2016 has been a great year for book adaptations, from Me Before You and The Girl on the Train to Arrival and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 2017’s movie lineup is just as impressive- keep reading for our month-by-month guide to the biggest adaptations of the coming year.
Silence by Shūsaku Endō
Shusaku Endo’s writing career was heavily influenced by his Catholic faith. In his 1966 novel Silence, a Catholic priest travels to Japan to track down a missionary who renounced his faith. Japanese converts to Catholicism were hunted and tortured to death by Buddhist leaders, so the novel asks: is it right to put lives at risk in order to save souls? The adaptation stars Andrew Garfield as the young priest Father Rodrigues- watch his standout performance in Never Let Me Go (BOOK ZONE 823.91 ISH) adapted from the novel by Japanese author and UEA alumni Kazuo Ishiguro.
T2: Trainspotting, based on Porno by Irvine Welsh
Trainspotting was a defining film of the 90s, despite its harrowing subject matter. Author Irvine Welsh has a cameo in this sequel, which is partly based on his 2002 novel Porno. Original cast members Ewan McGregor, Kelly MacDonald, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle return as Renton, Diane, Sickboy and Begbie (who stars in Welsh’s latest novel The Blade Artist) Find Trainspotting the novel in NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 WEL (we find it helps to read the dialogue out loud!)
Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach
Tulip Fever (BOOK ZONE 823.91 MOG) is set during a strange period in Dutch history, when tulip bulbs were worth their weight in gold! Parts of the movie were filmed in Norwich Cathedral- take a tour around the region with The Duchess (DVD LOBBY 791.430), Never Let Me Go (BOOK ZONE 823.91 ISH) and Shakespeare in Love, which were all filmed on Holkham beach.
Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow
A Hollywood remake of an anime movie based on a manga series is not everyone’s cup of tea. The filmmakers’ decision to cast predominantly white actors in a film set entirely in Japan has been met with negative criticism. Ghost in the Shell is part of the manga canon and like many sci-fi stories, it uses futuristic tropes to raise philosophical questions. You can read more about GITS in Manga and Philosophy (BOOK ZONE 741.5 STE) Find more animated sci-fi- from Noein and Elfen Lied to A Scanner Darkly- in the DVD LOBBY 791.433.
Wonder by RJ Palacio
This is going to be a tear-jerker….twelve year-old Auggie has never attended school due to a facial deformity which affects his hearing, speech and sight. When he falls out of touch with his long distance friend, his parents encourage him to join a mainstream middle school, where he succeeds despite his overwhelming shyness. When an image-obsessed mother on the school board has Auggie photoshopped out of the class picture, she starts a war between the parents who stand with Auggie, and those who want him moved to a ‘special’ school. Room actor Jacob Tremblay will play Auggie, and The Princess Bride star Mandy Patinkin will play inspirational teacher Mr Tushman. We recommend that fans check out The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which features similar themes like physical differences, bullying and family drama.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Like Brave New World and 1984, The Circle condemns the widespread use of surveillance. The Circle is a corporation responsible for patenting the ‘SeeChange’, a device which films humans 24/7. Designed to monitor politicians, the SeeChange is eventually rolled out into people’s homes, like that of Circle employee Mae and her parents. Mae is initially tipped for promotion, but her loyalty is tested when a rebel group ask for her help. Harry Potter actress Emma Watson will play Mae alongside Star Wars’ John Boyega as Kalden, the mysterious leader of the resistance. While you wait, try reading Little Brother or any one of the nine dystopian stories listed here.
Dave Eggers is an author, artist and publisher. See his animal artwork here.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
The fourth film in the Wimpy Kid franchise is actually based on the ninth book. Greg’s dad is keen to show the Heffleys some unusual tourist spots, like the Hall of Presidents (carved from butter) and the Museum of Popcorn. Lost luggage, scary locals and a prizewinning piglet all conspire to ruin the family holiday, until Mum decides to bin the timetable and run the trip like a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novel. The cast of the earlier Wimpy Kid movies have all grown up and been replaced, but filmmakers promise the tone of the film will stay true to the last three instalments. Author Jeff Kinney has plans to make an animated version, so Wimpy Kid: Part 5 might look entirely different! For now, check out our review of Little Miss Sunshine, a classic family road trip/disaster movie!
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Many adults have a strained relationship with Captain Underpants. His stories are amongst the most contested, receiving more complaints than Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Clockwork Orange and Catcher in the Rye. This essay by author Dav Pilkey explains why he believes in reading “silly” books, and our post on censorship explains the arguments for and against outright bans on works of literature. One thing is certain- more people than ever will read Captain Underpants after the movie next June! Jordan Peele, Kevin Hart and Kristen Schaal will voice a cast of characters like “Professor Poopypants”, “Dr Diaper” and “Turbo Toilet 2000”- delightful! If you’re into gross-out comedy, try The Spot on My Bum by Gez Walsh, from our POETRY section.
