Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bookish Moving Pictures

It's so hot today, it's even difficult to focus on a page and read! You KNOW it's bad when it comes to that. On hot days when it's difficult to read, sitting in an air-conditioned theater is an appealing idea. And what better sort of movie to see, than one made from a book? What follows is a round-up of upcoming adaptations of books coming to the silver screen.

Mr. Popper's Penguins, starring Jim Carrey. The release date is not yet announced, it sounds like the script is just nearing completion. But, the script is certainly taking its liberties with the much beloved middle-grade novel and 1939 Newberry Honor. The IGN reports that the "movie version takes the book into an upscale direction: a high-powered businessman suddenly inherits six penguins. As he gets acquainted with – and increasingly attached to – his winged roommates, Popper's life quickly unravels: his swanky New York apartment is turned into a snowy winter wonderland, the deal he's long been working on is derailed, and he almost lands in jail."

Expect to see it in theaters in a year or so. It's pretty clear what kind of movie this will be, and nothing could ever beat Robert Lawson's understated and playful monochromatic illustrations. But, alas, there's always a silver lining: a mediocre movie always helps readers find amazing books.

Up next is the VERY anticipated and VERY probably awesome forthcoming movie based on The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins has been on a tour of all the Districts of (Ancient) Panem, and when I caught up with her at Brookline Public Library, she said that she was at work on the script herself, with some help from scriptwriting gentleman. No director has been selected, but she thinks the selection will be made soon. Then it will be a couple of years till we see the movie, I bet. I think I should play Katniss, and Clive Owen can play Gale and Edward Norton can play Peeta. Le sigh. Where's that air conditioning knob?

The Smurfs. This is perhaps the strangest forthcoming adaptation...the beloved comic book characters of old are coming to the big screen...albeit in CG form. And the Smurfs will be placed in a modern-day NYC frame story, akin to the "Mr. Popper" plot.

Here's a pic, from Wikipedia:

As weird as the CG may be, there are some great voice talents recruited; Hank Azaria as Gargamel, Neil Patrick Harris and John Oliver! Since they've just released a picture of the CG, I imagine it will be another year until theatrical release.

But, if you prefer to keep your Smurfs preserved in the nostalgic glow of un-CG'd childhood, the movie is reinvigorating interest. The original comic books are being reprinted into graphic novels with three stories in each volume.

The Purple Smurfs (Vol. 1)
Downstairs in the Chapter Book Room

The Smurfs and the Magic Flute (Vol. 2)
Downstairs in the Chapter Book Room

...with more volumes forthcoming!

And more Schleich Smurfs to come to the hut SOON!

What books would you want made into a movie? Which ones should be left alone for forever?

1 comment:

Katie said...

Natasha. I have some terrible news. You will might not be cast in the Hunger Games movie... and it's possible Kristen Stewart will.

Really though, Clive Owen and Edward Norton?! I think you need to rethink your casting choices as these gentlemen are much older than Katniss.