Summer once again brings the release of a number of book-to-film adaptations, including big-budget blockbusters, takes on bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, and new instalments in popular YA series. Brad Jefferies rounds up some of the highlights.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second installment of the film trilogy based on J R R Tolkien’s The Hobbit (various imprints), will be released in Australian cinemas on Boxing Day. It follows the 2012 release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and is co-written, produced and directed by Peter Jackson.
Also released on Boxing Day is The Railway Man, a war film based on the autobiography of the same name by Eric Lomax (Vintage), and set on a POW camp on the Thai-Burma railway during the Second World War. The film is directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and stars Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jeremy Irvine.
Another highly anticipated film is Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, an adaptation of the two memoirs of Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street and Catching the Wolf of Wall Street (both Hachette). The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a successful but corrupt stockbroker, and co-stars Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. Originally set for a November 2013 release, it opens in Australian cinemas on 23 January 2014.
Brian Percival’s adaptation of Australian author Markus Zusak’s award-winning novel, The Book Thief (Picador), will be released in Australian cinemas on 9 January 2014. It stars Roger Allam as the narrator, Death; Sophie Nelisse as Liesel; and Geoffrey Rush as Hans.
Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent’ trilogy’ (HarperCollins) has drawn comparisons to that other dystopian YA series, ‘The Hunger Games’ (Suzanne Collins, Scholastic). The blockbuster adaptation of the first book in the series, Divergent, will be released on 20 March 2014, and stars Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Kate Winslet.
Actors Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper have teamed up again, this time as the wealthy owners of a timber empire whose future is put in doubt when it’s learnt that they can’t conceive an heir. It’s an adaptation of Serena, based on the 2010 Ron Rash book of the same name (Text). It’s expected in Australian cinemas in April 2014.
John Green’s bestselling 2012 novel, The Fault in our Stars (Viking), is being adapted into a film of the same name. Shailene Woodley will star as Hazel, a 16-year-old cancer patient and the narrator of the book, while Nat Wolff and Laura Dern will also co-star. Filming began in August, and it’s scheduled for a June 2014 release.
Also scheduled for the first quarter of 2014 is the George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men, based on The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M Edsel (Preface); and Winter’s Tale, an adaptation of Mark Helprin’s adult fantasy novel of the same name (Harvest Books), which will star Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay and Russell Crowe.