Monday, March 9, 2015

2015’S Book-to-movie deals from 20th Century Fox

Leaving pages unturned, 20th Century Fox opens 2015 with its line-up of book-to-film adaptations from the  of the bestselling and acclaimed tomes that came up in recent years – “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed,  “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, “The Longest Ride” from Nicholas Sparks, “Far From the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy , “The Maze Runner:  Scorch Trials” by James Dashner, “The Fantastic Four” from Marvel Comic legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, “Paper Towns” by John Green,  “Victor Frankenstein” based on Mary Shelley’s 19th century classic novel, Snoopy and friends debut on screen too in “Peanuts Movie” (2016)  and Andy Weir’s “The Martian” are the studio’s book-to-movie offerings this year.

Currently in cinemas nationwide, based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Kick-Ass,” “X-Men First Class”), “Kingsman: The Secret Service” tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.  Seventeen years later, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is an unemployed school dropout living a dead-end existence in his mother’s flat. After he is arrested for joyriding, Eggsy uses the medal to secure his release from jail, and finds himself rescued by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), an impeccably suave spy who owes Eggsy’s father his life.  Dismayed to learn of the path Eggsy has taken, yet impressed by his better qualities, Harry offers Eggsy the opportunity to turn his life around by trying out for a position with Harry’s employers: Kingsman, a top-secret independent intelligence organization. 

“The Longest Ride” is based on the bestselling novel from master storyteller Nicholas Sparks (“The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle,” “Dear John”), starring Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson in an unforgettable tale of two intertwining love stories.  In one, an elderly man, drifting in and out of consciousness, reunites with his beloved wife – who had died years before; in the second, a man fighting to save his family’s ranch falls in love with a sophisticated young woman.  A strange occurrence unites the two generations in an extraordinary journey. 

Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene in “Far From the Madding Crowd,” based on Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel of the same title about an independent, beautiful and single-minded woman who attracts three distinct suitors. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explore the nature of relationships and love in the midst of hardships.

The second book of “The Maze Runner” series by James Dashner, “The Scorch Trials” has also been adapted on the big screen following the successful release of the first movie and will continue where the first one left off.  This time, after the Gladers have escaped the Maze, they now face a new set of games out in the world ravaged by flares and diseases. 

“The Fantastic Four” reboot is the contemporary re-imagining of Marvel comics’ original and longest-running superhero team.  Created by Marvel legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, this update focuses on the characters as young men and women, idealistic adventurers who make a headstrong leap into the unknown—only to find the journey has altered their physical forms in shocking ways, leaving the collective course of their lives irrevocably upended. 

At the heels of the highly successful adaptation of John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars,”  Green’s “Paper Towns” has also been adapted to film starring Nat Wolff as Quentin “Q” about a geeky high school senior’s search for the most popular girl Margo (Cara Delevingne) who disappeared on the eve of their graduation.  After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues-and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew. 

James McAvoy is “Victor Frankenstein” and Daniel Radcliffe stars as Igor in a unique, never-before-seen twist on Mary Shelley’s classic 19th century novel. Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today. 

Charles M. Schulz’s most beloved characters, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the “Peanuts” gang make their big-screen debut, like they’ve never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation proving that every underdog has his day.  Snoopy, the world’s most lovable beagle – and flying ace – embarks upon his greatest mission as he takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis The Red Baron, while his best pal, Charlie Brown, begins his own epic quest.  

Andy Weir’s phenomenal self-published book, “The Martian” also leaps from pages to screen.  Directed by Ridley Scott, the movie is about an outer space adventure starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean and Kristen Wiig that follows the story of astronaut Mark Watney, one of the first people on Mars. He is left behind by his crewmates after a dust storm tears through the area and has to find a way to survive being stranded on the Red Planet.

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