Books to Movie Adaptations Updates

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 Book CoverEast 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 BeautyAn 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 WoodsA 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 RuinsBeautiful 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 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.)

Hundred Foot JourneyThe Hundred-foot JourneyAnother 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 GiverThe 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 PrinceThe Little PrinceLots 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).

Secret ScriptureThe 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:

2014 Book To Movie Adaptations

Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations

Great Movies Expectations

Related Posts:

My book review of The Dinner posted on Goodreads

Book Review of The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais

Do We Need Another Rebecca Remake? Another Grapes of Wrath?


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

21 thoughts on “Books to Movie Adaptations Updates”

    1. Stefanie,

      There was a movie of The Little Prince, a musical in fact, way back in 1974. I still have the VHS tape of it somewhere in the basement. Actually, it was the movie that led me to the book. Impressed by all the great lines. Love the songs and the kid who played the Little Prince. This new version is animation, driven by the famous voices behind the scenes.


  1. I love the older versions of East of Eden and The Little Prince so probably won’t be watching the newbies. Gene Wilder as the Fox, Bob Fosse as the Snake, and desert scenes filmed in Tunisia for the 1974 Little Prince adaptation. How can it get any better! Might check on some of the others though. Thanks for posting this. I didn’t know about them.


    1. Terri,

      Yes, for me too, that 1974 musical was an impressive and worthy adaptation, as I was saying to Stefanie above. I love the songs, and the child actor who plays the Little Prince is ethereal, exactly, out of this world. Gene Wilder as the Fox is perfect. It was this movie that led me to the book. Some of the lines in there (of course, they come from the book) will remain in my heart for life. “It is with the heart that one can see clearly. What’s essential is invisible to the eye.”


  2. Milton told me that Jennifer Lawrence was the #1 star at the box office and Sandra Bullock is #2 in 2013, the first time women have been #1 and #2 since 1932 — if I recall his factoid correctly. It doesn’t surprise me that J-Law would be cast in a new adaptation of East of Eden. Hollywood sniffs big bucks. I’m much moire inclined to see Eden than the Hunger Games.


    1. LA,

      Exactly, that’s what I meant by ‘business decision’ in my reply to Ti above. Same with Meryle Streep, she’s everywhere, as mentioned in my post, in The Giver too. It’s all about the drawing power, the bottom line. I admit, I’m not a fantasy/sci-fi fan, so, haven’t seen any Hunger Games. But for East of Eden, I just might go see. The key decision in that film will be of course: who will replace James Dean as Cal. O man, I hope not Bradley Cooper.


  3. You are so good at these compilations! And lots of movies here that sound intriguing. I loved the book of Beautiful Ruins, though it messes with chronology in a way that’s fascinating in narrative but won’t translate at all onto the screen – will be interesting to see how they work their way around that one.


    1. Litlove,

      It’s on my TBR file. Lining up for it at the library. Non-linear storytelling is no problem for the visual medium, actually it may work even better on the screen, for we can see the difference in time and place. But of course, we hope the director is good in the craft and I trust the story is good?


  4. I’m so looking forward to The Giver- I read that for the first time last year and just loved it. I’m not so sure that I think A Walk in the Woods will make a good movie- I loved the book of course, I just don’t want it ending up something awful and slapstick like National Lampoon’s Vacation or something like that.


    1. Louise,

      I’ve yet to read The Giver. But you see this is just another example how a movie can be the best promoter of a book. I just might pick it up before it screens. A Walk In the Woods, with Robert Redford involved, I don’t think it would be a slapstick, albeit the book has some irreverent scenes that they just might include to make it more appealing. 😉


  5. I do enjoy true crime stories, so “The Dinner” is on my list. And I think at the very least I’ll re-read “East of Eden”. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve read any Steinbeck, and it seems time.

    Another one is “The Little Prince”. I wouldn’t go to see the film, but I’ve never read the book, and really ought to. On the other hand, most people I know never have heard of Munro Leaf, one of my childhood favorites, so there you are. There’s really quite a generational gap in children’s lit experience. I never knew about the Grinch who stole Christmas until he showed up on television.


    1. Linda,

      This ‘crime story’ isn’t your typical ‘crime story’. If you have time, I highly recommend this book, The Dinner. It’s a short novel which shouldn’t take a lot of your time. Here’s my review of it on Goodreads. As for the new adaptation of The Little Prince, it’s going to be an animation. I doubt if I’d go see it but the book I feel is a must-read for all earthlings. 😉


  6. What an impressive list! I’ll look forward to seeing many of these. By the way, did Railway Man ever get into full release? Hasn’t shown up here and the only place I’ve heard about it is from you!


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