In our Fiction 2 Film (F2F) posts, we will share news and tidbits we learn about author’s stories which have made the jump from paper to film.
~ Zombies … An Oral History ~
If you are a fan of zombie novels, you have already heard about Max Brooks‘ World War Z film adaption starting Brad Pitt. In fact, if you’re a major fan, you’ve already read the book. But, have you heard the major changes to the story? Kofi Outlaw writing for Screen Rant.com discusses the fact that, although it is a “tricky narrative format to transfer to film” the main character, who in the book is a U.N. employee that interviews zombie apocalypse survivors on their experiences, will be quite different in the film.
Paramount’s announcement stated, “The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.” This is indeed a different take on the story. How does author Max Brooks feel about the change?
He acknowledges how difficult it could be turning the book into a film during his interview with the Daily Record. He admits, “It doesn’t have a main character, the storyline is told from a hundred different points of view, would be prohibitively expensive filming in all these different countries.” He also realizes the challenge this brings saying, “You couldn’t pay me to turn it into a film.” However, he doesn’t seem worried about the changes, but rather excited to see how it all turns out. “I’m not involved so I just want to be able to enjoy watching the movie when it comes out,” he explained. “At least I know they did at least as much research into things as I did for the book.” In his 26 Aug 2011 blog post, after visiting the set in Glasgow, Max stated, “While I’m still largely in the dark concerning the overall story, it was reassuring to hear from Brad Pitt and Marc Forster that their goal is to make a smart, deep, geopolitical movie. I trust their talent and their intentions and I look forward to seeing what they come up with.” He also learned from the January 3rd LA Times article, that states, “Forster [the director] and Paramount Pictures each view “World War Z” as a trilogy that would have the grounded, gun-metal realism of, say, Damon’s Jason Bourne series tethered to the unsettling end-times vibe of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.'” That’s a nice thought (for them financially), but will fans love the first film enough to support the making of a trilogy?
‘World War Z’, the Fiction
“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie War
The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.
Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.
Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”
Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.
‘World War Z’, the Film
Will the film be a hit among Brooks’ fans? Zombie fans? Pitt fans? Only time will tell.
But, in E! News’ interview with actress Mireille Enos, who plays Pitt’s wife in the film, she said, “It’s like zombies are the new vampires.” And, it would seem she isn’t far off as we have seen the number of zombie-related books increase over the past year. “It’s taking over. But somebody said to me this movie might end the zombie genre because, after this, what else is there to do? It’s huge!” Now, this statement is not one with which I can agree.
I’ll watch the movie, I may even love it, but “end the zombie genre” because of its awesomeness? Nah, probably not. Romero has been doing good zombies for many, many years. Others will surely follow.
‘World War Z’ is scheduled to hit theaters on, you guessed it, 12/21/12. How apropos.
[Trailer can be viewed here.]
~ Zombies … A Love Story ~
Now, I have to admit that about a year ago, someone told me about a zombie romance and my first reaction was “Thanks, but no thanks.” Then, I decided to give Isaac Marion‘s Warm Bodies a go. The story is told from the perspective of R, a zombie who, try as he might, cannot remember much about his life before now. Then, he meets his (living) sweetheart. The book was a quick read, but one that proved in the end that Virgil may have had it right when he said, “Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.”
I was happily surprised to see on that Isaac’s book is also being adapted to film. Unlike Brooks’ “fiction2film,” Marion’s appears to be more of a direct adaption than a variation on the story. Although director Jonathan Levine is writing the script, he consulted with Marion during the process.
In an interview with Jonathan Liu, or “GeekDad” of Wired Magazine, he explained, I’ve not been directly involved as far as collaborating on it, but I’ve been consulted a lot, a lot more than what’s normal, from what I’m told. When they first hired the director he had lunch with me and just chatted about his ideas and vision for the whole thing, and he’s been interacting with me as he wrote the script. He’d call me up and ask me questions: what’s this part about, or how do you see this and that.
I read some draft of the script — I’m not sure how far along it was — and then I got to give notes on that, and later read another draft and gave some notes. It seems like they’re really respectful of my opinion and they seem to really care what I think, which is cool. Very unusual, from what I’m told. Even major best-selling authors who have all the clout in the world, sometimes they just tell them: “Get lost, we don’t care what you think. Just let us make this movie.” Everyone I’ve told about this who knows how that works has been amazed, that they actually have involved me.
