2016 looks like being an exciting year for book to screen adaptations. Here are a few of the films / TV productions I’m looking forward to seeing in the next twelve months.
War and Peace
This adaptation has already started in the UK and I’m absolutely hooked. I binge-watched all the 1970s TV series recently, and I was interested to see how the two versions would compare. I wish they could take the best bits of both and merge them – the brilliant Anthony Hopkins as Pierre Bezuhov in the 70s version, for example, and the stunning location shots in eastern Europe in the present series – but War and Peace is one of my favourite books of all time (it’s absolutely gripping, and not hard going at all!) and I’m loving Lily James as Natasha in this series. I’m halfway through the series and the last episode I watched – where Natasha meets Andrei Bolkonsky – was brilliant.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Lily James stars again in this film. I’d only ever seen her as Rose in Downton Abbey before, but she’s great as Natasha in War and Peace, and you forget about her ever having played Rose. I’m really looking forward to seeing her as a warrior Elizabeth Bennett, especially as her boyfriend in real life – Matt Smith – plays Mr Collins. Apparently when Darcy proposes, in this version Lizzie rejects him by giving him a right good kicking. And Mr Wickham looks well wicked, too.
Lots of blood and gore, but I think the horror is more tongue-in-cheek and I should be able to take it :)
The Legend of Tarzan
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a film of the book, as it’s not based on the original Tarzan of the Apes, by Egdar Rice Burroughs. Apparently it’s a sequel, and in this story, Tarzan and his wife Jane have been happily married and living a civilised life for years as Lord and Lady Greystoke, but political shenanigans mean Tarzan is forced to return to the Congo and his former life in the jungle. I don’t know much more than that, except that from the trailer it looks totally bonkers.
The Night Manager
The Night Manager is a new TV series based on the classic spy/detective novel by John le Carré, in which a former British soldier – who now works as the night manager of a hotel in Cairo – becomes embroiled in a hunt for arms dealers, including “the worst man in the world”. I love le Carré’s thrillers, and this version has some great actors: Olivia Coleman, Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and David Harewood, to name a few. It should be a great series (as long as I can work out what on earth is going on – something I haven’t always managed to do watching le Carré adaptations.)
Poldark, series 2
The second series is based on Jeremy Poldark and Warleggan, books three and four in Winston Graham’s Poldark series. Aidan Turner gallops across our screens again. Brilliant. And there’s a fleeting glimpse of him brooding in this BBC trailer.
The Circle is based on the book by the same name, by Dave Eggers. It’s about a woman who goes to work at a tech corporation – something like a mix of FB, Twitter, Paypal. Google, Instagram, etc, all rolled into it. At first everything seems brilliant. It’s a great company to work for, fabulous offices, they reward their staff, etc, etc. Then it becomes apparent that the company is spying on everything that everyone is doing. It’s a little bit close to home and true to life. Should be an interesting film. Starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
This is the film based on the book by Newt Scamander (aka J.K. Rowling), and it’s a spin-off of the Harry Potter series. I’m a massive fan of everything J.K. Rowling does. She wrote the screenplay to this film (honestly, where does she find time??) The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, and it starts 70 years before the Harry Potter series.
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Are you looking forward to seeing any of these productions? Have you read any of the books they’re based on? Are there any other adaptations coming up this year that you’re looking forward to?
If you have any comments at all, I’d love ot hear from you!