by Spencer Blohm
Those of us who know the simple joy of getting lost in a good book know that a good novel has limitless possibilities. There have been many boring, rainy days where I have been transported to new and distant lands to discover a unique adventure, a dashing romance, or a heart tugging saga without ever leaving my favorite spot on the couch. Books are magical like that. The lovely thing about a book is that it is ever really only partially complete; it requires your own imagination to make it something special and unique to every reader. The author lays out the plan, the story line, but the reader's mind twists it and adds a texture that is completely their own.
This is the challenge with the the current popular trend of turning popular books into movies. A book that might take a reader five or ten hours to complete must be presented in a mere two hours, give or take. However, as book to big screen adaptations have become more in demand, filmmakers are learning how to capture the richness of a well told story.
Films like the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games series, and the seasonally appropriate How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which was so good it’s nearly eclipsed the book and is constantly being rerun by television providers this time of year) have proven that a movie can be every bit as good as its book, if the adaptation is done with care.
There is already buzz for the 2015 book to film adaptations. Here are some of the top must reads before their film adaptations premiere:
Fans of classics and horror alike will be drawn to this well known tale by Mary Shelley. Young fans of Harry Potter will be enticed by the star, Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Igor, Dr. Frankenstein's assistant as well as fellow cast members James McAvoy and Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay. The film will be twisted to be shown from Igor's perspective; how the dark assistant became who he was and how he participated in creating one of history's best known monsters.
Following the dynamic pairing of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in the multi-Oscar winning Silver Linings Playbook, many are looking forward to seeing them together on screen again in Serena. The film, which was based on the book of the same name by Ron Rash tells the story of an ambitious couple who will stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, to get what they want. Set in the Depression-era North Carolina among a backdrop of magnificent forest the film promises to be not just thrilling but a visual treat too.
Serena movie poster
When I first began watching my favorite Youtube channel, Mental Floss, I never imagined that its host, John Green, was not only a funny, slapstick guy that he portrays on the internet, but also a introspective and deeply thoughtful author. 2015 will see the premiere of his novel, Paper Towns, which follows his 2014 release of The Fault in Our Stars. Paper Towns is a quirky teenage tale about two friends who roam around their small hometown, leaving dead fish in the homes and cars of the people they feel have wronged them or been fake. Eventually, what they discover is that everyone is multifaceted and have parts of them that they would like to paper over.
Paper Towns movie cast: Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff
Based on true events, this story follows disgraced MGB Agent Leo Demidov who is investigating a series of grizzly child murders. However, in the Soviet Union during this time, the official government position was that the was no crime. Demidov must navigate the secret police, the government positions, the dystopian educational system as well as his own past to bring justice to the murdered children.
Child 44 movie still
Fans of 2013's Gravity will love this film starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and directed by Ridley Scott. The storyline is based on Andy Weir's novel of the same name about an astronaut stranded on Mars. Big things are expected from this movie - big things named Oscar.
The Martian by Andy Weir book cover
These are only a sampling of the book to movie adaptations that are expected in 2015. It is sure to be a year where there is plenty to both read and watch, whichever you might prefer. Personally, I am keeping my ear to the ground for more rumors of a new version of a beloved book, Little Women. Though, through all of the movies that have been done based on this book, none get Jo and Professor Bhaer quite right for me. I suppose there are some things that just can't be conveyed on the big screen.