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10 Upcoming Movies From Books I’m Excited About

where-wild-things-are-sendakI love movies almost as much as I love books. And there are few things that get me more excited than hearing that a book I love is becoming a movie. Will it be everything I’d hoped and more, the casting perfect, the direction impeccable, the dialogue believable and touching? Will it suck beyond the telling of it, going down in history as a pile of crap the likes of which have seldom been seen, dashing my foolish hopes? Only time will well.

Anyway, here are 10 I’m excited about. Some of these are not much beyond the “barely substantiated rumor” phase, so if they don’t come to fruition, I apologize.

10. Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Based on Michael Chabon’s novel, the film chronicles the defining summer of a recent college graduate who crosses his gangster father and explores love, sexuality, and the enigmas surrounding his life and his city. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Terry Tate Office Linebacker, Dodgeball) and starring Mena Suvari and Nick Nolte. I must admit to some skepticism, but I love Michael Chabon, both in writing and so far, in film (The Wonderboys).

9. The Dogs of Babel. A dark and creepy mystery novel by Carolyn Parkhurst, The Dogs of Babel tells the story of a man whose wife dies under mysterious circumstances while he is at work one day. The man’s dog alerts neighbours by howling incessantly until the police arrive. Believing the dog is a witness to foul play, the man sets about trying to teach her to communicate so he might understand what happened to his wife. All I’ve heard so far is that Jamie Linden (not familiar with him) is adapting the screenplay and John Crowley (The Dangerous Husband, Boy A) is set to direct.

alchemist-coelho 8. The Alchemist. by Paulo Coelho. First published in 1988, the Alchemist is a popular and beloved nove which has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and translated into 67 languages. Rumour has it that Laurence Fishburne will direct, write and star in the adaptation, which will be his major directorial debut. The story is of Santiago, a simple young shepherd, and his travels through the Egypt desert. The characters he meets and lessons he learns along the way have earned The Alchemist a place in the hearts of millions.

7. Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. At last, Max and his world of monsters hits the big screen. Based on the classic children’s book first published in 1963, the film is a big deal. With heavy hitting names like Spike Jonzes and Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What the What) on the screenplay, and starring Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Ghost Dog), James Gandolfini (the Sopranos) and Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich, Lovely and Amazing), it’s sure to get a lot of attention. Also, look at that poster up there. I want to see it already.

6. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Already made into a (fantastic) BBC miniseries in 1996, Neverwhere tells the story of an ordinary London man named richard Mayhew, who stops to help a woman in distress on the street, and finds himself disoriented and whisked away to the dangerous, surreal and fantastical world of London Below. Neil Gaiman’s imagination is twisted and gorgeous, and I’m hopeful the big-screen movie will live up to its far reaches. David Slade (30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) is rumoured to be directing.

neverwhere-neil-gaiman 5. My Sister’s Keeper. Based on the novel of the same name by Jodi Picoult, this is the story of a little girl who has undergone countless medical procedures from transfusions to transplants, all to help her older sister, who has leukemia. Once the girl reaches adolescence, she learns that she was conceived for the specific purpose of being a donor for her sister. Troubled, she challenges her parents’ rights to use her body without her informed consent, even to save the sister she so loves. sure to be moving, especially with Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) as the younger sister.

4. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This was such a fascinating and touching story. The story is of the love between Henry and Clare. Henry is a librarian who has a rare gene that causes him to suddenly and involuntarily travel through time. Clare, the love of his life, stands by him at various ages and various times, loving him unconditionally. It’s an unusual and unconventional story, and one I loved. Some of the chronology was understandably tricky to follow in the book – I wonder whether that will work more or less effectively in the film? I think Rachel McAdams is a great choice for Clare. I’m not sold at all on Eric Bana for Henry, but we’ll see.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. While this is not my favourite of the Harry Potter Books (that would be reserved for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, in case you wondered), it is still a Harry Potter Book. I’m curious to see what David Yates (the director, and director of the last HP movie, The Order of the Phoenix, too) does with it. Also, I’m curious to see if the kids look like mid-twenties hipsters yet. Also… look, it’s a Harry Potter movie. I’m going.

2. lovely-bones-sebold The Lovely Bones. From the heart-rending novel by Alice Sebold. I was skeptical about this book. It sounded both too grim and too Oprah’s Book Clubby for my liking, and I was proved very wrong. I stayed up and read the whole thing in one night, because I couldn’t bear to leave the characters halfway through their story while I slept. The story is of Susie Salmon, a girl who is murdered at age 14, and her time both in heaven, and looking down watching her family and their attempts to put the pieces of life back together again. I’m a bit skeptical of the casting – Mark Wahlberg as Susie’s dad, really? – and Peter Jackson as director surprised me, as he usually favors such grandiose projects (King Kong, The Lord of the Rings trilogy) – but I am nevertheless hopeful and optimistic. I love this book, and I hope the movie does it justice.

1. And the #1 upcoming literary movie I’m excited about – Fantastic Mr. Fox *swoon* The writing of Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG) meets the direction of Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums)? Dare I dream that this might be the best movie ever? *squeak* I can’t wait to see what Boggis, Bunce and Bean look like! And I firmly believe Badger should be voiced by James Earl Jones. Oh, I love the movies.

Did I miss any good upcoming movies from books?

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