Book Adaptations

You know what Dune, Starship Troopers, and Harry Potter have in common? They were all books that became games before they were movies. It happens more often than we realize, and it happens almost exclusively to sci-fi and fantasy. That’s why Neil Strauss’ undercover pick-up artist memoir “The Game” just might be the first of it’s kind. Not long ago, fearless board game designer Adam Kornblum presented the best-selling author with a prototype for a party game based off of his book, the end result being “Who’s Got Game.” As something originally designed as a tool to meet other people, the game tied perfectly into the book’s original themes. And while it’s not unusual for a self-help book to transfer over into the board game genre, what’s odd is that since this book is also soon to become a film starring James Franco – it just might be the first self-help book to become a game before a film.

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There’s good news in the film world. Sanity seems to have prevailed over madness at Universal and a proposed movie about a formerly popular children’s activity book called “Where’s Waldo?” is no longer on their schedule. It seems they just couldn’t find the right approach to getting it together. But don’t start celebrating yet, there’s also bad news. The only reason that proposed adaptation of “Where’s Waldo?” isn’t going to happen is because MGM has now acquired the rights to make the movie instead. Yes, there are multiple studio heads out there that think making Where’s Waldo? is a good idea.

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Cameron Crowe is a heartstring-tugging force to be reckoned with. Even with a few low points, he still emerges as one of the best writer/directors of our time, creating sentimental stories that push us into an emotional space whether it’s because a band is singing Elton John or because a sports agent has a girl at “hello.” His next film, as if no one knew, is the adaptation We Bought a Zoo, which features Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church, Elle Fanning and Patrick Fugit. The trailer is a soft focus blend of tears and triumph, and you can check it out for yourself:

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Now that MGM has enough money to keep the coffeemaker on, they’re investing in some interesting properties. The latest on that list is an adaptation of “The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists” which will, sadly, not be a sequel to David Fincher’s The Game. The falsely controversial book by Neil Strauss infiltrated a collective of bros who work constantly to perfect the art of treating women badly in bars so they’ll go home and get naked with them in a hot tub. The book garnered critical acclaim and spun Strauss’s teacher Mystery into a reality television star as the host and guru of his own show. No word yet on how much product placement Axe body spay will buy, but The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that MGM has already tapped Brian Koppelman and David Levien to rewrite the current script and direct. The team who wrote Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen, and The Girlfriend Experience directed their first second feature in 2009 with Solitary Man starring Michael Douglas. Who also starred in The Game. Are we sure this isn’t a sequel?

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It’s been a while since the 90s started being officially mined for ideas, and yet for some reason, the book series from R.L. Stine that was required reading for anyone growing up in the decade hasn’t made it to the big screen until now. However, the news that Disturbia co-writer Carl Ellsworth has been hired to take a stab at the adaptation doesn’t prove it’s any closer to being a done deal, either. The book series was already put down on screenwriting paper by writing team Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander (The People vs Larry Flynt, 1408). This would be a completely fresh script and a renewed commitment by producer Neal Moritz to see the book series brought to life.

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Twilight Cast

Our resident intellectual Cole Abaius recently volunteered to take on the reading of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” a book (and soon to be film) that is causing quite a stir on the internet. He offers up his thoughts, plus ten tips for guys who are interested in taking the plunge into “Twilight” as well.

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javierbardemeatpraylove

Javier Bardem is toning down his characters’ bowl cuts and desperate need for threesomes for what sounds like How Stella Got Her Groove Back: White Girl Edition.

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austen-zombies

Now this is my kind of literary classic. One that involves zombies.

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He

The forthcoming He’s Just Not That Into You boasts a strong, varied cast and finally answers the burning, itching, slightly rashy question of how to turn a How To book into a movie.

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Michael Cera and Steve Buscemi

The prospect of Michael Cera playing a gawky, sex-crazed fourteen year old who destroys a family vacation all in the name of trading in his V-Card and tasting that sweet, sweet nectar of maturity for the first time either sounds too perfect or too obvious.

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