Forthcoming film adaptations of The Fault in Our Stars (John Green, Penguin) and Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn, Orion), along with the recent release of Divergent (Veronica Roth, HarperCollins), have seen each of these books climb the bestsellers chart in the past few weeks. Brad Jefferies rounds up some of the adaptations coming to Australian cinemas in the second half of 2014.
Scarlett Johansson stars as an alien seductress tormenting hitchhikers in Scotland in director Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of Under the Skin (Michael Faber, Canongate). The film received some rave reviews recently (although not unanimously) when it was released in the US and UK, with some of the buzz words including ‘weird’, ‘mysterious’, ‘original’ and ‘menacing’. It’s in Australian cinemas in May.
Also out in May is Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane’s comedy-western A Million Ways to Die in the West (Canongate). The novel—which was based on the film’s screenplay—was released in March and follows a mild-mannered farmer with a reputation for cowardice who teams up with a local gunslinger to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend. It stars MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris and Liam Neeson.
John Green’s YA novel The Fault in Our Stars has been in the bestsellers chart for the past month in anticipation of the film’s release on 5 June. Relatively unknown director Josh Boone—whose only other main gig was as writer and director of Stuck in Love (2012)—is in charge, with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort playing Hazel and Augustus (trivia: the two actors played sister and brother in the film adaptation of Divergent). In more good news for John Green fans, Green’s 2008 novel Paper Towns (HarperCollins) will be adapted for the big screen in 2015.
The Edge of Tomorrow is the big-budget adaptation of Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s science-fiction novel All You Need is Kill (Viz Media). The film, which is directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity), stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and is in cinemas on 5 June.
Yves St Laurent is based on Debut (Abrams), Laurence Benaim’s biography of the French designer of the same name. Released overseas in January, the film hasn’t been received well by the critics—so this could be one for the die-hard fashionistas when it comes to Australian cinemas in June.
Hossein Amini (screenwriter of Drive) directs Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen in an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s thriller The Two Faces of January (various imprints). It follows a con artist, his wife and a local scam artist who are trying to flee Greece after becoming entangled in the murder of a local police officer. The film opened to good reviews at the Berlin International Film Festival in February, and is slated for release in Australia in July.
The adaptation of book two in Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novel series, A Dame to Kill For (Dark Horse Comics), hits cinemas in August. Miller and director Robert Rodriguez team up again in the follow-up to the 2005 noir hit Sin City, which will again star Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis.
Jonas Jonasson’s 2009 novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (A&U) has been adapted to film in the author’s native Sweden, where the book sold more than a quarter of a million copies. The film, directed and adapted for the screen by Felix Herngren, has been well received, and comes to Australian cinemas in August.
Nick Hornby is no stranger to a film set. His novel High Fidelity (Penguin) was turned into a film starring John Cusack and Jack Black in 2000; About a Boy followed in 2002; and Hornby won an Oscar for best original screenplay for An Education in 2009. His latest book-to-film is A Long Way Down (Penguin), with the adaptation directed by Pascal Chaumeil and starring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul. Reviews coming out of the UK suggest that it’s not Hornby’s best work on film, but Australian viewers can judge for themselves in August.
Australian Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence, Salt) directs the adaptation of a dystopian YA novel, Lois Lowry’s The Giver (HarperCollins), due for release in August. The film stars Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges and Brenton Thwaite, who plays a young boy trying to escape a society that has embraced ‘sameness’ and discarded pain, emotion and memory.
October sees the release of one of the most anticipated films of 2014: David Fincher’s take on Gillian Flynn’s bestselling thriller Gone Girl. Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Missi Pyle, the film promises to keep fans of the novel guessing, after the revelation in January that Fincher asked Flynn to write a new ending for the film.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1—the penultimate film in the ‘Hunger Games’ series—is due in cinemas in November, while the third and final Hobbit film, There and Back Again, will land in December.