Book Adaptation

The 1964 film version of Bonnie and Clyde is widely considered a modern classic and one of the jumping off points for the new Hollywood of the 60s and 70s. Do we really need another Bonnie and Clyde movie then, since we already had one that did things so well? Of course we do, we need a new version of everything. And this one might not actually be so bad, because instead of being a similarly romantic take on the story of the lovebird outlaws, this new proposed project is going to be based on a more real life take on the duo.

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I’ve read some excerpts from Max Brooks’ famous The Zombie Survival Guide, which is an informational text designed to help its reader survive a zombie apocalypse, but until now I never knew that there was also a guide that lets you know how to defeat your clone when he inevitably rises up and decides to overthrow you. Thankfully, Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson’s book “How to Defeat Your Own Clone” is just that. Knowing how to survive zombies is nice, just in case; but knowing how to defeat your own clone is going to be essential. Cloning technology is developing at a fast clip, and I’m certain that any clone of mine would be a real asshole. Thankfully, Kurpinski and Johnson are no longer alone in their efforts, as Dimension Films has joined them in educating the public. Dimension has acquired the rights to the book and they’ve set Ed Ricourt to the task of adapting it into a screenplay. How do you turn a how-to manual into a narrative story? I’m not sure, but hopefully Ricourt knows. For what it’s worth, here’s how Dimension has described their vision for the film via press release…

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Director of the upcoming film One Shot, Christopher McQuarrie, is a name that’s been around Hollywood for quite a while, though he’s not yet household. Primarily he has worked as a screenwriter on things like The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie, but he also directed the 2000 film The Way of the Gun. This new project he’s working on will be an adaptation of a pretty popular novel by Lee Child of the same name. Child’s official website describes the book by saying, “There’s deadly trouble in the corn country of Nebraska … and Jack Reacher walks right into it. First he falls foul of a local clan that has terrified an entire county into submission. But it’s the unsolved case of a missing child, already decades-old, that Reacher can’t let go.” While it’s not known who might play the role of Reacher, Deadline Brookfield is reporting that Tom Cruise is in negotiations to play a small role as the Reacher character’s driver. Okay, no, that was a lie. Cruise is in negotiations for the starring role. Duh. I haven’t read these books myself, but word on the street is that a lot of fans of the Jack Reacher character are probably going to be up in arms about the possible Cruise casting, because Reacher is known for his gigantic size. Dude is like 6’5” and 250 lbs. It doesn’t really make much sense that they’d cast the world’s most handsome midget in the role. Despite the physical disparity, however, Child […]

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Move over Snow White: there’s another literary character on the block looking to get a million film projects made about his trials and tribulations, and his name is Victor Frankenstein. It was just earlier today when we reported (with a surprisingly similar headline) on an adaptation of a Frankenstein-themed novel being put together by Sam Raimi, and now there’s more news about another being made by Summit Entertainment. This Dark Endeavor will be an adaptation of a Kenneth Oppel novel that is fully titled “This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein.” While Raimi’s project explores the friendship between Frankenstein and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Summit’s story is about Frankenstein trying to save the life of his twin brother. In order to do so he must find an old alchemist, hang out with his brother’s main squeeze, and go on a dangerous journey to find the components for the Elixir of Life. There promises to be action, adventure, and a love triangle. Not bad for a book about a doctor. The best news about this project is that Let Me In director Matt Reeves has signed on to direct. When I first heard that Hollywood was remaking Let the Right One In, I spent about ten minutes puking in a trashcan, but Reeves actually did a really good job with it. I went into that film feeling a strong bias against its very existence and came out thinking that it had matched the original in many ways and even surpassed it […]

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Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White; they’re all fairy tale characters that have recently been mined for darker, more adult re-tellings on the big screen. If Hollywood is good at anything, it’s taking a trend and running with it, so it’s no big surprise that Sony is now looking to do a bleak retelling of The Little Mermaid, especially since Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides recently opened and had a big scene full of angry, killer mermaids. I give it two weeks before we’re reporting on a remake of Splash. “The Little Mermaid” started off as a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, got a very high profile Disney animated adaptation, and eventually inspired Carolyn Turgeon’s book “Mermaid: A Twist on the Classic Tale.” It’s this book that Sony has optioned to turn into a feature. Unlike Disney’s take on the character, this time the story is told not from the perspective of the mermaid, but of a desperate young princess. She needs to marry a prince in order to create a political bond with a rival Kingdom, or her home is pretty much going to be in shambles. So, she makes a long journey to his kingdom in order to try and get the marriage together. Unfortunately, when she gets there she finds out that the prince has already fallen in love with a beautiful young mermaid who has sacrificed her fishy ways in order to spend her life with them. That bitch. The book will be […]

