Wondering what books will be made into movies in Winter and Spring 2012? BookBrowse has the answer!
There's something for all ages and interests in this season's movies based on books. For the younger set, Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift and Zac Efron star in The Lorax. The YA crowd is already anticipating The Hunger Games. While adults with a political bent will likely be lining up for The Iron Lady. Personally, I'm pretty sure I'll be plunking down my money for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!
Starring: Ken-ichi Matsuyama, Kiko Mizuhara and Rinko Kikuchi
Opening: Jan 6 in USA. First released in Japan in 2010 as Noruwei no Mori
Based on: Haruki Murakami's bestselling novel of the same name (published 1987).
Opinion: 23 reviews at rottentomatoes.com, 17 of them positive, but the subtitles and generally languid plot are likely to limit the audience. As Jason Best at MovieTalk says "[Norwegian Wood] was long thought unfilmable, but Tran does an impressive job of translating the author's dense and poetic first-person narrative to the screen."
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent and Iain Glen
Opening: Jan 13 in USA
Based on: John Campbell's two volume biography of Margaret Thatcher, the second of which is titled Margaret Thatcher: The Iron Lady.
Opinion: The Tomatometer at rottentomatoes.com shows 21 positive reviews and 11 negative. The Hollywood Reporter rates it fresh saying, "playing both the staunch human battleship and the diminished old woman sifting through her past, Meryl Streep is riveting."
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler and Vanessa Redgrave, and directed by Ralph Fiennes
Opening: Jan 20 in USA
Based on: Shakespeare's tragedy of the same name.
Opinion: Set in contemporary Rome, complete with tanks and AK-47's. A user reviewer on IMDB suggests that this is only for die-hard Shakespeare fans already familiar with Coriolanus.
Starring: John Corbett, Jessy Schram and Cynthia Watros
Opening: Late Jan on ABC TV
Based on: Mike Kersjes' 2002 book subtitled A Teacher, His Class and Their Unforgettable Journey.
Opinion: A special education teacher and his class take an inspiring journey through U.S. space camp. I'll probably tune into this one simply for the chance to see John Corbett, perhaps best known for his roles as Aidan Shaw in "Sex and the City" and Chris Stevens in the 1990s comedy "Northern Exposure".
Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska and Janet McTeer
Opening: Jan 27 in USA
Based on: A 19th century short story by Irish writer George Moore, "The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs".
Opinion: Five-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close stars in this emotional and thought-provoking tale of a woman forced to live as a man in 19th Century Ireland. After thirty years of keeping up the charade, a new love threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard to build. The plot sounds like it has potential, but sadly this movie, already released in the UK, gets mixed reviews on rottentomatoes.com with more rotten than fresh ratings.
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara and Daniel Sunjata
Opening: Jan 27 in USA, early Feb to April elsewhere
Based on: One For The Money by Janet Evanovich.
Opinion: With a fan base of millions, there's a lot of pent up demand for this movie, which is based on the first book in Evanovich's romantic suspense series starring Stephanie Plum, a failed lingerie buyer, newly turned bond agent. And, with eighteen books in the series to date, no shortage of opportunities for follow-ups if this movie is a success.
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer
Opening: Feb 3 in USA and Canada, mid-Feb through March elsewhere
Based on: The 1983 thriller of the same name by Susan Hill.
Opinion: Great potential for this movie as Daniel Radcliffe (aka Harry Potter) has already proved his adult acting credentials by starring in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway. A play based on Hill's book (also called The Woman in Black) has been running in London's West End for 23 years, making it the West End's second-longest running play ever (after Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap).
Starring: Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift and Zac Efron
Opening: March 2 in the USA and Canada, March through April elsewhere (except some parts of Europe including the UK, which have to wait until July).
Based on: Dr Seuss's children's book of the same name.
Opinion: Directed by Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda, both fresh from their success with Despicable Me, this fourth feature film based on Dr Seuss's books has hit written all over it!
