Category Archives: To the Big Screen

Certain books have the potential to take the leap to To the Big Screen. Maybe it was the plot. Maybe the appealing personality of the main character.

In this category, I will write about those stories that are going to be adapted into movies. Or have already been.

I will consider what made them successful. Why there considered being a movie, and what made them at made them so special in. I will also tell you the differences between the book and the movie in case they are.

This is a way to know if you should watch a movie. Or also, to know about the novel that inspired such movie. Who knows?

Lord of The Rings Amazon wallpaper

Amazon Lord of The Rings TV series

Amazon is making a new adaptation of one of the best fantasy books of all time: The Lord Of The Rings.  LOTR defined high fantasy as we know it, Tolkien’s work defined the high fantasy genre (How did Tolkien influence literature? check it here). This saga is back, but this time on Prime Video.  Amazon Lord of the Rings will have five seasons and will have the biggest Budget in television history.

Lots of rumors to be answered: will Amazon Lord of The Rings tv series be a reboot? will LOTR characters make their appearance in this tv series? will Peter Jackson be involved in this project?

Lord Of The Rings has had previous adaptations, the most notorious being the movie adaptations by Peter Jackson (were these a good movie adaptation? check it here). At first, it was thought this tv series was going to be a remake, but Amazon already confirmed this would not be the case, this tv series will be centered on the Second Age. If this news were not exciting enough, Tolkien, the biographical drama film telling the story of J.R.R  Tolkien will be released on May 10, 2019.

How it all began

Everything began with this press release published on November 13, 2017. Amazon revealed that they had acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings. This show will be Produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema. This upcoming show will be available on Prime Video.

The press release provided a lot of interesting info. It was Matt Galsor quote, a representative for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins, which proved to be the most revealing:

“Sharon and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

Unexplored stories! That is, it is not a reboot, but this tv series will cover a different angle. So, despite being interconnected with the original novels and main characters, it will be a completely different storyline.

What will the Amazon Lord of the Rings TV series be about?

While at first rumors said that the first season would tell the story of a younger Aragorn, Amazon revealed on Twitter that this storyline will be set in The Second Age ( the Age of Númenor). That is, 3.441 years before LOTR events… as you might have guessed, this implies that practically none of the characters appearing in the original saga will make a cameo in this prequel since… well, they were not even born yet.

Not even Gandalf, who even though being one of the Maiar didn’t take his human form until the Third Age. However, there will be a quite relevant character who will make his appearance for sure later in this series. No other than the Maiar corrupted by Melkor, Sauron, since it is in this age when he tried to subjugate the Middle Earth. For those wondering, his defeat against the Last Alliance of Elves and Men put an end to the Second Age.

As you see, the  Second Age is deeply linked to Sauron’s fate. As a result, some the events that will be for sure introduced in this series will be the rise of Sauron, the forging of the Rings of Power and Isildur’s battle against Sauron.

Amazon Lord of The Rings release date and budget

Amazon Lord of The Rings will be released in 2021, the more optimistic say the release date will be in 2020. This Project is already known as the biggest budget in television history, being more than 1$ billion dollars.

Just so you can compare such numbers better, each chapter of Game of Thrones season seven cost 15$ million each (see here), as you see, LOTRs budget is huge even compared to Game of Thrones…

Cast in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings?

There is still no info regarding the casting. Also, for those wondering if Peter Jackson will be involved in this project: No. The director and producer confirmed he would not be involved in the project.

While Peter Jackson’s films were filmed in New Zealand, Amazon LOTR will be filmed in Scotland instead. This country has some of its locations featured in Avengers: Infinity War. Filming will start this very same year.

How has been this new Tv series received by the fans?

Such news as is a tv series based on Tolkien’s Word was received by the fans with great excitement. When this news hit the Internet the reactions by fans on all Social Media sites were overwhelmingly positive, they want to visit the Middle-Earth once more.