Do you think that will make a difference to those who have read the book and watch the movie? I know it will for me. As much as I enjoy seeing a film director’s interpretation of a novel, sometimes I want to see the author’s original story, as is, on the big screen. Of course, just because there has been so much director-author collaboration does not mean the film will be identical to the novel. It is always hard to completely translate one to the other, yes?
Either way, Marion sounds excited about the film. Although he did not have much say regarding the casting process, per the USA Today article, he didn’t see that as a problem because he wasn’t sure “how it would have been if [he] had hated them. But they worked out.” He plans to watch the film in the theater instead of with the executives because “If something bad happened, [he] wouldn’t want them to see [him] cowering.” That said, he wants to visit the production set as much as possible because, “The whole thing is fascinating and exciting.” He may even try to “… sneak in the background and get eaten by a zombie.”
‘Warm Bodies’, the Fiction
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.
R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.
Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.
‘Warm Bodies’, the Film
As I said, it was initially hard for me to envision a zombie novel as a romance. However, either Marion’s writing changed my perception or love really does affect us all – living or undead. Marion can relate to our uncertainties about a romantic zombie. “I didn’t want to sanitize him into something I called a zombie,” Marion says. “You watch him kill people and eat people and do horrific things zombies do. There’s a germ of change in there, so you hear him give his distaste for things but this is what we do.
“A lot of people can relate to that mindless repetition, that people do things they don’t want to do all the time. It’s the starting point for his character, and he develops an awareness for what his options are. It seemed natural to make him sympathetic because everyone’s been there at some point, in a place of misery and wanting to get out.” The fact that R goes through his routines even while he dreads them was absolutely something to which I could relate. It made him feel more real, I guess.
Teresa Palmer, who plays R’s love interest, Julie, says Nicholas Hoult is “… so beautiful to work with. He does such an incredible performance. He’s playing a zombie, so he can’t say much, but he’s very expressive with his eyes.” And, he would have to be to pull this off. The book is full of R’s internal dialogue, so I’m very interested to see how that will be represented on screen. I’ve certainly seen that work well in some and not in others.
I wasn’t going to say this because so many others are asking the same question, but after seeing this picture I feel I have to ask … Will these two be the new Edward & Bella? It may not be too far fetched a question since Summit Entertainment, the production company behind Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight films, is also behind Marion’s film. The picture is certainly reminiscent of Twilight pics. I’d say they should try to be more original, but on second thought, it was most likely intentional as they try to lure young adult paranormal romance readers into the theater.
‘Warm Bodies’ is scheduled to hit theaters on 8/10/12.
[To date, no official trailer exists, but you can view the book trailer here.]
Related posts: “Fiction2Film” feature on Stephenie Meyer’s ‘The Host’ and our “Zombie Awareness Month” posts
Season two teaser of Game of Thrones narrated by Stannis Baratheon, the dead King’s elder brother.
The publishing industry, due to popular demand and profitability, are finally becoming less snobby about sci-fi and fantasy, according to The Bookseller. The genre has become hugely popular in the last decade with authors such as Terry Pratchett, J K Rowling, Suzanne Collins, George R R Martin and Charlaine Harris pushing the genre into the mainstream. So what’s hot right now?
Bram Stoker is responsible for catapulting the Vampire to stardom and since then it’s had a few revivals helped along by Anne Rice, Laurell K Hamilton and of course Ms. Stephanie Meyer with Twilight romanticising the blood-sucking creatures. Movies such as Blade and TV shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well as those influenced by books such as True Blood and The Vampire Diaries have flooded the market with all things vampire but perhaps we’ve reached our limit for now?
Just another form of undead, but far less glamorous. I don’t see any sparkling zombies seducing silly under-aged girls any time soon but there have been a few zombie romances -eww! Zombie movies have been around since the 1930s, many of which were made by George Romero. More recently we’ve seen Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”, Resident Evil, 28 Days, Shaun of the Dead, on TV now were watching The Walking Dead and next year we’ll see Brad Pitt starring in Max Brooks’ World War Z.
John Landis says “So many of these zombie movies are about the collapse of social order. Chaos. Anarchy.” At what better time would we have this on our minds than when we’re experiencing a global recession, the toppling of dictators, political protests are on the rise, and the potential collapse of the Euro and even the European Union with the worryingly impending resource scarcity, are on the horizon. Fearing the end of world as we know it is the perfect atmosphere for zombies to feed on our
flesh fear of what’s to come. It’s zombipocalypse time!
Although The Hunger Games wasn’t the first, it is most likely responsible for the recent explosion in the number of available books in the genre, especially in YA. What attracts teen readers to dystopian fiction?
