novels

Disney/Lucasfilm Loads New Books in ‘Star Wars’ Canon

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Suck it completists! All your hard work collecting all the novels and comics of the extended Star Wars universe has come to not with the announcement last week that Disney and Lucasfilm were tossing the whole thing out and starting again. On the other hand, those of you who have never picked up a Star Wars book before may now be interested to know that the all-new canon for Star Wars novelization will kick off this fall with four brand new volumes. (more…)

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Author and sci-fi legend Richard Matheson (Duel, I Am Legend) is planning a 21st century, post-Cold War remake of the cult classic film The Incredible Shrinking Man, which was based on his novel.

The 87 year old Matheson will be assisted by his son: Richard Matheson, Jr., and will be developing the film for MGM, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Matheson considers this iteration of his story “an existential action movie.” (whatever that means). Though the issues which inspired the original story are no longer relevant (and the protagonist no longer shrinks due to radiation exposure), Matheson believes that the essential themes behind his updated version still resonate in the modern world…perhaps even more so now:

“My original story was a metaphor for how man’s place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing.”

Universal, who made the original Incredible Shrinking Man, apparently spent years trying to get a remake off the ground, but was unable to do so before the rights to the story lapsed….We’ll just have to wait and see if MGM has better luck.

Source: CinemaBlend

Winter’s Tale: Another Futuristic Novel Set for Film

Hollywood has just given the thumbs up to another novel for film adaptation. Winter’s Tale written by Mark Halprin was first released in 1983. The premise of the story takes place in a future New York with hints of mysticism, and allure that adds a unique quality to an already captivating, and original story.  Of course, if Halpring should thank anyone in Hollywood for the resurgence of his book it definitely has to be a certain screenwriter along with the help of two big name stars in the film industry.

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, he man who wrote well known films I Am Legend and  Batman and Robin, has had the script for Winter’s Tale floating around the purgatory that is “film development”. With his involvement in other projects such as:  I Am LegendHancock  I, Robot, and a A Beautiful Mind. We can definately understand why he would reach out to the big star’s in both of these films to help him out, and lending their names and talents to this film.

So, with the help of Russel Crowe and Will Smith he has been able to their top notch acting to lend more interest to the film, while managing to shave 20 million dollars off of a 75 million dollar budget. This allows for the film company to take a step towards filming possibly starting in the Fall. Film adaptation of  Helprin’s novel will be Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut, and should hopefully be a hit in the box office. With so many books being adapted into film in the next year or two, it seems that I’ve definitely started a reading list to last me past summer vacation and a little into the Fall.

 

 

Steven King‘s The Stand was adapted to a miniseries back in the ’90’s, with Gary Sinise and Molly Ringwald playing the leads. All I remember is the wheelchair guy from Forrest Gump acting like bad-ass (Sinise) and that the telling and overall scope of the series barely encompassed Kings novel. Now Warner Bros. wants to re-make it into a 2+ hour movie. I don’t think a single regular length cinematic adaptation could do the book justice. However, I suppose the story and character depth can be cherry picked and make for an adequate adaption. I’d prefer they leave well enough alone, but it’s happening anyway.

So.. onto the latest news. According to Deadline, Warner Bros. has handed the task of directing and adapting the novel to…Ben Affleck. Uh, what? I didn’t see that coming. Not at all. As Deadline notes, the actor, who has been doing wearing the director hat as of late, including his current directorial project, Argo, has proven his directorial skills, along with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Deadline doesn’t state whether this is a done deal for Affleck to direct, or if Warner Bros has merely offered him the gig.

I like Affleck’s work as a director, but I think The Stand is not yet in his wheelhouse. If he takes the job he’ll Boston-ize the shit out of it. On the other hand, Casey Affleck would be amazing as Stu Redman.

I feel another TV series would be better. Like on HBO or something and have Darabont or some shit do it up.

So.. Ben Affleck directing a famous, classic Stephen King film. Are you, the reader, psyched on this? Or, does Affleck lack the imagination and comprehension of  King’s finest (arguably) work? Also, Do you like apples?

