The following is a list of upcoming movies based on books. Their productions are at various stages of completion. Some are already screening at Film Festivals. I hope that they will be released to a larger audience. Some titles have just been announced, or the director, screenwriter, and / or cast just been named. I’ve selected the ones I’m interested in and want to see.
A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The fantasy/science fiction classic by Madeleine L’Engle is not for children only. This 1963 Newbery Medal-winning YA fiction is a wonderful concoction of space adventure toying with interesting concepts such as “tesseract”, a fifth dimension traveling log mixed well with faith and love. And the movie adaptation? Disney’s got the rights for some time now. Latest news is Selma director Ava du Vernay will direct. The screenplay will be written by Oscar-winning Frozen writer and co-director Jennifer Lee.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The 2005 memoir by Jeanette Walls, more than seven years on the NYT Bestsellers List (according to Barnes and Noble) has also been on the back (or front) of filmmakers’ mind, with Jennifer Lawrence linked to the possible production. But now, we have a fresher Oscar winner replacing J. Law to star in this extraordinary memoir: Brie Larson. The 2016 Oscar Best Actress of Room will do justice to J. Walls’ unique story of growing up a nomad in America. Larson will re-unite with her Short Term 12 director Destin Cretton. Woody Harrelson also stars, so he must be the dreamer Dad of Walls’. It has been a long decade since the book came out. Let’s hope this adaptation would become a reality.
Love and Friendship by Jane Austen
This is the first time Jane Austen’s epistolary novella Lady Susan is adapted to the big screen. Published posthumously, the work had long been thought as ‘unfinished’, maybe due to its hasty ending. Would that pose a challenge to director Whit Stillman? Apparently not. The film premiered at Sundance FF this January to high acclaims. Kate Beckinsale is young widow Lady Susan Vernon (later Martin). Austen’s Emma Woodhouse is nowhere near Lady Susan on the scale of being despicable, if you ask me. Her manipulation isn’t limited to others but for her own ends in securing a husband and one for her daughter, might as well. The film is described as ‘supremely elegant’ by Variety. Now that’s a definite appeal as we’re all suffering from Downton withdrawal.
Certain Women by Maile Meloy
Thanks to the film Certain Women, now I’m aware of the writer Maile Meloy. Ripples from a fine movie production often lead me to the source material. Based on the short stories of Meloy’s, the adaptation tells the story of three women and boasts a high calibre cast with Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams, and Laura Dern. It is helmed by Kelly Reichardt who had directed Michelle Williams in Wendy and Lucy (2008) to critical acclaims. This leads me to a keen interest in exploring Meloy’s works, which had garnered multiple literary awards including the PEN/Malamud Award, the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, shortlisted for the Orange Prize and included in the New York Times Notable Books. The film adaptation drew my attention in that it’s not based on one book but multiple short stories. It premiered at Sundance this January to critical acclaims.
The Dinner by Herman Koch
The book is Dutch writer Herman Koch’s sixth novel. It has sold over a million copies and translated into twenty-one languages.The setting takes place in an upscale restaurant with the story just over the course of a fancy dinner. But what is revealed by the conversations between two brothers and their wives could send chills down one’s spine and we soon find the background story and hidden thoughts unappetizing. The veneer of social grace can only last through the appetizer as we are led to the raw revealing by the main course and lashing out by dessert. Koch’s novel had been adapted into films in the past few years, first a Dutch and later an Italian production screened at TIFF. I’m glad to see the cast for the English adaptation, recently announced, is quite an appetizing mix with Richard Gere, Rebecca Hall, Steve Coogan, and Laura Linney.
The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
Movie stars are crossing the once thought to be a great divide, from the big screen to TV. In recent years, the line has been porous. Many have moved into TV productions to even more success, Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Kate Winslet, James Spader, Matthew McConaughey, Kirsten Dunst; now Scarlett Johansson is diving in. Edith Wharton’s classic The Custom of the Country had inspire Julian Fellowes to write his successful screenplays. It has been announced that Wharton’s 1913 novel is to be turned into an 8-episode TV mini series, with Johansson in the staring role as the spoiled, flirting and ruthless Undine Spragg. Looks like it’s going to be one compatible match.
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This reminds me that I would like to read The Dinner. I’ve not heard of the other books though, only the Austen, vaguely.
The Glass Castle was a huge sensation, near seven years on the NYT Bestsellers list. It’s a totally American book, but very interesting and a breezy read. You might want to check it out.
It will be interesting to see how they interpret “A Wrinkle in Time”. I really enjoyed that book as a child. It will be tough!
I can see Disney’s going to use high-tech stuff to create this one. But it will be a totally different entity from the book I predict. Good that the book can be introduced to a new generation of hopefully not just viewers, but readers. 😉
I laughed and laughed at your last comment regarding casting for “The Custom of the Country.” That one intrigues me. I like Wharton, but I don’t know the book. That may be one I put at the top of the list. And of course, I’m hoping that “A Wrinkle in Time” is as wonderful as the book.
Nothing personal of course, but just my impression of SJ’s projected image from her previous films. I highly recommend The Dinner. You’ll find it a very unique book.
Ooh, I like the casting for The Dinner. Looking forward to that one!
Yes, Cathy, I’m excited about that cast and looking forward to the film adaptation.
I am thrilled about the Edith Wharton. Undine Spragg is one of my favourite favourite character names. Hard to imagine Johansson in it – but I do like her so will be very interested to see how she goes.
As for the strangely named Love and friendship (strange because, as you probably know, there’s another piece of Austen juvenilia titled just that – albeit spelt “freindship”), my JA group here already has it marked down for a group trip. I understand the trailers are out, though I haven’t seen any yet.
I bought The Custom of the Country at the bookshop in The Mount, as a souvenir. I admit I didn’t like the character Undine Spragg at all when I read it. BTW, the TV mini-series will be on HBO. So I won’t have a chance to view it since I’m not a subscriber. As for Love and Friendship, yes, an interesting title to take up. Don’t understand why either. I’m sure your JA group will have a great time at the cinema. I’ve read that the film is totally hilarious.
Oh no, Arti, I don’t think we are me at to like Undine Spragg are we, not like we like Lily Bart. That doesn’t stop us from liking the book though or understanding something about why she is the way she is, does it?
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Well that is interesting casting for the Wharton!
I’ve been meaning to read The Glass Castle — thanks for the reminder 😉 Definitely looking forward to seeing A Wrinkle In Time. I’d just gotten library audiobooks of the trilogy a while ago to listen to again.
Ugh! I don’t miss my HBO much except for John Oliver — but now that I’ve been to the Mount (well, in a manner of speaking — more of that later) I’m especially eager to see it. Wharton is on my reading list. And The Dinner. A Wrinkle in Time should be interesting to see how it plays! Lots to look forward to!
I’m looking forward to all of these. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve not heard of these thank you.
I watched the Woman in the Van recently and Mad Max! and a couple of French war related films that I can’t remember the titles to, I like to test out my French language learning with films.
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