There is also a lot of concern, fans want this tv series to be huge! And don’t want this tv series to have excessive inventive adaptation and be exactly like J.R.R. Tolkien had envisioned it. This concern is more than understandable since it would not be the first time an adaptation does not meet the expectations, just take what happened to Percy Jackson movies

What about you Wottareaders? are you excited about this new Amazon Lord of The Rings TV series?

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Pet Sematary book poster

Pet Sematary 2019 upcoming movie

Hello there Wottareaders!, are you ready for some horror? then get prepared because Pet Sematary is almost here!

After a successful adaptation of some of the best Stephen King books like IT and Gerald’s Game, as well as the popularity trailing Hulu’s Castle Rock series believed to have been inspired by Stephen King, the prolific author is in the news again. This time, it is about the second time adaptation of his popular novel, the Pet Sematary.

What is Pet Sematary about?

Pet Sematary has a relatively simple storyline which focuses on the Creed family, Dr. Louis Creed upon relocation from Boston to Maine with his wife Rachel and their two tender kids discovers a mysterious pet kirkyard concealed in the woods near the family’s new home.  This cemetery has the unpleasant and unnerving capability of bringing the dead back to life. When tragedy strikes, Dr. Louis turn to his unusual neighbor, Jud Crandall, this triggered off a dangerous chain reaction that gives free rein to loads of evil with horrendous consequences.

Now that you know what this movie is about, here you have the trailer, “Sometimes dead is better”

Casting

In 1989, six years after Stephen published Pet Sematary, the novel recorded its first movie adaptation by Mary Lambert. Little did anyone knows that the book will record yet another adaptation thirty-six years later. Gifted and delighted Stephen King is proud of his achievements as he took to his twitter handle to praise his literati skills and his recent success; the adaptation of Pet Sematary. Below are all that you need to know about one of Stephen King movie.

Just like all other Stephen King movies, the directors of Pet Sematary are among the finest in the horror genre. The duo, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer directed Starry eyes, a feature-length horror movie, and MTV’s episodic Scream. They also have a handful of shorts episodic collections to their credit, before stirring the Sematary’s radar.

Casts:

The 2019 Pet Sematary adaptation have actors from the “Milky Way”. The skin of the hero, Louis Creed will be worn by the popular Jason Clarke of the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. While Amy Seimetz stars as Rachel Creed, his wife. The character, Jud Crandall is also in the person of John Lithgow of Dexter and The Crown.

Other notable casts include Hugo Lavoie, Obssa Ahmed, Jeté Laurence, Sonia Maria Chirilia and Lucas Lavoie.

The 1989 adaptation wasn’t muscular enough to pull out these calibers of casts.

Pet Sematary release date

Pet Sematary is making its debut by April 5, 2019. Similarly, Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out, an original horror-thriller called Us, starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, and Elisabeth Moss is due in March. Other movies that will hit the theaters this year include the Happy Death Day 2U (February), New Mutants (August) and Vincenzo Natali’s adaptation of In the Tall Grass.

These will make 2019 a great year for mainstream horror. 

Pet Sematary Adaptations

A more significant number of trailer viewers strongly stand with the choices of the original safe for the feel the blocking, lighting and camera placement that appear better in the remake. The 1989 adaptation has a sequel, Pet Sematary Two, which was not financially and critically favored; hence there will be little or no need for a sequel to this second adaptation. Critiques strongly believe that the plot remains “similarly the same.”

Book vs movie differences

Critiques called it “…another hacked-up, sloppy screenplay from King,” this points out that there are mild differences between the book and the adaptation. For example, Wendigo is the depiction of a powerful demon with necromantic abilities; the Wendigo cursed a cemetery in Maine during the Colonial Era known initially as the Micmac burial ground.

For some yet unexplained reasons, during Mary Lambert’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, she failed to show Wendigo (despite the fact that earlier drafts of her script featured this character). However, it is yet to be ascertained whether or not it Wedingo will make an appearance in the 2019 adaptation. Considering the positive response to the character Pennywise in last years’ IT had it would be a great addition to this movie. A demonic character who haunts and manipulates a small town might be a perfect fit for this version of the movie, and fans of the novel will no doubt appreciate it staying truer to the source material than Lambert’s adaptation did.

