Here are some updates that look promising, books that are in various stages of development into movies. For yourself or your book group, should make a good reading list:
East of Eden — This just came out two days ago, Hunger Games director Gary Ross will write the screenplay of this new adaptation of John Steinbeck’s classic, with Jennifer Lawrence to star. For J. Law fans, this is good news. But for devotees of the original 1955 movie adaptation directed by the legendary Elia Kazan with the debut breakout role for James Dean, this modern version definitely is uncalled for, a rebel without a cause.
An Object of Beauty — The movie version of Steve Martin’s novel about the NYC art gallery scene is now a project of Amy Adams’, with Ned Benson writing the screenplay. I have high expectation of this one, having seen Benson’s wonderful works The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her last year at TIFF. The cast has not been announced but Amy Adams will be the producer and actor in her new project.
A Walk In The Woods — from the vast open sea in All Is Lost to the Appalachian Trail, Robert Redford will appear in this adaptation of the 1998 personal memoir by Bill Bryson, a walk on the Appalachian Trail to ‘rediscover America.’ Nick Nolte is also reported to be in the cast. Screenplay by Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games), directed by Ken Kwapis (The Office). The movie is scheduled to come out in 2015. Enough time to read or reread, or even walk the Trail yourself. Who knows, you might see the film crew while there.
Beautiful Ruins — Author Jess Walter of this popular novel will co-write the screenplay with writer/director Todd Field. I’ve seen Field’s Oscar nominated adaptation of Little Children (2006 with Kate Winslet nom. for Best Actress), a haunting film. I trust his talents with Beautiful Ruins. Considering the Italian coastal setting of the book, the movie would likely offer some beautiful cinematography. Imogen Poots is on board, so far.
The Dinner — Dutch author Herman Koch’s novel is like a dynamite. I’m half way through the lighted fuse as I type this post, so it’s not full-blown yet, but I’m totally engrossed in this book based on a real-life crime. The dinner menu in an elegant restaurant ingeniously parallels the plot development. I missed it at TIFF last year. And since, I’m not aware that it has made its presence on the big screens here in North America. But hopefully this year we will have the chance to see it. Even if it doesn’t show in your city, read the book still. (Update: to read my book review on Goodreads CLICK HERE.)
The Hundred-foot Journey — Another culinary movie. This one is much lighter than the above, based on Richard C. Morais’s novel. Story is about a family from India moves to France, opening an Indian restaurant across from a Michelin-starred fine French restaurant. Cultural clashes, the reverse of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The book is quite entertaining, the movie comes with some big names. Producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, Helen Mirren to star, and directed by the prolific Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, 2000; The Shipping News, 2001; Salmon Fishing In the Yemen, 2011)
The Giver – The highly popular young adult book by Lois Lowry finally gets a movie appearance, over twenty years after its publication in 1993. Utopia turned bad, ideals and reality. With so many movies on a dystopia, will this still look fresh? Cast include Jeff Bridges as The Giver, and look here, Meryle Streep, Taylor Swift, Alexander Skarsgard, Philip Noyce directs. One of Noyce’s previous works is the adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel The Quiet American (2002). Many may have read this title in school. Time to reread.
The Little Prince — Lots of talents are behind this newest animation based on the beloved story by French author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Those lending a voice include: Rachel McAdams, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Jeff Bridges, Paul Giamatti. While I love the earlier musical version (1974, with Gene Wilder as The Fox), I welcome a new adaptation, for I know this will bring the book to the limelight for a new generation. Making a movie nowadays looks to be the most effective way to introduce literature to a younger generation (or whatever generations).
The Secret Scripture — By the Booker Prize short-listed Irish author Sebastian Barry. The novel is an internal dialogue of a close to 100 years-old patient in a mental hospital, Roseanne McNulty, reminiscing her younger days. The older character will be played by the brilliant Vanessa Redgrave, her younger self by the talented Jessica Chastain. I last see them together in a film was in Ralph Fiennes’s directorial debut, the modern version of Shakespear’s Coriolanus. Don’t think these two ladies will appear in the same scene in The Secret Scripture since they are of different time periods, but good to know that the roles are being played by two wonderful actors.
Previous Books to Movies Lists: