I knew that the holiday movie season would bring a bunch of blockbusters to the big screen, but when I did a little check in at IMDB.com this week to see about upcoming books-into-film releases, I was bowled over the with selection coming out in just the next few weeks. I’ll keep the preamble short this time and let the books and their films speak for themselves.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (December 16): Based on the John le Carré book (M) of the same name, this cold war espionage thriller was already a miniseries in the late 1970s. The new version stars Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. Already released in Europe, the actual North American release dates were hard to find. The best I can find for Canadian film fans in a Dec 16th release date, although that may be limited.
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (December 21): If you’re one of the few who hasn’t read the first book in Steig Larsson’s mega-mega-bestselling Millennium Series (M), head on out an enjoy yourself a spoiler free thriller film starring Daniel Craig and directed by David Fincher. If you’re a purist you might want to watch the Swedish versions of the films first, as well as reading the novels.
Adventures of Tintin (December 21): Sheesh, Daniel Craig has been busy, he’s also in the 3D Motion Capture animated release of the film based on the classic comic series (M) by Hergé.
We Bought A Zoo (December 23): I like simplicity in titling and this one has it. They really did, they bought a zoo and this movie is about the true life adventures of the family that did it. Based on the memoir (M) of the same name by Benjamin Mee. More big name star power in the film version: directed by Cameron Crowe, and starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.
E xtremely Loud and Incredibly Close (January 20): I am both excited and apprehensive about this film’s release. The book (M) by Jonathan Safran Foer is among my favourites, and I can’t imagine how it will be adapted to film and retain the charms of the book. Foer is 2 for 2 on novels to film adaptations: his 2002 novel Everything is Illuminated was also made into a movie.
Coriolanus (January 20): Question: do films based on Shakespearean plays entice you to read the play? Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes, this adaptation is exactly the sort that would make me go back to the source work, because it takes the old play and gives a contemporary setting.
We Need to Talk About Kevin (January 27): Although critically acclaimed—including winning the Orange Prize—my recollection of this 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver (M) is that it didn’t quite grab popular attention. The story of a mother trying to understand the child she raised, and the horrible crime he committed. In a bookclub? This one will probably make your reading list next year.
One For the Money (January 27): Janet Evanovich must be laughing all the way to the bank these days. Her book series about accident prone bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is already hugely popular (wikipedia notes the series extends to “eighteen full-length novels, four holiday novellas, and a short story in a compilation of various authors’ works”) and now is about to hit the big screen. Wonder how many of the 18 titles will make it to screen? I bet there will be a really impressive car explosion.