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Not too long ago it was announced that Sony had purchased the rights to author Ben Mezrich’s upcoming novel “Sex on the Moon.” Mezrich is the guy who wrote “The Accidental Billionaires,” which The Social Network was largely adapted from, so it made sense that studios would be circling like vultures to get their talons into more of his work. Sex on the Moon sounds like it might have quite a bit in common with The Social Network in that it, “tracks the wild escapades of 25-year-old NASA intern Thad Roberts, who in an effort to impress a girl, orchestrated a plan to steal lunar rocks from the Johnson Space Center and sell them on the Internet.” Young guy, hatches a crazy scheme that gets him in over his head, all to impress a girl? Yeah, there’s some shared DNA there. Of course, whether or not this film can come close to matching the success of Fincher’s is going to depend largely on the talent tapped to bring it to the screen. And the first piece of that puzzle looks to be nearly in place. Will Gluck, the director of both last year’s Easy A and also the upcoming Friends With Benefits is reportedly close to signing on to helm the project. Easy A is a movie that came and went without getting a lot of attention while it was in theaters, but it has since been building a groundswell of support from people who say that it is fun […]

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Chances are you’ve heard of The Thin Man already. First it was one of the most famous detective novels written by one of the most famous detective novel writers, and then it was a famous big screen adaptation from the 30s, back when film noir was all the rage. The novel, written by Dashiell Hammett, introduced the world to the characters of Nick and Nora Charles, a married couple who specialize in detective work. Or at least Nick does. Nora specializes more in providing banter. The film version spawned an entire series of sequels that went on to develop the Charles’ characters beyond what Hammett wrote in his original tale. Well now, in keeping with modern Hollywood’s modus operandi, The Thin Man is going to be remade. We wouldn’t want a possible franchise resurrection to sit on the shelf for too long. Johnny Depp will be playing the new version of Nick Charles as well as having a hand in producing the film. The first rumblings of this project becoming a possibility came last October, but now some concrete news is starting to surface. Reportedly Rob Marshall is close to agreeing to direct the film, and Jerry Stahl has agreed to write up a new script. Stahl is an author most famous for his memoirs about heroin abuse “Permanent Midnight”, but he also has a multitude of screen writing credits to his name, including episodes of a bunch of the biggest TV shows of the 80s and a little independent […]

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Back during the early days of Hollywood the studios existed as movie making factories. In charge of the operation were the studio heads who oversaw everything from production, to distribution, to running the theaters. In modern times the big studios are small aspects of corporate conglomerates and the decisions made for them are probably coming from an ancient computer spitting out ticker tape in a dark room somewhere, or an ape who knows sign language, or who knows what. With all of the acquisitions and mergers and whatnot going on every day nobody has had a chance to look into it. Under these conditions, it’s not that surprising that the best mainstream Hollywood can do when it comes to developing new projects is to take something that already exists in the world and tack “The Movie” on to the end of its name. And so we find ourselves looking towards an adaptation of a wildly popular Stephen King novel that has already been adapted into both a comic book series and multiple TV miniseries over the past few decades. This project got started when one huge corporation acquired the rights to the material and then it auctioned off the rights to distribute the material to some other huge corporation, who was probably doing it under the name of some smaller sub corporation, etc… until it was finally decided that enough faceless Incs and LLCs had put their names on legal papers and “The Stand” was officially going to become a […]

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It turns out that Due Date might be a test run for heading out into the wilderness with the threat of death (and an annoying asshole with a lap dog) around every corner. It will be great preparation for Robert Downey Jr who’ll be producing an adaptation of the book “Emergency! This Book Will Save Your Life,” and might end up taking the lead role. The book is the work of Neil Strauss (the same guy behind pick-up artist tome “The Game”), and it tells the story of a man who faces the same world we face today and decides the only real response to all the economic disaster, terrorism, and cultural upheaval is to become completely self-sufficient. It’s written in the same style as “The Game,” where Strauss does long-term investigative journalism in order to get himself ready for the worst. Based solely on the paranoia needed and the antics that might ensue, it sounds like a decent role for Downey Jr. Hopefully, Zach Galifianakis can cameo as a bearded lunatic.

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cultwarrior-nakedlunch

With this weekend’s release of Angels & Demons, Culture Warrior looks at what types of books make good movies and why.

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Sick Puppy: Carl Hiaasen

Film adaptations of book seem to be pretty popular these days. Here’s one that I would like to see.

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Moby Dick to be adapted by Wanted director

‘Tis true, the man who brought us the bullet-bending visual brilliance that was Wanted will now begin work at Universal Pictures on a reimagining (Hollywood’s favorite new term) of Herman Mellville’s whale tale Moby Dick.

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Jason Reitman Up in the Air

It appears that we now know what mysterious book will be the source material for Juno director Jason Reitman’s next film: Walter Kirn’s “Up in the Air”.

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Jason Reitman

I wish I had one more rhyme for the title of this post to mirror the genius that looms on horizon for Jason Reitman fans. The Juno director told MTV Movies Blog that he’ll be writing a new film to helm at the end of the year – after his duties on Jennifer’s Body.

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The film adaptation of The Kite Runner brings the popular best seller to life with beautiful intensity. Like the novel, this film is haunting, vivid and upsetting.

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