view.

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      1. I was hoping Joe Wright would be directing Suite Francaise. I went to IMDb right after I asked (duh me). Saul Dib doesn’t inspire much excitement, but who knows, maybe this will be his breakthrough and a strong script and cast looks to be lined up. We shall see. I imagine they will not be adapting the full scope of the novel either (at least based on the plot description…seems like the focus will be on the second half of the novel…which could be a mistake as the first half was what made the novel a masterpiece in my mind.)

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        1. You’re right… Joe Wright would have been a good choice, reprising his Atonement poignancy. But then again, let’s hope you’re right too about Saul Dib hopefully doing a fine job, with a good script and cast. I’m still reading the very beginning of the book. Will talk about that some more after I’m done. 😉

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  7. Oh, I’m really looking forward to the L’Engle adaptation. S.J.Watson’s book was one I couldn’t put down until the last page was turned. And then I wanted to flip back to the beginning to read it again and look for clues.

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    1. I sure hope they’ll do L’Engle justice in their new adaptation. And the Watson book I’ve heard of it all along, so intriguing, but have no time to get to it. So many books, so little time… Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Okay, I’ll seize the opportunity to flaunt my illiteracy, but I am a theater-whore, Arti. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Tracy Letts, has adapted his Pulitzer Prize (and Tony Award) winning play, “August: Osage County” for the big screen. I saw it when it played on Broadway and it blew me away. The cast for the film looks terrific. It stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor. I hope that it’s as good as the play and will pack a boatload of Oscar nominations. If I’m right about this, remember who told you first.

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    1. lameadventures,

      Just the opposite, you’ve revealed my ignorance. I confess I haven’t heard of this but should have, since it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner. Thanks for the heads-up. A look into IMDb makes me even more excited, not only the three actors you mention, there’s also Benedict Cumberbatch (top billed too, well, on IMDb list of cast at least), and Abigail Breslin, love to see her now, she’s a natural in Little Miss Sunshine. Thanks again for letting me know about August: Osage County!

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    1. Stefanie,

      Thanks for this info. I didn’t know about this. Yes, Shakespeare sure holds the record of most film adaptations made. I just checked it on IMDb, it was screened at the Toronto Int. FF last Sept. But will have limited release in the U.S. in June as you said. This is going to be a modern take, and are you prepared for this: It’s in black and white. 😉

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  9. I am actually interested to see what they do with A Wrinkle in Time. I thought that was a tremendous novel, but not an easy one to film by any stretch of the imagination (and it will take a lot of imagination stretching to transfer it!).

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    1. litlove,

      With all the CGI and movie tech nowadays, this may not be so hard to do. But the real challenge is to bring out the subtext, to unpack the meaning M. L’Engle had conveyed in the book. On another note, I just got the paperback of Quiet. Part was impulse buying, part due to your review. 😉

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  10. With Colin Firth in the movie, it looks like I’ll be reading Before I Sleep after all… and I can’t wait for The Great Gatsby. The Sea and Suite Francaise were both favorites, so I’ll be curious to see those films, too.

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    1. JoAnn,

      Maybe Audiobook? Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? But I think Devil’s Knot will come out first since it’s already completed. Anyway, I can’t wait to see another CF movie on the big screen, it’s been a long while since The King’s Speech.

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  11. Some interesting offerings here Arti … I always enjoy your adaptations rundown. We’ve been seeing the trailers for Gatsby for a few weeks now … I didn’t realise we still had months to go! Still that will give me time to try to reread the book as it’s been decades since I read it.

    The one that excites me most is John Banville’s The sea. I enjoyed that book and would be intrigued to see it on the screen.

    Love your point about Austen and Shakespeare.

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    1. WG,

      Another title I didn’t put down is the YA novel The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Guess who are in it? Geoffrey Rush, yes, and Emily Watson. Here’s the link to it. Maybe I should add in my post all the titles suggested to me in the comment section. Yes, some interesting books to read before seeing the movies.

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  12. It’s really quite amazing, Arti. By the time the Oscar’s were over, with all of that over-production, terribly un-funny humor and over-the-top politicizing, I was done with Hollywood. Then, when I heard the horrible things said about Quvenzhané Wallis – well, it even took away my eagerness to write the article I had planned about her part of Louisiana.

    Luckily, I have your blog to refresh me and bring me back to my senses! My struggles to keep going with the Bonhoeffer make me think reading any of these is going to be beyond my capabilities. I’m really struggling with how to find more time to write, and some changes have to be made.

    In any event, if I had to choose just one of these, it would be “The Sea”. And then – Dickens! An affair? What? Who knew? Not me! But it sounds quite intriguing, another of those little bits of history that can pass us by.

    Thanks so much for this wonderful post. I may dig my copy of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” out of its corner and give it a go after all. 😉

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    1. Linda,

      Don’t let one Oscar host or even the Academy Awards Show discourage you from watching movies. The film is the thing … and I mean good filmmaking. So, they may not come from Hollywood studios. And even more so, don’t listen to or read all those gossip columns if you want to appreciate a film, or an actor, however old or young. All those are to generate sales. Profit is the bottom line, the great paradox of art-making: After you’ve created art, you have to sell it in order to sustain the art-making endeavour, now and future. I await your review of Beast of the Southern Wild. I think it’s a very well made film, considering the young director, and actors who have never acted before: both for then 6 yr. old Hushpuppy, Quvenzhané Wallis and her father Wink, Dwight Henry, a baker from New Orleans.

      And for Werner Herzog? I remember clearly your chicken post. We really can’t predict what he’ll do next, can we? 😉

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  13. Count me as another person eager for the film version of ‘Suite Francaise’. There are certain images from the book that are still lodged into my imagination (like that of a cat’s vicious play with its prey), and it’s been several years since I’ve read it.

    It’s interesting that although two of the three main actors are French speakers, as far as know Michelle Williams is not. So I’m guessing the movie will be in English?

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    1. Rebecca,

      Welcome! Yes, my understanding is it’s going to be an English film. But maybe in both languages something like Sarah’s Key(?) I really don’t know. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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  14. Wonderful post, I would be watching this space for more movie adaptation from novels. I love the Piano Tuner! I can’t wait to see the movie. Suite Française is another one I have on my shelf and need to read it soon. Thanks again.

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