The Stand tells the story of an outbreak that destroys a good portion of the world’s population, leaving the survivors to split into two groups, one good, and the other evil. That’s a very abridged synopsis of the story.It’s one of those Crash like deals, where story is told through different people, all of whom are connected by what’s going on.

Neil Gaiman Talks American Gods and Doctor Who

“One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.” ~ Nerd Bastards writer Matthew Jackson

I have yet to read American Gods, but with quotes like that, it just jumped up a few notches on my agenda.

Folks love Neil Gaiman (Who doesn’t?) and there’s a lot of interest in American Gods. Especially, the upcoming television adaption being set-up by HBO. If you haven’t been following the news bites, it will be directed by Robert Richardson. A brilliant, Academy-Award winning cinematographer who worked on films including JFK, Casino, The Aviator and Kill Bill 1&2. And, Tom Hanks‘ production company Playtone Productions has promised to produce six seasons of the show, with a budget of $40 million per season (More than enough to cover the range of stories and plot detours in American Gods). The show is set to premiere in 2013 at the earliest.

Oh, if you’re unfamiliar with the series, here’s the pitch:

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

In the midst of a book signing tour to promote the release of a special 10th anniversary hardcover edition of American Gods Neil Gaiman answered some fan question pertaining to the upcoming series.

One of the things I’m concerned about is that I really want to make sure the races of all the characters are kept. I don’t like it when black characters become white in movies, or things like that. That was something I found deeply problematic with the attempt by some people who had a lot of money and a lot of clout, and who wanted the rights to Anansi Boys, at one point. Somewhere in there, they made the fatal mistake of saying to me, “And, of course, the characters won’t be black in the movie because black people don’t like fantasy.” They were suddenly very surprised that we were no longer interested in selling them the book. So, I want to keep the racial mix in American Gods the same. And, I want to make it faithful, but also would like it to have a few surprises for people who read the book. I hate that thing where people have read the books and they go, “Oh, I know everything that’s going to happen.” I want to be like, “Okay, no you don’t.” I want there to still be some surprises.

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Neil Gaiman has been doing a lot of interviews lately, in large part to promote his upcoming episode of Doctor Who (more on that later, I’m sure). In among these interviews, he let slip a little bit of news on the developing film adaptation of his novel American Gods.

Gaiman confirmed that the film rights to the book were sold “like last week,” but didn’t name names. He went on to say, also without naming names, this:

“There is one cinematographer and director on board who has many, many Oscars and is I think is a genius, and I love the fact that he fell in love with this about six or seven years ago and has not given up and just kept coming back and kept coming back.”

Gaiman didn’t go into detail beyond that, but perhaps an announcement from this mysterious director is on the way soon. In the meantime, we’re left to wonder: Who in Hollywood, with many, many Oscars, has bought American Gods and is even now setting about adapting it to the big screen?

Wish list time: Who is your favorite candidate to direct such a thing? Guillermo del Toro? Steven Spielberg? Who is your nightmare candidate?

For those of you unfamiliar with American Gods (Get yourself familiar really, really quick. You’ll be glad you did), here’s the blurb on the book from Gaiman’s blog:

Released from prison, Shadow finds his world turned upside down. His wife has been killed; a mysterious stranger offers him a job. But Mr. Wednesday, who knows more about Shadow than is possible, warns that a storm is coming — a battle for the very soul of America . . . and they are in its direct path.

One of the most talked-about books of the new millennium, American Gods is a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth and across an American landscape at once eerily familiar and utterly alien. It is, quite simply, a contemporary masterpiece.

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When discussing Star Wars, it’s easy to forget that some people have only seen the original film trilogy and perhaps the prequels. Thus, when you get on a tangent and start spouting off to your friends about Han’s abandonment of his son and his shunning of Leia after the Yuuzhan Vong’s actions resulted in Chewbacca’s death, people will look at you funny.

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