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Entries in Adaptations (101)

Monday
Aug182014

Coming Soon? More from the Author of "Gone Girl"

On a trip to Los Angeles last year I met longtime reader Margaret de Larios who, as it turns out, turned our own Anne Marie of "A Year With Kate" fame on to the blog originally. Margaret wanted to sound off on a topic I was very intrigued by so here she is to talk about the mysteriously silent upcoming movie "Dark Places". Say hello! - Editor


In just under two months, Gone Girl will likely be taking cineplexes by storm. The movie's marketing team is not of a mind to let us forget it, slowly rolling out new posters and trailers as well as sending David Fincher out to stoke internet buzz by playing coy about a possible new ending.

But what about the other Gillian Flynn movie, Dark Places?

Because there is another Gillian Flynn movie. And a TV series in development. And a project with HBO. And an original screenplay. And two new impending novels. Gillian Flynn is about to be everywhere and I, for one, plan to welcome our new thriller overlord.  Her work is creepy and uncomfortable and gripping in the best way. It also, significantly, happens to feature a wealth of meaty, nasty female roles. This could portend some long-needed mitigation of the True Detective Problem (or the Hannibal problem or the Breaking Bad problem or the-- well, you get the gist) and be a boon to lovers of actressing everywhere... as long as we finally get to see them produced.

Gone Girl is in the bag and Flynn's every development deal makes news, so whither Dark Places with Charlize Theron? [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug152014

Review: The Giver

Hey, folks. Michael Cusumano here fresh from having Jeff Bridges impart the wonders of humanity directly into my brain.

It’s an amusing irony that Phillip Noyce’s film of Lois Lowry’s beloved middle-school staple The Giver feels like an afterthought following the recent glut of Young Adult adaptations. It was Lowry’s vision of dystopia which helped launch the army of teenage Chosen Ones currently clogging multiplexes nationwide. Now, not only is The Giver late to the party, but the richly imagined worlds of Lowry’s literary descendants have left her story feeling undercooked. I can’t imagine teenage audiences who have spent the past few years steeped in the sprawling, detailed insanity of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books will be rapt with attention watching Jeff Bridges shambling around his library, triggering the occasional lame stock footage montage meant to portray humanity in all its myriad wonders.

Noyce’s film version might have had a fighting shot if it had tapped into the elemental power of the story’s spare allegory, but alas, even with a plotline of this simplicity, The Giver can’t make the pieces fit. The logic begins to fall apart right from the opening narration. We are told that this is a society where all the highs and lows of humanity have been wiped away and people live in a serene state of medicated blankness. Everyone strolls around grinning like they lost a fight with a body snatcher. We meet our hero Jonas (Brenton Thwaites, a monument to blandness) on the day of the great Ceremony where he and his two equally personality-free friends are to receive their lifetime job assignments. Yet no sooner does the narration tell us that this world is free from competition and envy than we hear the trio chatting about how they hope they get a great job, crossing their fingers that they don’t get put on the janitorial staff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t this indicate that they are A) competitive and B) envious.

Get used to this confusion...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug152014

Nicole's Return. The Dates Are Ever Changing.

When will our beloved Kidman return to us? For someone who works so consistently, doesn't it seem like it's hard to find Nicole Kidman in a movie theater? Grace of Monaco keeps threatening to arrive but never does leaving us to wonder if it will ever play in regular movie theaters after its shaming at Cannes (that place can be brutal). Any big dreams for the quality of Paddington (it comes from charming source material at least) her Christmas film, have been dashed by that hateful slapstick trailer and Colin Firth's exit as the voice. The wait is soon over though. For those of you who missed The Railway Man in theaters, it's just out on DVD and Blu-Ray. [Warning: Nicole's part is small enough that when the climax arrives, she's literally a blurry figure in the background.]

 

Next up though is the thriller Before I Go To Sleep which has a new poster (above) and a new release date: Halloween to be exact. Let's just hope it's better than The Invasion or Trespass. (It's apparently really hard to make a good thriller post-Hitchcock because not that many filmmakers are skilled at making them.)

After that picture all us Kidmaniacs will wait again for her other completed films to play the release date shell game. Most promising by far is Werner Herzog's Gertrud Bell biopic Queen of the Desert both because Herzog is an amazing director (another feather in Kidman's auteur-fetish cap!) and because the role is big and central. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Queen of the Desert is doing the fall festival circuit so maybe they're waiting until 2015?

