From Page To Screen: Upcoming Film And TV Adaptations

Readers who also love to go to the movies or curl up in front of the TV have several reasons to cheer. Recently there has been a surplus of news about upcoming projects that will adapt favorite reads into movies and TV shows — and in some cases, the process will go in the opposite direction. Find out which of these adaptations are making our TBS (To Be Seen) List!

WHET YOUR APPETITE WITH NEWS OF A MYSTERY MOVIE

If you love whodunits, this announcement is sure to please, Sony Pictures purchased the movie rights to Agatha Christie’s Crooked House. There are twist and turns aplenty in this 1949 story. When a wealthy older man is poisoned, his granddaughter declares that she won’t marry her fiancé until the killer is apprehended. The killer seems to be someone who lives in the house — but who it is remains a question until the very end! Neil LaBute, who directed 2006’s scare-filled flick The Wicker Man is taking on this Christie work. LaBute told Deadline.com, “It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Agatha Christie’s work on the big screen … [Crooked House is] the perfect title with which to bring a whole new audience to Christie, while at the same time delivering a wonderfully suspenseful experience to her legions of existing fans.” He captured our sentiment exactly, and with Downton Abbey’s writer Julian Fellowes and Dark Obsession’s Tim Rose Price adapting the script, we bet that this story will be full of Gothic-seeming chills. Thankfully, we don’t have long to wait, filing is set to begin in London during Fall 2012. 

 

OR GO REALLY GOTH ...

If you’d rather read about ghosts and ghouls, we suggest you keep your eye out for the upcoming adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s short story anthology From The Dust Returned that was published in 2002. The stories are told to a young human boy by his adopted grandmummy … who is literally a mummy. This young orphan named Timothy has been taken in by a mismatched family of monsters, who the audience will learn about as the older woman recounts episodes right before the extended family’s reunion on Halloween. This story truly has everything: vampire parents, a teleporting sister and more! MGM will be bringing this collection to the big screen with the help of Edward Scissorhands’ producer Denise Di Novi and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ Alison Greenspan, so we think it’s fair to expect an equal amount of scares and smiles!

THRILLERS TO MAKE YOUR HEART RACE

There is not one, but three movies in the works from across the movie studios. Paramount Pictures is working with scribe Christopher McQuarrie of The Usual Suspects and Valkyrie fame to create the script for a film adaptation of the 1993 Tom Clancy tale Without Remorse. This is the second time that Without Remorse has been picked up by a studio, however Savoy Pictures, which originally purchased the rights just after the book was released, wasn’t able to get a feature film off the ground.

The plot of Without Remorse is complex and dark. As it follows John Kelly’s transition into John Clark, a recurring character in Clancy’s world of operative Jack Ryan, it also features several other popular characters and is told through backstory as well as action set in the story’s present-day, Vietnam War-era Baltimore. Writer Shawn Ryan, who worked on television shows such as The Shield and The Unit, has been involved in the adaptation process that McQuarrie may soon be taking part in. We anticipate that Ryan’s experience working with complex plots in an episodic manner will help make the full-length movie adaptation of Without Remorse easier to follow for audiences new to Clancy’s universe.

Meanwhile, Universal Studios is backing a big-screen version of Ridley Pearson’s 2012 summer release The Risk Agent, which will be produced by actor Vince Vaughn who is also planning to star as the titular agent. The book, which starts a new series from the talented author, was rated an RT Top Pick! The story follows Rutherford Risk as the firm tries to track down a Chinese National and the missing man’s security detail. To get around the Chinese laws that prohibit PI work, the company turns to John Knox and Grace Chu. He’s fluent in Chinese culture and their methods of combat, while she’s trained to hunt down missing money. But will this mismatched duo be able to retrieve the hostages before it’s too late? We are excited to see Vaughn take on the role of Knox, turning to a serious role and (correct us if we’re wrong) the first time he’s played an investigator since his supporting role as Eddie in 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. As Lucy Liu will be busy with her Sherlock Holmes-re-boot television show, we’d love to see Sucker Punch’s Jamie Chung or Scandal’s Brenda Song take on the role of Grace.

Do you like your thrillers in bite-sized, episodic chunks? Then you’re in luck because it looks like author James Lee Burke’s beloved ex-NOLA policeman may be coming to the small screen. Fans love the Dave Robicheaux mystery novels, so it’s no surprise that this project has been eyed for the big screen. However, producer Hutch Parker, who has optioned the books, is tied to Fox, so we might be seeing this potential television show air on its darker sister channel, FX, which is already home to Justified and the short lived (but greatly missed) Terriers. These are both shows that feature similar themes such as circumventing the law and featuring dark heroes. With 19 books in this Robicheaux series so far, this French Quarter-set story has tons of interesting ups and downs to mine from — not to mention a beautiful setting.

And if you’d rather have your television shows with an extra helping of horror, but still enjoy a good mystery, we think you might just lose your head over this news: The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow may soon be the basis for a show on The CW. There are rumors floating about that this teen/younger viewers-centric channel is getting ready to purchase a contemporary re-telling of the classic tale. But the twist? Ichabod Crane is a modern day FBI Agent! We think that this may fit well into the channel’s lineup, which already plays to the same type of viewers with their hits Nikita and Supernatural, and the upcoming Fall 2012 shows Beauty and the Beast and Green Arrow.

HORROR ON YOUR TELEVISION

Meanwhile, the small screen will also be home to a new version of one of fiction’s other most compelling supernatural killers. The count himself, Dracula, will be at the center of an NBC ten-show series, and will be played by the man most women would like to sink their fangs into: Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Meyers, who just recently played King Henry VIII for Showtime’s The Tudors, is no stranger to historical England. This time he’ll find himself in the 1890s as his Dracula dons the persona of an American entrepreneur whose plans of revenge are sidetracked when he meets - and falls - for a woman who looks like his dead wife. The last big name to play Mina, the love interest of the Count, was Winona Ryder in 1992. Will they pick another dark-haired beauty or will producers cast a fair-haired siren to play off of Meyer’s swarthy looks? Only time will tell!

A REAL LIFE STORY TO HIT THE BIG SCREEN

An article in Popular Science has taken a tentative step into the world of popular culture. The story of Tom Clynes, a 14-year-old boy who achieved nuclear fusion in the hopes of healing his cancer-ridden grandma, has sparked the interest of Chernin Entertainment. They’ve tapped Jeff Nichols, director of the visually stunning and mind-bending Take Shelter, to take the lead on this project. Science-y and heartwarming - it sounds like a winner.

FROM TV TO BOOKS

Should a large block of text appear after the credits of the television show you’ve just watched, chances are you’re watching a show produced by Chuck Lorre. But if you’ve never been fast enough to catch it, never fear! Simon & Schuster just announced their plans to bind these on-air thoughts in book form. Ever since 1997 and Dharma & Greg, Lorre’s thoughts, or “vanity cards,” have enlightened TV viewers of his many various musings - whether they were about miscellaneous show biz tips or his thoughts on the manic Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Sheen. Also included in book will be a few cards deemed too hot for TV. We don't know about you, but we can't wait what Lorre has to spill.

This is just a taste of what is to come, but has us super excited and join us next month when we update readers on the most exciting film and television projects in the works.