Moira Young, author of Blood Red Road, says:
There are a number of opinions, but the main drift seems to be that books set in either chaotic or strictly controlled societies mirror a teenager’s life; at school, at home, with their peers and in the wider world. Let’s call it the “my own private dystopia” theory.
I’m going to offer a much simpler explanation. Teenagers like to read dystopian fiction because it’s exciting. It all comes down to the story. The story comes first, and the setting – extraordinary though it may be – is of secondary importance.
For the most part, dystopian fiction owes more to myth and fairytale than science fiction. These are essentially heroes’ journeys – they just happen to be set in an imagined future world. The hero, reluctant or willing, is just as likely to be female as male. Something happens – an event, or a messenger arrives bearing news – and the teenage protagonist is catapulted out of their normal existence into the unknown. They cross the threshold into a world of darkness and danger, of allies and enemies, and begin a journey towards their own destiny that will change their world. They will be tested, often to the very edge of death. The stakes are high. The adults are the oppressors. The children are the liberators. It’s heady stuff, far removed from the routine of everyday life.
The outer, global journey of the characters is matched by an inner, emotional and psychological journey. These are no cartoon superheroes. They, like their teen readers, have to deal with recognisable concerns and problems, including friendship, family, betrayal, loss, love, death and sexual awakening.
A new wave of dystopian fiction at this particular time shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s the zeitgeist. Adults write books for teenagers. So anxious adults – worried about the planet, the degradation of civil society and the bitter inheritance we’re leaving for the young – write dystopian books.
We create harsh, violent worlds. These are dark, sometimes bleak stories, but that doesn’t mean they are hopeless. Those of us who write for young people are reluctant to leave our readers without hope. It wouldn’t be right. We always leave a candle burning in the darkness.
No doubt the movies of The Hunger Games, the first of four (Mockingjay will be a two-parter) will be out next year, will elongate the Dystopia trend. There are a fair few books to be released in 2012:
…to Science Fiction?
I’m talking aliens, outer space, time travel, steampunk and other science-y themes. It’s been gathering steam (haha!) quietly in the background for a while now. But will sci-fi go supernova? In recent times we’ve had both a book and a movie of I Am Number Four, bestselling author Kathy Reichs has moved both into YA and sci-fi with a new series beginning with Virals, and Across the Universe by Beth Revis -have all done incredibly well.
Some 2012 releases:
Books like Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely, Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey and those by all ready big author’s like Patricia Briggs and Richelle Mead have given the fae a high profile but I think they’re on the decline. I can only think of a couple of new series based on the fae which have so far received a positive responses: The Shadow Reader (McKenzie Lewis #1) by Sandy Williams, The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch #1) by Karen Mahoney, and A Brush of Darkness (Abby Sinclair, #1) by Allison Pang.
Ever watch The Little Mermaid, sing “Under the Sea” and wish you could live under the sea? Then this is for you!
In 2012 we’ll be see the following released:
Although not waning as of yet, the popular angel trend driven by Hush, Hush and Fallen is fast-becoming over-saturated. If you’re not affected by it now then I predict most of us will be suffering angel-fatigue by 2013 at the latest. There are a good many angel books due out in 2012:
Staying within the biblical, religious and mythological realm but moving the focus onto everything surrounding death i.e. reapers, resurrection and reincarnation. There are a fair few due out in 2012.
Books on Fairy Tales have always been popular but that popularity has recently been reflected in TV with Once Upon A Time and Grimm both debuting this year. In the movies we’ve had Red Riding Hood and Beastly, both based on books of the same name, and next year there will be not one but two Snow White movies: Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Hunstman! There will also be movies like Jack the Giant Killer, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Pan (based on Peter Pan) and Enchanted 2 to name but a few. Is 2012 the year of the fairy tale movie or what?!
What do you think will be the next big thing?
Remakes are pretty popular with the movie-makers at the moment but not necessarily with movie-goers. Some are perfectly happy with the originals and let’s be honest, most remakes suck. Here are some of the remakes coming to the big screen in 2012.
Remake of: Judge Dredd (1995)
Release month: US ~ September | UK ~ tbd
Synopsis: In a violent, futuristic city, the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner.
Stars: Karl Urban (Star Trek) as Judge Dredd , Lena Headey (Game of Thrones)
Makers also worked on: I Am Number Four (2011), Never Let Me Go (2010), 28 Weeks Later (2007), Sunshine (2007)
News & Trivia: Filmed in South Africa. Currently in post-production. Estimated $45m budget.
