One of the best things about reading a book is that the reader has the chance to create the world in which they see the characters, locations and dialogue comes to life with their imagination under their rule. So when the same book is made into a film, every reader imagines something a little different to what they are eventually presented with. And minds are made up by the reader critics months before the film is released solely based on casting decisions, trailers and stills from the set. The films are highly anticipated and social media feeds are set alight by the buzz and hype generated by the readers. A book to film adaptation can be the making or breaking of both. Depending on how good the film is (Oscar success, BAFTA nominations, an A-List cast) it can ensure bestseller success or black hole oblivion. These are the books we can’t wait to see on the big screen…
This quirky read stormed the bestseller charts in 2013 and became a big international bestseller. Originally a big hit in Sweden, Jonas Jonasson describes the bizarre life of 100 year old Allan Karlsson after he escapes from the old people’s home he is a resident of. While on the run from gangsters, the law and the nursing home’s chief harridan (told you it was quirky) readers are taken back through Karlsson’s previous adventures. Described as an indie action-comedy film it had an exclusive screening on 23 June and the general consensus is charming, funny, odd but brilliant. Out in the UK on 4 July.
Before I Go To Sleep – S.J.Watson
Published in 2012, Before I Go To Sleep paved the way for the female psychological thriller trend that’s dominated the bestseller charts since. It follows the story of Christine who loses her memory every evening when she falls asleep. Everyday she must learn who she is and the life she leads. But she begins to suspect the one person she has been told she can trust. The film is led by a superb cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong and is released in the UK on 5 September.
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
This was THE book of 2013. You couldn’t miss the advertising, the conversations, the reviews and the piles of copies in shops as this book was everywhere. The distinctive black cover and orange type encased a gripping psychological thriller that got everyone talking. The film is due to be released in the UK on 3 October, the trailer (starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike) was released in April and has clocked over 415,000 views on YouTube.
The publisher, author and film company have put their marketing heads together and been very clever about this adaptation. The book ends on a surprising note that divided opinion. Gillian Flynn, the author of Gone Girl, has written a new ending for the film, details of which are under lock and key. You’ll just have to go and see the film to find out how it ends… for the second time. Very clever.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 – Suzanne Collins
I don’t think this book or film series need much of an introduction. It’s topped both the book and box office bestseller list with HUGE numbers and has an army of fans that are eagerly awaiting the next instalment. In Mockingjay Part 1, leading lady, Katniss Evergreen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) has reluctantly become the symbol of a mass rebellion against the autocratic Capitol. She must now lead the districts in their dangerous fight to defeat the Capitol.
Films one and two from The Hunger Games trilogy received fantastic reviews and a very warm response by fans and the hype for the next film is snowballing. Filming wrapped in mid-June with plenty of stills from the set being drip-fed to fans. The release date in the UK is 21 November and I think it’s fair to say that it will be one of the biggest films of 2014.