I mentioned on Twitter a week or so ago that I was really excited about a couple of upcoming movie/TV adaptations of books that are supposed to be either in production, have been announced, or are coming out this year. A friend of mine asked that I create a list and I thought the blog would be a good medium for it, so here goes! This is part one of two, since I plan to do a second blog post about upcoming books and novellas that I am excited about.
Annihilation – This first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy is ridiculously good and in the process of being made into a movie! The team includes the director from Ex Machina and one of the main leads, Oscar Isaac (who I may sometimes call Oscarito because he is adorable).
I do have some reservations about this movie adaptation, though. Annihilation has minimum of six main female characters (all currently cast according to IMDB, though I’m not sure who is what yet). There are two male characters that I can think of that might be construed to have lines in a screen adaptation of the book – the Biologist’s husband and the lighthouse keeper. So far there are four men cast, three on IMDB and one which was announced on Twitter recently. The cast in general looks diverse, which is a nice change, but it does worry me that what should be pretty much an entirely female driven movie and was an entirely female driven book is going to somehow be undercut with an excess of male leads, especially since a lot of the male cast seem to be relatively famous. I’m still crossing my fingers. It helps that the author is directly consulting at least some of the time on the adaptation.
The Girl with All the Gifts – There’s already a trailer for this one, but you can read the book summary here. I loved this book – it’s a nice new take on a zombie novel with a very deep, literary focus instead of a focus on action. I am not sure how that will translate into the movie, but the trailer is good. Despite the main character being a young girl, the book is definitely adult. I see some vacillation here in the trailer on the branding, though. I expect this to be a very different movie from the book, but still good and interesting.
My biggest worry with this is how they will successfully capture in screenplay/acting the central theme of the book, which was, arguably, how adults sin against children. It’s an important aspect of two of the main characters and how they live (and die, in at least one case). It will be interesting to see how that is communicated.
Oryx and Crake – I am not tracking this one as hard, mostly because I loved this trilogy so much and I’m terrified they are going to mess it up. It’s been licensed by HBO for a television series. HBO does not have a great record for truthful adaptations (True Blood) but at least this series has the advantage of being complete, with each of the books able to function as a semi-standalone. We won’t end up with another Game of Thrones fiasco (which is literally wounding my reader’s heart every Monday. Please stop posting spoilers, internet). That said, we all know how tempting it is for TV adaptations to just keep running on and on if they make decent money, and I can see this work really suffering from that.
I am, however, very excited for the potential Netflix adaptation of Alias Grace. Netflix has a much better record for adapting clear, concise stories (I’m thinking Jessica Jones here) so I’m hoping they will bring some of that to Alias Grace if production ever kicks off. While I haven’t read this book yet, it is apparently based off of a true story and seems like it will have a gritty, cerebral crime-solving feel to it. I can totally get behind that. I’ve also heard rumors of a potential Hulu adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s apparently a great year for Margaret Atwood adaptations.
Lastly, of course people are excited about The Dark Tower and American Gods (check out the images for American Gods here). I’ll totally be sitting my butt down to watch those, but plenty of people have already said more than me about that source of excitement.
A more comprehensive list of upcoming movie/TV adaptations is available at Tor.com, so if there’s something you’re excited about that I didn’t mention leave a comment telling me why you liked the book! I’m always looking for additions to my reading list.