The summer movie season is in full swing, yet regardless of what time of year it is, you can always find films on the big screen that got their start on the pages of a book. Book lovers can certainly agree that the success of adaptation from book to television or film varies wildly, ranging from brilliant (“To Kill a Mockingbird” or “Lord of the Rings” trilogy) to unbelievably bad (“The Leagues of Extraordinary Gentlemen” or the 1995 version of “The Scarlet Letter”).
I am a lover of both books and film, but given a choice, I always prefer to read the book first and then see the film. So if you also enjoy reading the book first, then seeing the project evolve to the small screen or the big screen, here are a few books you might want to catch-up on:
EAT PRAY LOVE
Cast: Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup
Director: Ryan Murphy (“Nip/Tuck,” “Glee”)
Category: Theatrical Film
Release Date: In movie theaters nationwide on August 13th
Based on: EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert
This film has all the right elements to be a phenomenal success at the box office — Julia Roberts in the type of role audiences love to see her in, combined with Elizabeth Gilbert’s wildly successful memoir. The story chronicles’ one woman’s quest to find what she really wants out of life. In her travels, she discovers the true pleasure of nourishment by eating in Italy; the power of prayer in India; and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of true love in Bali.
THE DARK FIELDS
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish
Director: Neil Burger (“The Illusionist”)
Category: Theatrical film
Release Date: In movie theaters 2011
Based on: THE DARK FIELDS by Alan Glynn
This thriller imagines a not-so-distant world where designer drugs are all the rage. Our lead character, Eddie Spinola is hooked on MDT-48, a designer drug that adds intelligence and personality. Think of it as Viagra for the brain. While MDT helps Eddie achieve the kind of success he’s only dreamed about, the side effects are nasty . Sanity-splitting headaches, spontaneous blackouts and violent outbursts are just a few. Hooked and with his supply is running low, Eddie must venture into the drug’s dark past to feed his habit.
A GAME OF THRONES
Cast Regulars: Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Harry Lloyd, Mark Addy, Jamie Campbell Bower
Director: Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor”)
Category: Television Series
Release Date: Anticipated start date of Spring 2011 on HBO
Based On: A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (series) by George R.R. Martin
Seven noble families engage in an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Amidst war, political confusion and sexual intrigue, a brotherhood of misfits are all that stand between the realms of men and the horrors beyond. HBO has greenlit ten episodes to see how the series will fare with audiences.
Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins
Director: Cary Fukunaa (“Sin Nombre”)
Category: Theatrical film
Release Date: In select theaters Friday, March 11, 2011
Based On: JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë
Yes, another version of the classic Brontë work. But really, with a story this good, do you ever tire of seeing it done well on the big screen? Never read the classic? What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time!
And finally, for great summer reading fare, make sure and catch “Dead in the Family,” book ten in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. Whenever I finish one of Harris’ novels, I find myself disappointed that I have to wait for the next book to come out! Lucky for me, “True Blood” is back this Saturday, June 13, for their third season on HBO! While “Dead in the Family” may not be my favorite book in the series, it is a great summer read. I stayed-up throughout the night (on a work-night no less), so I could catch-up on my favorite supes (“supernaturals” for the uninitiated).
Okay, confession, I was really just rushing through to the end hoping that Bill and Sookie finally reconcile. Yes ladies, I am a member of Team Bill. Are you a “True Blood” fan too? Leave me a message here and tell me: Team Eric, Team Bill or Team Sam!