Remake of: Total Recall (1990)
Release month: US ~ August | UK ~ August
Synopsis: As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on.
Stars: Colin Farrell (Phone Booth) as Doug Quaid / Hauser, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke, Bill Nighy
Makers also worked on: Fast & Furious 5 (2011), Die Hard 4.0 (2010), I Am Legend (2007), Underworld (2003)
News & Trivia: Currently in post-production. Preview of a Total Recall car.
Remake of: Dark Shadows (1966-71, TV show)
Release month: US ~ May | UK ~ May
Synopsis: A gothic-horror tale centering on the life of vampire Barnabas Collins and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts. Based on the cult TV series.
In the year 1752, Joshua and Naomi Collins, with young son Barnabas, set sail from Liverpool, England to start a new life in America. But even an ocean was not enough to escape the mysterious curse that has plagued their family. Two decades pass and Barnabas (Johnny Depp) has the world at his feet-or at least the town of Collinsport, Maine. The master of Collinwood Manor, Barnabas is rich, powerful and an inveterate playboy…until he makes the grave mistake of breaking the heart of Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green). A witch, in every sense of the word, Angelique dooms him to a fate worse than death: turning him into a vampire, and then burying him alive. Two centuries later, Barnabas is inadvertently freed from his tomb and emerges into the very changed world of 1972. He returns to Collinwood Manor to find that his once-grand estate has fallen into ruin. The dysfunctional remnants of the Collins family have fared little better…
Stars: Johnny Depp as Barnabas, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Alice Cooper
Makers also worked on: Rango (2011), Inception (2010), Sleepy Hollow (1999)
News & Trivia: Directed by Tim Burton. Screenplay by Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, both of which are being turned into feature films. Currently in post-production.
Pick of the Lot:
This is the one I want to see. The infamous threesome of Tim Burton, his other half Helena Bonham-Carter and friend Johnny Depp are always up to something interesting. I loved Sleepy Hollow, it’s one of my favourites. I’ve also never seen the original TV show or any of the reincarnations since then which is perhaps why I’m looking forward to it the most. You see, I’m still quite fond of the original movies of Total Recall and Judge Dredd even though they’re not the best films and haven’t aged particularly well.
An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright.
Julia Roberts – Evil Queen
Lily Collins – Snow White
Sean Bean – The King
Also starring: Nathan Lane
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Kristen Stewart – Snow White
Chris Hemsworth – The Huntsman
Charlize Theron – Queen Ravenna
Also starring: Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Lily Cole, Bob Hoskins
SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
For me, this is the one I want to watch. Gothic, action-packed, exciting plus fantastic actors make this a must-watch movie. I can’t wait!
A behind-the-scenes look at season 2 which premieres April 2012.
Doubletake (Cal Leandros #7) by Rob Thurman
Chris is the cover artist for many of our favorite series, in addition to Rob’s Nightlife series.
Release date: 6 March 2012 | Publisher: Roc
“This is a new war…”
Underworld: Awakening, starring the beautiful Kate Beckinsale, will air in US theaters on 20 January 2012. In this edition of Underworld, Selene wakes up to a “new world” where the humans are at war with vampires and lycans. From the preview clip, Selene is on the hunt for Michael (played by Scott Speedman), the vamp-lycan hybrid from Underworld: Evolution. Read ShockTillYouDrop.com’s report on their visit to the set.
Synopsis from Comingsoon.net:
“Underworld Awakening” brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.
Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.
Storm Born Comic
Issue 2 is now out!
SNEAK PEEK: There is a 5-page preview from the middle of the issue:
Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5
The Storm Born Comics are based upon the first book of the Dark Swan series, Storm Born, featuring Eugenie Markham, a powerful shamaness. Here’s the first scene from the first book:
Vampire Academy Graphic Novel
It’s due for release on August 23, 2011.
COVER REVEAL: The Golden Lily, book #2 of the Bloodlines series is set for release on May 1, 2012.
A Q&A about Bloodlines by Mead is HERE.
This one is set for release on August 30, 2011.
And finally, Mead has discussed her future schedule now that she’s having a baby.
So, three Mead books out in August. Will you be buying any of them?
Everneath (Trilogy #1) by Brodi Ashton
Mini-description from Author’s Blog:
EVERNEATH is partially based on the Greek myth of Persephone: a 17-year-old who’s been banished to the underworld escapes to her former earthly existence with her family and boyfriend. The catch is that she only has six months in the real world before being sent back to Hades, this time forever.
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she’s returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld… this time forever.
She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can’t find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there’s a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he’ll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.