Take a look at some of the exciting novels set to hit UAE cinemas in the next 12 months.
The Green Mile, The Shining and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – they’re just three classic books that movie studios have turned into brilliant films when they’ve run out of their own, original ideas. And 2014 is set to be a blockbuster year for book adaptations, with the release of several high-profile movies. Without giving too much away, here are five good reads we think you’ll find essential viewing over the next 12 months.
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence pair up again for the third time in two years (after 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook and 2013’s American Hustle) in this adaptation of a 2008 book by US poet Ron Rash. Cooper and Lawrence play a young married couple who move to the American countryside during the depression era. Serena is set to be a gritty emotional drama about infertility and infidelity. The film is due out around autumn this year and has suffered a few false starts: Angelina Jolie was originally cast and when the film was first announced, it was due to be directed by Darren Aronofsky. Both dropped out. Susanne Bier took Aronofsky’s place at the helm, she is known for
In A Better World (2010) and After The Wedding (2006).
Written by US author Mark Helprin, this mythical novel of the same name was published in 1983 and will be brought to cinematic life by acclaimed screenwriter and producer Akiva Goldsman. Set in New York, the film follows Irish burglar Peter Lake, who attempts to rob a house he thinks is empty, but then meets millionairess Beverley Penn, and they fall in love. This story, in Akiva Goldsman’s hands, should make for a classy adaptation. Goldsman penned the screenplays for films such as A Beautiful Mind, and I Am Legend. The film has a solid cast; Colin Farrell takes the lead as Lake and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) plays Miss Penn. Russell Crowe and Will Smith play supporting roles to boost the roster. The film is out in February.
This New York Times best-seller was a massive hit when it landed on book shelves in 2012, and it hasn’t taken long for an adaption to come about. The novel is by Gillian Flynn and she’s maintaining her involvement by also writing the screenplay for the film – a move that should see the suspense and thrills of the book carry through to the screen. The story follows Nick and Amy Dunne’s failing marriage. Ben Affleck plays Nick, who finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation after his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) suddenly goes missing in small-town Missouri. The film is likely to be out in the US in October this year, so you’ll have to wait a bit to see it, but that leaves ample time to read the book first.
Vampire films never seem to go out of fashion, especially for the teen market. Movies such as Twilight have whetted the public’s appetite for neck-biters with attitude. Vampire Academy, first penned by Richelle Mead in 2007, is a best-selling set of six books, all of which were very successful. The series’ popularity among its teen readers makes this a hotly anticipated film for 2014. Zoey Deutch (Beautiful Creatures) plays the lead role as Rose Hathaway, a half human, half vampire who runs away from her school, St Vladimir’s Academy. When she is brought back by a guardian, the two develop intense feelings for one another, but face complications. For the film, the title has been changed slightly to Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. An exact release date is yet to be confirmed.
Cut from a similar cloth as hugely popular franchise The Hunger Games, Divergent, the 2011 debut novel by Veronica Roth, is set in a dystopian future where society is divided into five factions – Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Protagonist Beatrice, played by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), is born into an Abnegation family but frankly selflessness has never really been a particular strong point. She has to choose between staying with her family and being true to herself. English actor Theo James co-stars as does fellow Brit Kate Winslet. The book was written by Roth while she was earning her undergraduate degree at Chicago’s Northwestern University. Hollywood studios were so keen to pick up the rights to the tome, they acquired them several months before the book was even published. We’ll have to wait until spring this year to see it.