The Dark Tower by Stephen King
Stephen King’s Dark Tower series is over one million words in length, and many fans felt it would be impossible to adapt. Photos of Idris Elba as Roland Deschain and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black have charmed some critics, but the film’s release date has been pushed back more than once due to problems with special effects in post-production. If the film proves popular, it could spawn a series of eight films or more. The supernatural forces at work in IT (BOOK ZONE 823.91 KIN) also appear in The Dark Tower (as well as several other novels by King) Expect to see more of IT in 2017…
The Dark Tower series is also available in graphic novel format
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets by Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières
Back in 1997 French director Luc Besson co-wrote and directed The Fifth Element, which was heavily influenced by the works of Valerian author Jean-Claude Mezieres. The Valerian comics, which began in the 1960s and ran until 2010, follow two time-travelling agents through a complex universe inhabited by thousands of species. Both leads have appeared in comic book adaptations before: model/actress Cara Delevingne played Enchantress in DC’s Suicide Squad, while Dane DeHaan played Spider-Man villain Green Goblin in the 2014 franchise reboot. See artwork by Mezieres’ contemporary Moebius in The Definitive Silver Surfer (BOOK ZONE 741.5973) or search our GRAPHIC NOVELS section for more stunning sci-fi.
IT by Stephen King
We told you he’d be back…anyone with a fear of clowns should avoid this remake of Stephen King’s IT, which was originally filmed in two parts back in the ‘90s. The shapeshifting monster known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown will be played by Bill Skarsgard (Hemlock Grove, Victoria) while Stranger Things standout Finn Wolfhard will play one of the children he terrorises. Newsreaders originally blamed film crews for the spate of ‘killer clown’ pranks that took place over the summer. We hope that nobody feels ‘inspired’ to hide in a storm drain in costume next winter… Seriously scary tales by Stephen King can be found in the BOOK ZONE 823.91 KIN- several, like Carrie and Pet Semetary, have already been adapted for the screen.
When did clowns stop being funny? Probably when IT was published in 1972…
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (based on the Kingsman comics by Mark Millar)
The first Kingsman movie was popular with American fans of Doctor Who and Sherlock, so it is perhaps no surprise that Kingsman 2, The Golden Circle, will be set in the USA. Channing Tatum replaces Colin Firth as an American agent who may or may not get along with Eggsy, the trainee English spy. Kingsman was adapted for the screen by Jane Goldman, who co-wrote Millar’s other franchise Kick-Ass. Both are full of colourful set pieces- in one scene, bursting rainbow balloons replace exploding heads- and both keep their tongues firmly in their cheeks (Kick-Ass mocks the superhero genre; Kingsman riffs on James Bond and classic heist films) Read our review of James Bond spin-off graphic novel Silverfin then borrow Kick-Ass from the DVD LOBBY.
“Why didn’t I sign up for the second Kingsman movie?”- Colin Firth
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Shakespearean actor and director Kenneth Branagh takes on one of the biggest names in crime fiction- Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot! Famously portrayed for many years by David Suchet, Poirot is known for his neat attire, Belgian accent and tiny moustache. Murder on the Orient Express takes place in the 1930s, when Poirot’s journey from Calais to London is interrupted by the death of an elderly gentleman. It is one of Christie’s most famous “locked room” murder mysteries, so no spoilers, please, mon ami. You can find a short collection of Poirot stories in The Double Clue, which is part of our QUICK READS collection.
Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
Three connected stories by three different authors make up this heart-warming Christmas tale of friendship, love and selflessness. Let it Snow is much more uplifting than Green’s usual tales of suicide, sickness and low self-esteem, but there are still plenty of threats to the “true meaning of Christmas”. There are movies based on almost every holiday but classic Christmas movies like It’s A Wonderful Life set a very high bar. Will this film find an audience outside of John Green’s fanbase? Browse the Christmas tag for our yearly recommendations and nostalgia trips!
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Jumanji is a remake of the 1995 film inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s picture book. In the original movie, animals from the Jumanji board game escaped into our world; in this version, a group of teenage gamers are transported to Jumanji, and must complete the game before they can escape. A cast of comedians will portray the teens as they appear ‘in character’, with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson playing uber geek/elite explorer Spencer. Ex-wrestler Johnson is known for being the nicest guy on Instagram, but has yet to win as much acclaim as the late star of Jumanji, Robin Williams. We hope that the remake, along with Disney’s Moana, will certify Johnson as a great children’s actor.
aparkersmith (2009) Trainspotting Available at: https://flic.kr/p/bpDfdX (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
~Beekeeper~ (2013) Stephen King – The Dark Tower, The Long Road Home Available at: https://flic.kr/p/fAEtpH (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Button, M (2013) Norwich in the snow- Jan 2013 Available at: https://flic.kr/p/eLXPxh (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
danielweiresq (2009) 50of365 Murder On The Orient Express  Available at: https://flic.kr/p/66SSM6 (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
davitydave (2013) Dave Eggers #artpadsf Available at: https://flic.kr/p/ejLMNZ (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Domenico (2015) Ghost-in-the-Shell Live Available at: https://flic.kr/p/qwJVP4 (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Lauke, P (2008) stephen king’s IT Available at: https://flic.kr/p/5qepK3 (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
MacDonald, E (2014) 174/365 The Fault in our Stars Available at: https://flic.kr/p/nNkiQs (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Ojala, S (2011) Crochet Diary of a Wimpy Kid Inspired Doll Available at: https://flic.kr/p/atVDXc (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Pina, T (2011) by Kazuo Ishiguro Available at: https://flic.kr/p/9cnNMh (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Skidmore, G (2016) Cara Delevingne Available at: https://flic.kr/p/Kk4Y1q (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Skidmore, G (2014) Colin Firth Available at: https://flic.kr/p/oePD5y (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Weisberg, T (2012) Jumanji Rhino Available at: https://flic.kr/p/dujikP (Accessed: 7 December 2016)
Zaneology (2011) Reading “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” with Beauology Available at: https://flic.kr/p/9EJwmY (Accessed: 7 December 2016)