It seems the coming new year will have Hollywood looking to the book world for inspiration in the film industry. We’ve already seen a fair amount of that this year, what with Enders Game, The Great Gatsby, Catching Fire, and World War Z all hitting the big screen in 2013. Not surprisingly, all were books that sold rather well this year — whether they sold well because of the films, or the films were made because the books had been selling well. The coming year has a number of book adaptions hitting theaters, so book lovers, get pumped — here are just 10.
1. The Giver
Adapted from Lois Lowry’s well-loved novel, The Giver is a classic dystopic tale of a seemingly perfect future society that has a dark side. Lowry spoke with Good Reads about the possibility of a movie in 2012, but said that the pace and content of the book had made a film adaption difficult.
“It seems to me that they all seem to be much more action packed (other books). They’ve been trying to make a movie of The Giver, but there’s not a lot of action in it. It’s relatively easy to make a move of The Hunger Games,” said Lowry — though she noted that the lack of action doesn’t really take away from the quality and importance of the book. The film will star Brenton Thwaites as Jonas, Jeff Bridges as the Giver, and will have Taylor Swift appearing as Rosemary.
2. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Anyone who has a love of comic books will be pleased to hear that Sin City won’t end with its first movie adaption. The previous film, from back in 2005, covered a number of different story-lines from the comic series. The second film is likely to do so as well, drawing multiple characters from the written work into the movie.
Once again, Frank Miller — comic writer and artist — will be involved in the film, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, and Mickey Rourke will also be returning to play their original roles. Considering the popularity of comic books turned movies, Sin City’s second appearance on the big screen seems a good.
3. Vampire Academy
Vampires — they’re big everywhere, in movies, books, manga, television, you name it — they’ve made an appearance. There’s Twilight of course, the CW’s Vampire Diaries — not to mention True Blood and all of Anne Rice’s contributions. Basically the list could go on forever, and judging by Richelle Mead’s theater-bound Vampire Academy, it very well may.
Mead’s book series is targeted towards twelve-year olds and up, and judging by the jawline of the cast will probably draw plenty of hormone-rich viewers. The protagonist, Rose, played by Zoey Deutch, is a half-human/half-vampire in training at St. Vladimir’s Academy. Buckle up — there will be boys, plus plenty of evil vampire adversaries.
Now, you may think that any film made from from E.L. James popular, but risque, novel could only be porn. But according to The Wrap, a studio executive says that’s not the goal. “The trick of this movie is making it not porn,” said the executive. It’s for that reason that many of the film’s cast and crew have been carefully hired.
Sam Taylor Johnson has been hired to direct the movie, and the executive told The Wrap that she was chosen for her ability to make a film like Fifty Shades of Grey in the right way. “She can shoot characters. She’s very sexy. She can push that envelope. She shoots magnificent portraits. Not many women can handle that material. It’s edgy stuff. What women feels comfortable with dildos and sex toys and domination?” said the studio executive. ”From what I’ve heard, she walked in and convinced them and said, ‘This is how you shot a masturbation scene,” the executive added. Dakota Johnson takes the leading role as Anastasia Steele, according to Entertainment Weekly. She auditioned for the role by reading a monologue from “Persona,” which described the sexual encounter of a nurse, a second woman, and two young boys. “They weren’t — and I can’t think of a better word right now — pussy footing around the subject [of sex],” said Johnson of her audition.
Co-starring in the film will be Jamie Dornan, following the controversial casting and subsequent departure of Charlie Hunnam for the same role as Christian Grey. When asked how she felt about the upcoming film, the author told Entertainment Weekly that she’s more than a little nervous. “I’m terified. Completely. I’ve been terrified from the moment I published the book. You don’t expect this kind of success. And there is this passionate fandom; we need to get this right for them,” said James, making it clear that they’d hold her responsible for dissatisfaction with the movie. “Oh god, of course they will. They hold me responsible for everything. And then I though, ‘I’m middle-aged; when in the hell am I going to get another chance to make a movie in Hollywood?’”
5. I, Frankenstein
Admittedly I, Frankenstein is likely to be almost unrecognizable from Mary Shelley’s original. But still, it’s good to remember that all of the Frankenstein references in films did stem from a very old and very good book published in 1818.
The film is set to arrive in theaters in January of 2014 in all it’s special effects and sword fighting gothic glory. Aaron Eckhart stars as the films monster — though despite some make up and fake scars, he’s still more dashing than dreadful or more hot than harrowing. The film follows the the whole, caught between two warring forces, trope — rather like Underworld or Van Helsing– which also featured Frankenstein.
Hey, all religious implications aside — the bible’s still a book by way of pages and words, right? Soon, yet another biblical film will be hitting theaters with Noah in March of 2014. While it’s no Passion of the Christ, the story of Noah looks like it will heft it’s own fair share of tension and stormy drama.
The film has Russell Crowe and Emma Watson in main roles as Noah and his daughter Ila — and Russell Crowe has some experience acting as captain to a ship — just look at Master and Commander. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the film is turning into something of a controversy though, with some claiming it’s not a retelling of the bible so much as a platform to warn viewers of global warming.
7. The Hundred Foot Journey
A remake of the novel by Richard C. Morais, The Hundred Foot Journey will hit theaters in August of this coming year. Take Pixar’s Ratatouille and Slumdog Millionaire, mash them together in a cooking bowl, and let them bake for thirty minutes.
Suddenly you have something rather like the story of The Hundred Foot Journey, a tale of an unlikely chef from India and the wonders of food in France. The title refers to the enormous cultural gap that’s apparent between a French and Indian kitchen.
Divergent is the first book in the series penned by author Veronica Roth, taking readers to a dark future Chicago and into the life of talented Beatrice Prior who must fight her way through trials reminiscent of The Hunger Games.
Movie-makers are clearly aware of the similarities too, and Deadline New York has even suggested that the film may fill the hole that Catching Fire will leave behind in theaters. Doug Creutz of Cowen and Co told Deadline New York that he is “optimistic” that Divergent will do well, but says “we continue to expect a much lower level of performance than for Hunger Games.”
In keeping with the science fiction genre that’s been so popular as of late, The Maze Runner is recommended to fans of both Divergent and The Hunger Games, according to Amazon. The story tell of a mysterious maze and the ultimate fate of those sent into it — who have no memories upon arriving.
The film will star Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario as Thomas and Teresa respectively. Much like Divergent and The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner will be a dark and action packed look into what the future may hold.
10. Gone Girl
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn has been a big hit this year, making a number of best-seller lists. The movie only further proves that Flynn has been having a great run of it, with two new book deals lined up, as well as eight weeks on the New York Times list of best-selling hardcover fiction with Gone Girl.
Fans of Ben Affleck will be pleased, as will fans of Rosamund Pike, starring as the films married couple gone awry. The story has excellent potential, perfect for keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. Gillian Flynn’s writing is ideal for a suspenseful thriller, and should make for an excellent adaption.
Don’t Miss: Apple’s Ive Teams Up with Bono for AIDS Charity.