“This Is Where I Leave You”
If you haven’t picked up Jonathan Tropper’s hilarious and poignant 2009 novel, I can’t recommend it enough. Give it a read before Shawn Levy’s adaptation hits theaters. Even if you don’t read the book, you cannot argue with the caliber of actors they’ve round up. You may want to hold onto something. Jason Bateman, Jane Fonda, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schwartz, Rose Byrne Aaron Eckhart, Kathy Bates and Adam Driver.
“In The Heart Of The Sea”
News has been coming hot and heavy about Ron Howard’s adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s Nation Book Award-winning novel that tells the “true story” of the shipwreck that was the inspiration for Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.” The 19th century plot will star (a, fingers crossed, soaking wet) Chris Hemsworth and young Tom Holland. The book was a fantastic read and even though Howard often has a saccharine touch, I think the subject matter is harrowing enough to save us all from sugar overload. Fans of the severely under-loved Master And Commander should brace themselves for this.
One of the best literary adaptors working today, Todd Field (In the Bedroom, Little Children) will be adapting Jess Walter’s popular novel set in 1960s Italy (and elsewhere). I’ve no doubt that with Field at the helm the adaptation will be an intelligent and poignant affair and, at the very least, it will be a gorgeous thing to to look at.
“Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell”
BBC America announced this week that they’ll be making a seven-hour mini-series of Susanna Clarke’s engrossing tale of two rival magicians in 18th century England. Clarke’s world was involved and meticulous with plenty of material to be mined. Though no casting news has been announced yet, I’d appreciate it if the usual suspects would report to my bunk. Mr. Cumberbatch too, if you please.
“Twelve Years A Slave”
Steve McQueen’s ambitious all-star epic featuring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ruth Negga, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Garret Dillahunt, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Giamatti and Sarah Paulson has been given an R-rating. Significance? Well McQueen’s first film, Hunger, was never rated and his most recent, Shame has besmirched by an NC-17 rating making this harrowing story of slavery his most accessible and family-friendly film yet. Bring the kids!