Hope you are awaiting this movie! if you like Stephen King, maybe you would like to read a free short story written by him? See here.

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Sandwormd and Dune book cover

Dune movie 2020

 

The famous science fiction novel Dune makes the leap to the big screen. Dune has been a huge influence not only in science fiction genre but a cultural influence itself, inspiring films such as Star Wars, or songs like “to tame a land” by Iron Maiden. Aren’t you amazed by this Dune upcoming movie? Dune 1984 was a really good job, Denis Villeneuve has a challenging deal but for what we have seem before this director fears nothing.

What is Dune about

Dune is a science fiction novel written by American author Frank Herbert. This novel is set in a distant future in which humans colonized other planets and control them. Their society is ruled by Noble Houses, being similar to the feudal system in medieval Europe. All these houses owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, the supreme sovereign of the known universe.

This book begins with the planet Arrakis, also called Dune, a desert planet which before was ruled by the noble house Harkonnen but now, due to the emperor’s orders, is ruled by House Atreides. Despite being a desert, this planet has a valuable product that makes it really coveted: melange (also known as “The spice”). Arrakis is the only source of mélange, a substance that not only enhances mental abilities but also provides a longer life span and, in some cases, future sight.

The duke, Leo Atreides realizes this new duty is too convenient but this is an opportunity he can’t deny. Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a 15-year-old who arrives on Arrakis as his father, the duke, has to rule it. It won’t be late after arriving that his father will be betrayed and killed. As a result, Paul becomes the duke, a duke in exile since house Harkonnen had plotted against his father to rule Arrakis once again.

If you are willing to read this series and you don’t know where to start, here you have my “How to read Dune” post which will prove very helpful.

When is Dune going to be released?

This new Dune movie will be directed by Denis Villeneuve, the director who also directed Blade Runner: 2049. The main character, Paul Atreides, will be featured by Timothee Chalamet who had roles in Call Me By Your Name and  Interstellar. The upcoming film will also have Dave Bautista, but his featured character is not yet confirmed.

This movie will only cover the first half of the book, so this is only the beginning of a new franchise. Seeing that The Hobbit had three movies, a trilogy for this story is to be expected, since Dune has a complex and wide world so there’s a lot to be told.

There is no release date yet as of right now. The movie will start filming in February 2019, so the release date should not be earlier than 2020.

Previous adaptations

This novel is probably not unknown for most of you since it had a previous film adaptation in 1984 directed by David Linch, and a miniseries in 2000 by John Harrison.

There are also video games based on this novel Dune II, a strategy game released in 1992 which was a success, ironically, this led to a remake in the 2000s and a sequel that turned out to be a failure and therefore the developer company, Cryo Interactive, went bankrupt.

Hope you liked this Dune summary. It is a good time to start reading Dune books, you have enough time to start reading them before the first Dune film gets released!

 

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The Witcher Henry Cavill

The Witcher Netflix 2019

The Witcher universe keeps getting bigger. The story, written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski is gradually becoming a media phenomenon. And this is only the beginning. In 2017 Netflix announced The Witcher was having an eight-episode tv show on their platform. An upcoming show which will undoubtedly increase the popularity of this saga even more.

First came the video games, the action role-playing video games developed by CD Projekt Red which incredibly raised this series popularity. More specifically, it was the third game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. By the way, if you played the video games only, you might want to consider reading the books after reading this previous post. This game had such commercial success and critical acclaim it made the Witcher books being translated into multiple languages.

Just so you can understand the impact better, the books were already popular in Poland and Russia for example.  Meanwhile, there was not even an official English translation for the entire series. This, of course, changed after the video games success, now you can find all the books in English (and if you want to know the proper reading order, you just have to click here).

Therefore, it is fair to say that the video games helped immensely in increasing the popularity of this saga and also boosting the sales. As a result, The Witcher caught the attention of Netflix.

The Witcher Netflix release date

Despite being announced in 2017, the official release date is 2019, as you can see in the official Webpage. Meaning, we are getting close! Unfortunately, there is no specific date, not even a month. But, it is said (unofficially), that release date will be by the end of the year.

