The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
By Michael Chabon
When Will We See It? Producer Scott Rudin bought the rights to the novel — which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize — before its publication in 2000. It seems to have stalled, but hope springs eternal.
Why We May Not See It in the Near Future: The middling box-office performance of Watchmen has probably scared people away from the idea of putting superheroes in movies designed to appeal to older audiences. And the last Chabon screen adaptation, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, sat on the shelf for ages before being released to lukewarm reviews.
KEEP READING: The new Twilight?! [PAGEBREAK]
KEEP READING: The new Twilight?! [PAGEBREAK]
The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins
When Will We See It? Lionsgate picked up movie rights to the series (there will be a trilogy of novels) in March and is no doubt fast-tracking it.
Cha-Ching! All the studios are on the lookout for a hit Twilight or Harry Potter franchise of their own. Collins’ book not only has strong sales behind it — the novel spent 25 straight weeks on The New York Times best-seller list — but also comes with the endorsement of Ms. Sparkly-Virgin-Vampires herself, author Stephenie Meyer, who’s a fan.
KEEP READING: Scorsese on the Boardwalk![PAGEBREAK]
What Happens? A century in the life of Atlantic City, from Prohibition-era Pottersville to the modern-day sleek and gaudy Las Vegas of the Eastern seaboard. Boardwalk Empire
When Will We See It? This one’s not coming to theaters — Martin Scorsese will direct the pilot for an HBO series based on the book; the small-screen version will be written by Sopranos vet Terence Winter. (No word yet on whether the cable network will pick up the series or when it would debut.)
Why HBO Will Probably Pick It Up: Besides Scorsese and Winter, the pilot will boast the talents of actors Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Kelly MacDonald and recent Oscar nominee Michael Shannon.
KEEP READING: Leo pushes the Button![PAGEBREAK]
By John Wagner
What Happens? This violent British comics series follows ex-mercenary-turned-hired-killer Harry Exton as he participates in a high-stakes underground competition where shadowy rich men pit murderers against each other. KEEP READING: Maguire makes Good![PAGEBREAK] Good People
When Will We See It? Leonardo DiCaprio is currently set to star in a screen version for DreamWorks with a script by Barry Levy (Vantage Point). No director has yet been attached, so it’s anyone’s guess when shooting will start.
Strange Bedfellows: Button Man originally appeared in the UK comics magazine 2000AD; the subsequent collections of the strip were among the biggest-selling compilations to come out of that magazine — second only to Judge Dredd, which became the basis for a crappy Sylvester Stallone vehicle. (The original Judge Dredd comics are terrific, though.)
By Marcus Sakey
KEEP READING: Maguire makes Good![PAGEBREAK]
When Will We See It? Tobey Maguire ’s production company acquired the novel earlier this year and hired Kelly Masterson (who wrote the exceptional screenplay for Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) to adapt it. The project is still in development.
Man With a Library Card: The actor’s Maguire Entertainment has several other adaptations in the hopper, including anime fave Robotech (with Lawrence Kasdan attached to direct) and Isaac Adamson’s novel Tokyo Suckerpunch, which Ed Solomon (Men in Black) has adapted for director Gary Ross (who made Pleasantville and Seabiscuit, both starring Maguire).
KEEP READING: Hayden in Love![PAGEBREAK]
I Love You, Beth Cooper
By Larry Doyle
When Will We See It? Fox will release the movie version July 10, starring Hayden Panettiere as Beth and Paul Rust as the besotted Denis Cooverman.
Good News/Bad News … First, good: The trailer looks hilarious. Bad: Chris Columbus is directing, and while that’s not necessarily the kiss of death, it does sound some alarm bells.
KEEP READING: A slice of the Pi![PAGEBREAK]
The Life of Pi
By Yann Martel
When Will We See It? Ang Lee was recently reported to be considering directing a screen version of the novel, which won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in England. At the moment, he no doubt has his hands full finishing Taking Woodstock, which opens this summer.
Unfilmable? While Pi is an acclaimed story, it’s not one that lends itself easily to adaptation. French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amélie) took a crack at it before abandoning the project; on the other hand, Lee succeeded where many failed when he turned Brokeback Mountain into a movie, so anything’s possible.
KEEP READING: Brad gets Lost![PAGEBREAK]
The Lost City of Z
by David Grann
What Happens? In 1925, British explorer Col. Percy Harrison Fawcett and his company disappeared in the Amazon region while trying to find the titular legend. Over the next 70 years, various expeditions set out to try to find him.
When Will We See It? Brad Pitt’s Plan B production company acquired the rights to the book, which has been a best-seller since it was released in February, last year, with an eye to having Pitt star as Fawcett. But the busy actor has several other projects jockeying for his attention.
Art Imitates Life: Fawcett’s expedition was the inspiration behind Arthur Conan Doyle’s fantasy-adventure The Lost World.
KEEP READING: A not so Nice Reese![PAGEBREAK]
What Happens? In this exceedingly dark comedy, a magazine writer accidentally kills her boyfriend. After she stashes the corpse, the young lady realizes murder is much less messy than breakups when it comes to ending relationships.
By Jen Sacks
When Will We See It? Reese Witherspoon just attached herself to the project as a producer in mid-April, with an eye to possibly starring in the film; so it may be a while before these homicidal exploits make it to the big screen.
There Is Such a Thing as Too Nice … The novel was published back in 1998, and the year after, Warner Bros. tried turning it into a vehicle for Helen Hunt; that version apparently failed because the studio tried to lighten up the material. Fox Searchlight, who currently has the rights to Nice, vows to keep things dark.
KEEP READING: Oprah pushes Push![PAGEBREAK]
When We Will See It? Now titled Precious (so as not to be confused with that dopey sci-fi action movie Push that opened earlier this year), the film is set to open in November. Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer) directed an eclectic cast that includes Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz and, in the title role, newcomer Gabourey Sadibe.
How You Know This Is a Hot Item: This much-anticipated film scored an indie-movie trifecta: 1) Acclaim and awards at Sundance; 2) A vicious and protracted bidding war between distributors; 3) It’s going into theaters with a coveted “Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry Present” above the title.