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7 Upcoming Movies from Books I’m Excited About

I’m a big fan of films adapted from books. There are always a fair number of doozies that they get horribly wrong, a lot of decent adaptations, and if we’re lucky, a few shining gems that really do justice to the book and its fans.

Some of the upcoming movies from books I’m most curious and excited about:

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta
If Little Children (dark but excellent, and beautifully adapted with Kate Winslet starring) and Election (hysterically funny and sharp, with Reese Witherspoon and Matthew Broderick) were any indicators, Perrotta novels are good fodder for film adaptations. And Lisa Cholodenko, who directed the fantastic film The Kids Are All Right is on board to direct. Promising.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
One of the most intriguing and hotly debated novels of the past decade, Life of Pi (I shan’t spoil – but read it) is so rich with question and personal consideration that I am fascinated at the idea of how it will be adapted into film. For me, so much of that book lay in imagination that I think the filmmakers will have to be very creative and think outside the box to even approximate the feelings of wonder and magical realism the book allowed for. I am skeptical but curious.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
When it comes to Tolkien, I am one of the few nerds I know who preferred The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, by far. It was partly as I read them both when I was very young, and The Hobbit is obviously much more accessible. But I also found it had more heart, more relatable characters, and much better pacing than the LotR, and I am very excited at the prospect of a well-done film version. And Martin Freeman (Love, Actually, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the UK “Office”) is such a good choice to lead the cast. High hopes for this one.

World War Z by Max Brooks
If you’ve never read this, and you just rolled your eyes and went “Oh God, shut UP about zombies…” I know, I feel you. Everyone on the internet is sick of zombies, and with good reason. BUT – that said, this is a worthwhile, excellent and quite in-depth book. It is a series of testimonials and stories from survivors of the zombie apocalypse, which came frighteningly close to wiping out the human race. The book treats the zombie outbreak as an actual historical event, and is not ridiculous – rather it’s terrifying, interesting, and wonderfully well-researched. I can see real potential for an excellent film here, and with Brad Pitt onboard, it will at least be pretty. Marc Forster is not a director I like (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland) as a rule, but I’m still optimistic.

A Most Wanted Man by John le Carre
Philip Seymour Hoffman stars. That is reason enough for me to see almost anything, and John Le Carre books generally adapt well for the big screen (The Constant Gardener, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and many more).

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Yes, THAT Stephenie Meyer, but hear me out. The Host was actually a very engaging read, and pretty decent science fiction. To me, it proved that Meyer is actually capable of much stronger and more evocative writing than she displayed in the Twilight saga, which I suspect she targeted carefully for twitterpated teen audiences. The Host still has more romantic gasping and sighing than I really have a stomach for, but enough intrigue, detail, science and adventure to make it hard to put down. And Saoirse Ronan in the lead can’t hurt – that’s a talented actress.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Set to be released on December 25th, this is bound to be a great Christmas gift. Directed by Baz Luhrmann (who isn’t for everyone, but I happened to adore his Romeo and Juliet) and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan, this is sure to be a sumptuous, over-the-top musical exploration of Gatsby’s vision of the jazz age. I imagine the film will lack much of the emotional subtleties and character development of the book, but it’s basically guaranteed to be beautiful and exciting.

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  1. 7 Upcoming Movies from Books I'm Excited About | Reading Copy … | Upcoming Movie Releases - June 4, 2012

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