CAST THIS!
This is one of those stories that was so obviously a Film Experience type of story that I pretended to myself that I'd already covered it on the blog. Like those dreams you have where you already went to class or work so there's no need to jump up and go when you wake up! Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are now attached to the film adaptation of Liane Moriarty's comic best seller Big Little Lies about a group of three mothers whose kids are in the same Kindergarten class in a beautiful Australian seaside town (with secrets, natch). A sprained ankle sets off a series of events which eventually leads to a school riot and a murder. There are three major characters (and apparently a lot of broadly drawn but possibly scene-stealing supporting casts). No word yet on which of the moms Nicole & Reese are planning to play but obviously a third star will be joining them.

These are the characters...

Madeline: gleefully extroverted, fashionable, and still a "glittery girl" at 40. Her broken Dolce & Gabbana heel sets the plot in motion. She's happily married but still having trouble with her ex and his younger "new age-y" wife
Celeste: a nervous very beautiful mom with twins, who is married to a wealthy man
Jane: shy, plain and uncomfortable in her own skin. New in town but Madeline and Celeste befriend this single mom when her son gets in trouble the very first day of school

YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO PICK THEIR ROLES FOR THEM AND ADD A THIRD ACTRESS IN THE COMMENTS!

Let's just pray this wasn't doesn't go the way of The Danish Girl which Nicole was attached to for quite some time until development hell took it from her plate. The film is still trying to get made but instead of an actress in the transgender lead role it's now Eddie Redmayne with his Les Miz director Tom Hooper guiding him through the transformation. 

Sunday
Aug102014

Linkages

Flavorwire Christina Hendricks tries to function in a modern office
Hollywood.com Why Anna Kendrick would make an awesome girlfriend 
Skullflake Studios "maybe superheroes aren't for girls, mom"
/Film puts together a comprehensive look of superhero films coming in next few years. So many
VF Helen Mirren twerking 
Towleroad first look at James Franco as an ex-gay activist in new Gus Van Sant picture 

 

Vulture Groot should remake a bunch of movies 
Empire Universal bought up the rights to Anne Rice's entire Vampire Chronicles. I swear to god if they dont just deal with the sexuality this time, what will be the point? We've already had True Blood. You can't keep homogenizing everything to make it risk-averse
Coming Soon Michael Fassbender seems to like this Justin Kurzel person a lot. His MacBeth director is also guiding him in the film adaptation of the video game Assassin's Creed
Awards Daily Kristen Stewart in Camp X-Ray trailer. This actress is really trying to change perceptions of herself this year. 
Pajiba the cast of HBO's Westworld remake all announced. I'm sad that Yul Brynner cannot be resurrected. I love me some Yul Brynner
Variety Amazon fighting with Disney over DVD/Blu-Ray sales
Variety Lucy is a huge hit in France. No surprise really since Luc Besson directs and France is basically adopting Scarlett Johansson now that she's soon to birth a French baby. 
LA Times Jennifer Lee, one of the directors of Frozen (I met her this season and she was very sweet) will write the screenplay for the adaptation of the YA novel A Wrinkle in Time. I swear that movie has been in development for my entire lifetime 
Variety Lizzy Caplan will play Joseph Gordon Levitt's love interest in an untitled Christmas movie from his 50/50 director

Oh and I forgot to post this great UK poster for Maps to the Stars.

I love quad posters but we only get the vertical ones here in the US. I'm getting so desperate to see this movie. 

Tweet of the Week!
Satiric truth. Tell it

 

 

 

Tuesday
Jul292014

Interview: Adapting "Guardians of the Galaxy" for the Screen

Anne Marie interviewed Nicole Perlman, the screenwriter of Guardians of the Galaxy which opens this weekend

Nicole Perlman, Screenwriter"Nicole Perlman" has been a name shrouded in mystery since Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago. Though the screenwriter has received awards for her writing, Guardians will be her first official screen credit. (She shares co-screenwriting credit with Guardians director James Gunn). I sat down with her over the weekend at Comic Con to learn a little more about the woman who turned Guardians of the Galaxy from cult comic hit to Marvel's biggest blockbuster experiment. We talked about Guardians, her new project with Cirque du Soleil, and how screenwriters make terrible movie audiences.

ANNE MARIE: You started with getting your Challenger screenplay on the Black List, which is really cool, and then did a complete jump into Marvel. Tell me about that!

NICOLE PERLMAN: I had moved to Los Angeles after Challenger. It was on the Black List, it won the Tribecca Grant for Science and Film, and I was getting a lot of science-related screenplay projects, which was great, and I love science-related stuff. So I was happy about it.

I did a Neil Armstrong biopic for Universal, and I was doing things in that realm. And I would go out and pitch on projects that were science fiction or action and I got a little push back about it. I got, 'This doesn't seem like your genre, or your world.' There was a little bit of that like 'This is a really masculine movie. We don't know if you could handle it.' And I'm like, 'But you thought I could handle it enough that I could pitch on it, so that's interesting.'  But it was mostly a feeling of [having a] question mark, of could I handle something like that.