The Witcher trailer

Netflix released a teaser trailer showing Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia:

YouTube: please specify correct url

Not much revealing, how do you feel about this trailer? fits your expectations?

 Casting

There are already a lot of confirmations in the cast list. The main character, Geralt of Rivia, will be featured by Henry Cavill, an actor you probably already know since he is (or at least was until recently) the portrayal of Superman.

The cast also includes  Freya Allan as Ciri and Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, actresses whose names are not as big compared to Cavill. Other characters are already cast, which you can see here.

Here is the official cast:

The witcher cast

Stop looking, they are not in that image 😉. Jaskier (Dandelion) and Triss Merigold will be featured by Joey Batey and Anna Shaffer respectively:

Joey Batey actor Dandellion

Joey Batey

Triss Merigold Anna Shaffer

Anna Shaffer

 

Plot

Regarding the plot, there is not much revealed yet, only the brief summary (almost a description) posted in the official Webpage:

“The witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts”

But we already knew this right? Other sources don’t reveal much more, seems like they want to keep it as secret as possible.

There is a leaked script though, about two Yennefer scenes.  Which you can see here

Despite this, the executive producer and showrunner of The Witcher Netflix, Lauren S.  Hissrich, confirmed that these scenes were for the casting process only.

For those concerned about the tv series adaptation, you will be glad to know that Andrzej Sapkowski is working on the Netflix adaptation as a creative consultant. This is a way to ensure that the usual elisions, inventive adaptations or character, which happen in every book adaptation, have at least the approval of the writer.

Seems like we won’t have to wait much more, if you didn’t read the books yet:  Start now!

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Mortal engines book movie wottaread

Mortal Engines book to movie

 

The cinematographic adaptation of the Mortal Engines saga by Philip Reeve is now a reality. In this case, the first film is based on the first novel.  There is still a lot of story to tell, as there are still three books that will surely make reference in the next movies.

The actress Hera Hilmar and the actor Robert Sheehan, will carry out the role of protagonists in this novel of steampunk thematic. If you still don’t know the plot of the series, you have to know that Mortal Engines is set in a post-apocalyptic universe and it’s part of the fantastic and adventure genre. The film tells the story of how two of the main characters end up crossing their paths in a ruthless world. A dangerous fugitive, played by Hera, and a surviving orphan, Robert Sheeran, are two young people quite opposed in terms of ideas but the circumstances of the moment and the desire to survive in a hostile environment, where cities have literally become predators, make them join forces to change the future.

Book-to-film adaptation

One of the main responsible for this book series adaptation to the world of cinema is one of its producers, Peter Jackson. The well-known film director is a great fan of the saga and wanted to bring his own version to the big screen. You might have noticed I refer this movie as a version, this is because the film is not entirely faithful to the saga. Not in plot terms, which it tries to maintain the same essence, but it has some changes that for the most demanding readers will not go unnoticed.

To begin with, the main characters are older than in the books. While in the novel they were young teenagers, in the cinema, we have somewhat older actors. In this way, the novel also grows in terms of maturity is concerned. Despite maintaining the same plot, you do notice the darkest atmosphere.  Having said this, it is obvious that the movies are aimed at a much more adult audience than the books.

Just for a better understanding, in 2002 this saga won The Gold award in Nestlé Children’s Book Prize (set of annual awards for British children’s books that ran from 1985 to 2007 according to Wikipedia)  in nine to eleven years old category. So yes, this book audience was originally for young teenagers, while the movies will be addressed to a more adult audience.

The success of Mortal Engines

Taking Mortal Engines to the cinema is not an easy feat.  This saga has so many awards that have made it one of the best in terms of children’s fiction novels, a lot of responsibility for the director and the producers.

Knowing how to convey all the magic that has made it worthy of these awards to, as we have said, a more adult world, is a rather complicated task that has turned Mortal Engines into a film with many expectations.

At the moment the producers are cautious about new releases.  Depending on the success of this first film,  they will make future decisions for the development and adaptation of the saga. Time will tell, but having Peter Jackson involved in this project is the key for sure.

 

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