Book to Film Adaptations

Once upon a time, Michael Gates Gill’s memoir, “How Starbucks Saved My Life,” was optioned by Universal to become a film that would be directed by Gus Van Sant and would star Tom Hanks. Chances are, that would have been awesome. It didn’t end up happening though, so get it out of your head now. It’s done. That’s the bad news. The good news is that Deadline has gotten word that The Weinstein Company has just swooped in and gobbled up the rights to the book, which will likely give it a second shot at becoming a film. For those of you not familiar with Gill’s story, you’re probably wondering how exactly Starbucks (yes, we’re talking about the coffee chain here) could have saved someone’s life. It certainly wasn’t through the quality of their over-roasted beans—am I right, hipsters? Ahem. Anyway, “How Starbucks Saved My Life” makes more sense if you hear its full title, “How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.” It’s Gill’s account of how falling on hard times and actually having to get a job and work for a living gave him a new perspective and generally saved him from a life of behaving like an entitled goon. Suddenly he has to answer to someone who is younger than him, has darker skin, and is equipped with lady parts, he has to actually do manual labor in order to receive a paycheck, and once he gets said check he […]

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The world was shocked when, after directing the biggest financial success of his career with The Hunger Games, Gary Ross decided to pass on making the sequel, Catching Fire. Does he hate money? No, it turns out he just hated the too-tight schedule the film has to work under due to its star Jennifer Lawrence’s other commitments. But, do you know who has no such qualms with churning out a Hunger Games sequel on a truncated timeline? I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence. It wasn’t long after Ross dropped out that he stepped in. Only time will tell if Ross was right and Lawrence is stepping into a poisonous situation with Catching Fire; once the second film comes out, we’ll just compare who did the better work. But news that broke today hints at the possibility that Ross and Lawrence might soon be competing for our hearts and minds with more than just their individual takes on Hunger Games material; they might soon be earning comparisons to one another because of dueling Houdini biopics as well.

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With their recent blockbuster smash, The Hunger Games, Lionsgate has gone from being a lesser studio, funding niche genre pictures and picking up the scraps that other studios throw away for distribution deals, to having the capital and cache to move up in the movie-making world. And you better believe that they’re feeling pretty grateful to The Hunger Games’ star, Jennifer Lawrence, for their new-found success. So, it should come as no surprise that the studio is trying to do everything they can to prop Lawrence up as an even bigger star and milk all of the money out of her fame that they can. To that end they’ve optioned a book for a film adaptation, with the intentions of developing it as Lawrence’s next starring vehicle. According to Deadline Lindytown, Lionsgate now has the rights to The Glass Castle: A Memoir, which is the autobiography of gossip columnist and regular MSNBC.com contributor Jeanette Walls.

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Steve Martin‘s talents extend far beyond just stand-up comedy, acting, sombrero-wearing, and banjo-playing, as the multi-hyphenate has also dabbled in the writing world, including a swim with fiction with three novels (fine, “Shopgirl” was a novella). That first novel(la) was turned into a film back in 2005, and now Martin’s latest work of grown-up fiction will join it on the big screen. An Object of Beauty will be based on Martin’s 2010 novel of the same name, and the project is now getting outfitted with not only three producers, but an Oscar-nominated star. Amy Adams will lead the film as central character Lacey Yeager, as well as producing it alongside Maven Pictures producers Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray. There’s no word yet on the rest of the film’s cast and crew, including whether or not Martin will adapt his own book for the big screen (as he did with Shopgirl). Adams’ producer duties prove that she’s got more than just a passing interest in the role – which is of particular note, as the complicated character of Lacey is quite distant from the sunny, smiling image that Adams has cultivated over the past few years (The Fighter notwithstanding). Martin’s book focuses squarely on Lacey, a go-getter in the New York art world who starts off as a plucky intern at Sotheby’s, before some questionable choices (both in terms of career advancement and actual legality) force her to reinvent herself as a gallery owner. Told through the narrative voice of a male […]

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