Novel Adaptation

A sweet couple! A Russian traitor! A defection! John Le Carre is a fairly hot writer right now. After one of his novels was adapted every few years, the rate is growing exponentially since Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. There’s also A Most Wanted Man in the works, and now Our Kind Of Traitor. The script comes from Drive screenwriter Hoss Amini, and according to THR, Justin Kurzel has been hired to direct. Independent filmmakers have keyed into the fact that we as an audience are definitely into dark, interesting, complex material. Thus, it makes sense that the spymaster Le Carre is en vogue. The other trend at work here? Australians are invading. If we’re not careful, we’ll all be watching crime dramas and eating Vegemite. Nothing to complain about, really. Now what other Le Carre work should see the big screen?

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It might have taken a TV show to get everyone to pay attention to what an amazing actor Bryan Cranston is, but ever since Breaking Bad became a sensation, Cranston has taken up the ball of new acclaim he was handed and sprinted with it. It seems like every week we’re reporting on a new film project that the man is being attached to as an actor. Just look at his upcoming slate of releases and it’s filled with nothing but high profile goodness. He’s got parts in Total Recall, John Carter, World War Z, Contagion, Drive, and probably a handful of other things that I’m missing. So what’s a guy to do once he’s hit the tippy top of the acting mountain? The common course of action seems to be to tip your toe into directing, so that’s where Cranston is going. In an interview with Hollywood.com, Cranston reveals that he himself has penned an adaptation of the David Wiltse novel “Home Again,” which he plans on directing himself. I guess he will somehow fit this in between his bajillion acting commitments. This won’t quite be Cranston’s first shot at directing something, he’s done episodes of his TV shows Breaking Bad and Malcolm in the Middle before, and he even wrote and directed his own feature called Last Chance back in ’99; but this will be the first time he makes something of his own after achieving a high level of fame. All eyes are going to be on […]

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Coming off of one Western that adds in some seriously fictional elements into the Old West, Harrison Ford is set to play Wyatt Earp in a Western set in 1920s New York City. There’s something truly genius about that, and it continues a new trend in Hollywood where genres are blended and classic icons are thrown into other notable environments. Call it the Gallery 1988 Effect. That mash-up effect is being used for Black Hats, an adaptation of the Max Collins historical fiction novel which sees an aging Wyatt Earp working as a detective in Los Angeles who heads to New York City to help out Doc Holliday’s son get out of some messy business with Al Capone. This just sounds cool as hell. Especially considering that it was a fictional biography of Earp written by Stuart Lake that made him famous in the first place, he’s this great icon that stands with one foot in reality and one foot in fantasy to begin with. Taking him to a hard-boiled New York City is a great idea, and Harrison Ford bringing him to life is an even better one. [THR]

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Al Pacino seems like he took a couple years off from acting. Ever since 2008’s Righteous Kill we haven’t seen much from the legendary actor. But now news of his next career moves have suddenly started trickling in pretty steadily. Last week it was revealed that he’s negotiating to make a movie about an aging rocker with Dan Fogelman, and we already know he’s set to be in Barry Levinson’s eventual Gotti movie; but new word is that before the troubled but headline grabbing Gotti pic gets off the ground Levinson and Pacino are going to work together on something else first. Levinson is set to adapt the Philip Roth novel “The Humbling” from a screenplay written by Buck Henry, Michal Zebede, and Levinson himself. Pacino would star as the book’s protagonist, Simon Axler. The inside cover of the novel describes the story like so: “Everything is over for Simon Axler, the protagonist of Philip Roth’s startling new book. One of the leading American stage actors of his generation, now in his sixties, he has lost his magic, his talent, and his assurance. … Into this shattering account of inexplicable and terrifying self-evacuation bursts a counter-plot of unusual erotic desire, a consolation for a bereft life so risky and aberrant that it points not toward comfort and gratification but to a yet darker and more shocking end. In this long day’s journey into night, told with Roth’s inimitable urgency, bravura, and gravity, all the ways that we convince ourselves of […]

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David Fincher gets obsessed about things, and he’s clearly never read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” because panicking seems to be something he can’t take his mind off of. The most recent incarnation of this passion comes in optioning Jason Starr’s thriller novel “Panic Attack” for a possible forthcoming project under his Panic Pictures banner. According to Vulture, Fincher has already hired Ted Griffin (Ocean’s Eleven, Matchstick Men) to write the adaptation. This will mark a move even further away from his Benjamin Button phase and back toward the earlier point in his career where people threatening to kill other people was the main focus. In other words, Fincher is looking to give audiences a reason to panic again. Plus, this will be a departure of sorts for Griffin who has written rom-com fare like Killers and Rumor Has It… in recent years. The story focuses on a psychologist named Adam Bloom who shoots a burglar who’s broken into his home. Instead of praise for protecting his wife and child, Bloom is made into a monster by the media because he just so happened to empty an entire clip into the would-be thief. To complicate the emotional, public hell – the burglar’s partner has a mind for revenge. It sounds perfect and perfectly Fincher-esque. If Kevin Spacey gets involved, chills will already start climbing up the back of my spine.

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Let’s say you’re a greasy-haired young man of the 1930s, on the cusp of completing your Ivy League studies in veterinary medicine (which is apparently animal doctoring and not war fighter doctoring), when tragedy strikes. Your whole life is stolen away. Your first instinct is to hop on the first train out of town, right? Of course it is. That’s exactly what happens to young Jacob (Robert Pattinson) in Water For Elephants. He loses his parents (the only family he has) and jumps aboard a train in the dark of night only to find out he’s accidentally joined the circus. He proves his worth enough to stay by impressing the iron-fisted ring master August (Christoph Waltz), but he ends up impressing August’s wife, Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), a bit too much, and the elephant pile gets higher just in time for the company to buy an elephant meant to save all of them.

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Today is Chuck Palahniuk‘s 49th birthday, which means that the writer and member of the Lost Generation gets to blow out some candle, eat some cake, and mail a few plastic lobsters to people. It also means that we get to take a look at the novels he’s written that still need to be made into movies. For those that don’t read our site on the weekends at all (because kites don’t fly themselves), we normally run this column every Saturday, but seeing how it’s a special occasion and seeing as how we don’t care much for rules, we figured it was a great time to comb through the Fight Club and Choke author’s stuff to celebrate it a bit. To that end, here are 9 Chuck Palahniuk books that are ripe for the movie picking.

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Trained assassin Columbus deals with a beautiful Italian woman, his usual case load of targets and the new sensation of having a price put on his head by a powerful unknown source who wants him dead.

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