Page to screen: summer edition

This year we’ve had The Help, Norwegian Wood, We Need to Talk about Kevin and who could forget Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1. The book-to-movie adaptations continue this summer, beginning with several high-profile Boxing Day releases.

One of the most-anticipated adaptations has to be The Adventures of Tintin (Boxing Day), based on three of Herge’s comics: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure (all Egmont Books). This 3D adaptation is directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and has Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig and Andy Serkis in starring roles.

Stephen Spielberg is also the director behind the World War One drama War Horse (Boxing Day), adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s bestselling children’s novel of the same name (Hardie Grant Egmont). The story has also been turned into a successful theatre production and after stints in London and New York, a local production will open in Melbourne in late 2012.

We Bought a Zoo (Boxing Day) is a comedy-drama directed by Cameron Crowe and starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and a menagerie of animals. The movie is based on Benjamin Mee’s memoir of the same name (HarperCollins), which tells of how the author and his young family came to own a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. The movie, however, is set in Southern California.

Thankfully, the new movie adaptation of John le Carré’s spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (January) remains faithfully British, with Colin Firth and Gary Oldman in the lead roles. The novel is published by Hodder.

Also out in January is a second Sherlock Holmes movie adaptation from director Guy Ritchie, again starring Robert Downey Junior as the detective and Jude Law as Dr Watson. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories are available in various imprints but for something new, check out Anthony Horowitz’s authorised Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk (Orion).

Brian Selznick’s multi-award-winning children’s novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic), which combines elements of picture book, graphic novel and film, was always going to be a tempting project for an ambitious filmmaker. The story of an orphan living in the walls of a Paris train station in the 1930s has been turned into a 3D film, simply titled Hugo (January), by Martin Scorsese.

The Descendants (January) is a quirky comedy-drama starring George Clooney as a man who finds out his wife has been having an affair after a boating accident lands her in a coma. It’s based on a novel of the same name by Hawaiian author Kaui Hart Hemmings (Vintage).

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death and one of several biopics in production is My Week with Marilyn (January), directed by Simon Curtis and starring Michelle Williams and Kenneth Branagh as Monroe and Laurence Olivier. It’s based on two books by Colin Clark (My Week with Marilyn and The Prince, The Showgirl and Me, both HarperCollins) about the making of the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl.

The US adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’ kicks off in January with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. A new movie-tin in edition is being published by Pan Macmillan.

A movie adaptation of Jonathan Safron Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Penguin), which draws on the events of September 11, will be released in late February after initial plans to release it on the 10th anniversary of the attack were scuttled. The movie is directed by Stephen Daldry and stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.

Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe tackles another book-to-movie adaptation with The Woman in Black (February), based on Susan Hill’s thriller of the same name (Profile). The book has also been adapted into one of the longest running stage plays.

On the smaller screen, Gabrielle Lord’s ‘Conspiracy 365’ series has been adapted as an interactive TV series for the Family Movie Channel, with 13 episodes to screen monthly from January 2012 to January 2013. The story follows 15-year-old fugitive Callum Ormond as he searches for the truth behind a deadly family secret, and features a local cast including RocKwiz’s Julia Zemiro.