Friday, July 24, 2009

Some news on our closest friends...Harry, Percy, Septimus, Laurel, and Bella

It was mere weeks ago when I attempted to put in one place (here) all the movies and musicals and assorted adaptations of children's books that are heading our way in the next few months. Now, in the wake of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's record-breaking opening, here are the ones that I missed and/or the ones that have just been announced.

I must have been in the only Harry Potter showing this weekend that didn't show the Lightning Thief trailer. Chris Columbus (dir. The Goonies; executive producer for the first two Harry Potter films) directs Rick Riordan's popular Percy Jackson series, due out in February 2010. Unfortunate news to go along with this: the paperback Lightning Thief is out of stock at the publisher temporarily. We should be getting it back in as soon as they reprint! If you've already started the series, have no fear; the other four books are still in stock.

Syren, the fifth book of Angie Sage's seven book series, Septimus Heap, is pubbing this October, just in time for announcements of a film adaptation of the first book, Magyk. David Frankel (Marley and Me, The Devil Wears Prada) will direct. I hear it will be animated, perhaps aiming for the younger HP crowd?

Aprilynne Pike's teen faerie fantasy Wings - which pubbed this past May - is about a super-vegan homeschooled teen who discovers an itch on her back that blooms into a flower. Disney has bought the rights and is developing it for Miley Cyrus. Interesting fact: Wings will be produced by the same folks, Marty Bowen and Wick Godfrey of Temple Hill, who worked on Twilight.

Oh, Twilight. I have saved your news for last. The sequel, New Moon, will be released this coming November. (But perhaps you already knew that with all the Bella-Jacob countdowns relentlessly ticking away out in the interwebs.) Eclipse is being casted as well. Those Twilighters are just insatiable, aren't they?

My favorite news item about film adaptations comes from the Wall Street Journal, which claims to take us inside "the battle for the teenage audience." According to WSJ, Harry Potter fans are growing up and turning to the "cooler, edgier" Twilight characters. This in turn, apparently, makes the HP movies add in more romance - although the books themselves do mature as Harry does. I don't doubt that some of the same kids (boys and girls) who loved Harry now also love Bella and Edward, but why do they need to be mutually exclusive? Moreover, I am all for equal gender interest in all genres, but I simply don't see as many teen boys as girls purchasing Breaking Dawn (perhaps they are sneaking their sisters' copies). Whoever you're rooting for - if you feel the need to pick a side at all - these kinds of articles (from a financial news resource!) make me think all kinds of questions: Have we come to expect a (singular) pop phenomenon for every age/gender bracket? How many books series are out there as yet untouched by celluloid? Who's going to break WSJ's news to the movie folks?

No comments: