Upcoming Book-to-Film Adaptations

We finally made to the theater to see “Into the Wild,” Sean Penn’s big-screen adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s riveting best-seller, and it reminded us that it can be quite difficult to turn a great book into a great film. While the film version of “Into the Wild” was definitely enjoyable, it lacked the emotional wallop of some of the truly great adaptations like “The Shining,” “Sideways,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” and “Fight Club.” Which got us thinking about some other upcoming book-to-screen adaptations we were excited about.

Where the Wild Things Are
This is the one we’re most psyched for. One of our favorite directors — Spike Jonze — teams with one of our favorite writers — Dave Eggers –- to tell the story of one of our favorite books — “Where the Wild Things Are.” And with a cast that features Catherine Keener, Forest Whitaker and James Gandolfini, this live-action / CGI / animatronic hybrid of the children’s classic ought to be fantastic. Please, please, please don’t let this suck.

A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” has had one seriously rough time getting made into a feature (perhaps equal to the novel’s original journey to publication). Slate ran a story on the book’s bad luck coming to the screen in 2006, and though Will Ferrell was once tapped to star, we fear this film may never see the light of day (or the dark of the movie house).

If anyone could capture the sibling rivalry and fraternity violence portrayed in Brad Land’s memoir “Goat,” its director David Gordon Green, who likely understands the book’s underlying sadness (his “All The Real Girls” was a Southern gothic tale rich wich emotion). Emile Hirsch, who supported “Into the Wild” squarely on his shoulders, has been cast in the lead role.

Motherless Brooklyn

Edward Norton will take Jonathan Lethem’s award-winning novel about a Tourettes-afflicted detective to the screen as writer, director and star.

How Starbucks Saved My Life
Gus Van Sant is in talks to direct the true story of Michael Gates Gill, a 62 year-old Yale-educated ad executive who takes a job at an NYC Starbucks when a trio of unfortunate events sends his life into a whirlwind. Tom Hanks will star and produce via his Playtone imprint.

Killing Pablo
Javier Bardem will play drug lord Pablo Escobar in the film from Joe Carnahan (“Narc”) based on the book by Mark Bowden. We’re not sure which came first — this idea or “Medillin,” the fictional film that the last two seasons of “Entourage” revolved around, but hey, it does seem like a riveting story. Christian Bale will also star as the military man who brought down Escobar’s reign.

Pattern Recognition
The tense, high-tech thriller from William Gibson about a cool hunter hired to find the origins of a mysterious internet video has been optioned by Peter Weir who will write and direct. Weir has made some of our favorite films, so we have high hopes for this one. No stars are yet attached.

“Jumper” is a novel about a teen with the ability to teleport, which will be directed by Doug Limon (“Swingers,” “The Bourne Identity”) and which has a terrific cast featuring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane and Rachel Bilson.

Related posts: A Slew of Upcoming Punk Rock Movies | Docs on Parade | A (Not So) Complete History of Cinematic Tattoos



  1. Matt says:

    I’ll certainly go see a “Pattern Recognition” film, but I’ll be thinking of a “Neuromancer” film the whole time I’m watching it.

  2. Mannythedawg says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing Persepolis http://www.sonypictures.com/classics/persepolis/ . Does anyone know the release date?

  3. Pretty Lush says:

    I too, hope that Where The Wild Things Are turns out incredible.

  4. » Upcoming Book to Film Adaptations Dating and Relation Website says:

    [...] We finally made to the theater to see Into the Wild, Sean Penns big-screen adaptation of Jon Krakauers riveting best-seller, and it reminded us that it can be quite difficult to turn a great book into a great film. While the film version of Into the Wild was definitely enjoyable, it lacked the emotional wallop source: Upcoming Book to Film Adaptations, YuppiePunk [...]