Starring: Robert DeNiro, Julianne Moore and Paul Dano
Opening: March 2 in USA
Based on: Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City
Opinion: Working in a Boston homeless shelter, Nick Flynn re-encounters his father, a con man and self-proclaimed poet. Sensing trouble in his own life, Nick wrestles with the notion of reaching out yet again to his dad. With a strong cast and a book that won the PEN Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir, this movie has potential.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins
Opening: 2nd week of March in USA and worldwide
Based on: The Edgar Rice Burrough's early 20th century John Carter of Mars books, and in particular The Princess of Mars.
Opinion: Kitsch stars as John Carter, a Confederate Civil War veteran transported to Mars. Director Andrew Stanton (Wall-E and Finding Nemo) wrote the screenplay with input from others including author Michael Chabon.
Starring: John Cusak, Alice Eve and Luke Evans
Opening: March 9 in USA, UK and Spain; opening in some parts of Europe late March through October 2012
Based on: The works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Opinion: A serial killer, whose murders mimic the gruesome tales of Edgar Allan Poe, is on the loose. The writer joins forces with a young Baltimore detective to try and catch the murderer. Though there are no critic reviews for The Raven yet, there seems to be quite an enthusiastic buzz... according to rottentomatoes.com, 97% of users want to see it!
Starring: Jaraji P. Henson, Kevin Hart and Michael Ealy
Opening: March 9 in USA; opening in some parts of Europe including UK in June
Based on: Steve Harvey's 2009 relationship advice book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.
Opinion: A comedy in which four friends conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them. Sounds more miss than hit to me.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris
Opening: March 10 on HBO
Based on: The 2010 book Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
Opinion: Julianne Moore, who plays Palin in this movie, played Nancy Donovan on half a dozen episodes of 30 Rock which, of course, stars Tina Fey, who is perhaps even more widely known for her parodies of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live than for creating and starring in 30 Rock. It will be interesting to see who makes the best Palin - Julianne, Tina, or Sarah herself!
Starring: Julia Roberts, Sean Bean and Lily Collin
Opening: mid-March in USA, elsewhere between mid-March and April
Based on: The Brothers Grimm version of Snow White.
Opinion: Let's hope that Julia Roberts and Sean Bean (fresh from his role as Eddard Stark in the HBO series Game of Thrones) can pull off a success with yet another remake of Snow White. Don't confuse this version of Snow White with Snow White and the Huntsman, which opens in June starring Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan in the Twilight movies).
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
Opening: March 23 in USA, mid to late March elsewhere
Based on: The first book in Suzanne Collin's bestselling YA series.
Opinion: Set in a future USA, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the annual fight to the death broadcast on live TV. This movie is destined for success due to the huge following for The Hunger Games. So it's likely that the relatively unknown actors cast in the lead roles will be much better known by the end of 2012 and likely to be household names by the time the second movie, Catching Fire, is released in November 2013!
Starring: Matthew Rhys, Tamzin Merchant and Freddie Fox
Opening: Around mid-April on BBC Masterpiece Theater
Based on: An unfinished book by Charles Dickens.
Opinion: This movie is based on the 1987 musical of the same name, which was an unexpected success, winning Tony Awards for best score, best book of a musical, and best musical of the year.
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy
Opening: February in UK, March in most other countries, except the USA where release appears to have been delayed from March to May
Based on: Deborah Moggach's 2004 novel These Foolish Things, which is being republished in 2012 as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Opinion: A group of retired Brits decide to outsource their retirement to Bangalore in India, where a little money goes a long way, where the climate is better, and where a former British hotel converted into a somewhat run-down retirement home can create a little island of Old England in the midst of a throbbing Indian city. The Daily Telegraph described These Foolish Things as "Classic Moggach: funny, touching, and...full of colours and visual details." I reckon that the combination of a good story, a fantastic cast and a snappy new title bodes well for both the movie and re-branded book!