When I was having a general meeting with Marvel Studios, they mentioned they had a writers program, and they wanted to know if I wanted to be a part of it. And of course I leapt at the chance, I wanted that stamp on my resume. And I also wanted to show that like I could do the fun big action movies that I loved, and the science fiction movies. And it worked out really well, so thank goodness! 

Yeah, clearly! The President of Marvel has stated he never thought of Guardians of the Galaxy as movie material until he read your stuff.

Oh that's nice! That's really lovely.

So what made you choose Guardians out of all of the list of options for projects?

[more...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul192014

Team Top Ten: Best TV to Film Adaptations of All Time

Amir here, to welcome you to another edition of Team Top Ten, a poll of all of the website’s contributors. The topic du jour given that it's Emmy season is Best Films Adaptated from TV Series.

For as long as film and TV have coexisted, their fates, stars, successes, failures and histories have been entangled. Their ever-shifting dynamic has had an immense impact on both industries. The complexity of their relationship made devising a list like this one quite difficult, beginning with the question of what really constitutes an adaptation. For example, The Holy Grail and Life of Brian are not adapted from Monty Python's The Flying Circus; they are inspired by it, but one is more inspired than the other, so we rendered the former film eligible and the latter ineligible. On the other hand, series like Mission Impossible and Naked Gun present a different type of challenge because the sequels are continuations of the original film, rather than the TV series, but we considered them eligible nonetheless. We faced another difficulty with franchises like The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values, based on a series that is itself based on comics. The extent to which the films were inspired by either source was taken into account and we considered only the former film eligible in this case though the latter has far more ardent fans among the team here.

And so on and so forth. The point is to take this list with a grain of salt and add your personal favourites in the comments below. Without further ado…

TEAM TOP TEN
BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME INSPIRED BY TV SERIES

10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Unlike these days, David Lynch needed to make a film in order to portray all of the incest, rape, pedophilia, murder and drugs that his and Mark Frost’s television series mostly only alluded to. While Twin Peaks, which ran for two seasons in the early 1990s, was a woozy blend of murder mystery, soap opera, dark comedy and surrealist imagery, the film was an altogether different beast. A dark and often brutally ugly ‘horror melodrama’, it angered many fans and even filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino was not a fan). For people willing to take the plunge, however, into the dark recesses of Lynch’s mind, it is a compelling and tragic affair that remains one of the definitive directorial statements of the ‘90s. Plus, David Bowie as an FBI agent who may be a ghost. Or an alien. Or a shape-shifter. Who can tell? –Glenn Dunks

9. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol
seemed like a squeaker eligibility-wise, with the show a distant, tenuously related memory and three other movies interceding between them. But the film is one of the great pop entertainments U.S. studios have produced in recent years, dynamically edited and gorgeously shot by Robert Elswit without the self-conscious handsomeness of There Will Be Blood or Good Night, and Good Luck. With set-pieces as stunning as the Kremlin infiltration, the sandstorm chase, and everything else that happens in, on, or around the Burj Khalifa, this is top-notch, exuberant, and imaginative action filmmaking.  I liked De Palma’s gimcrackery and Abrams’ more traditional and character-driven suspenser, but Ghost Protocol is the franchise’s happiest marriage of scene construction, silliness, and star charisma (not just from Cruise, but from everybody).  Its division into discrete, flavorful sequences gives it the roaming energy of a television serial. You want to binge four more movies afterward. –Nick Davis

8 more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul012014

Podcast Pt 1: A Smackdown Conversation w/ Melanie Lynskey

Presenting... for the first time ever a Smackdown Companion Podcast

A couple of months ago Joe suggested that we add a podcast segment or more conversation somehow to the Smackdown which by necessity has brief capsules from each panelist. And why not? There is always so much more to discuss after you've watched five Oscar-favored films from any given year.

So for this special tryout episode of the podcast (let us know if we should do it again for 1973) Nathaniel welcomes back the actress Melanie Lynskey, the original creator of the Smackdowns Brian Herrera (aka StinkyLulu), and regular podcast voices Joe Reid and Nick Davis. Our conversation ran long so it's in two segments.

Smackdown 1964 - A Companion Conversation Pt. 1
00:01 Introductions
01:00 Melanie on talking acting with other actors and one director's "witchcraft"
05:00 Zorba the Greek and undiagnosed cognitive disorders
11:45 Nick and Nathaniel share personal memories of My Fair Lady
16:20 Demystifying the mystifying Gladys Cooper nomination
19:00 The Chalk Garden. Melanie on connecting with the other actor in a scene.
24:00 Divisive Deborah Kerr (who starred in two of the features we watched)
30:00 To Be Continued...  

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

Smackdown 64 Companion. Part One