We’re being skeptical canaries about the chances of these being made anytime soon.
The Fifth Season TV Show
I first heard murmurs in 2017 that N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season was being adapted for TV by TNT, shortly after I finished the book (five stars, all the way). And then things went quiet. Real quiet.
As networks start looking around for the next “Game of Thrones” epic fantasy success, this could be a contender. Then again, part of the power of this novel was its three interlinked but non-chronological timelines, making this a harder post-GOT sell than the more linear Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings.
Likelihood of being made? Until I hear different, I’m downgrading this adaptation to “Unlikely.”
The Dark Tower TV Show
If you had asked me last month, I’d have given this show a negative 5% chance of being made. Between the source material—a first book that reads like someone telling you about their half-forgotten, meandering dream—and the fact that even Idris Elba couldn’t save the 2017 movie adaptation from it’s 16% Rotten Tomatoes rating, I was a skeptical canary. But, apparently, an origin story reboot is in the works, thanks to a push for content by Amazon.
Showrunner Glen Mazzar (The Walking Dead) is on board, along with actors Sam Strike (Nightflyers) and Jasper Pääkkönen (BlacKkKlansman) who will play Roland and The Man in Black respectively.
So the ball has been bounced over the Amazon who came in stage right and dropped $250 million to get the rights make a Lord of the Rings prequel series (like, thousands of years before TheHobbit) with an option for spinoffs. It’s early days, but with Amazon pouring in a gazillion dollars and filming scheduled for August, I’m gonna call it a done deal. We’re getting a prequel.
Though, to be honest, canaries, I just can’t seem to work up an appetite. After the exhausting slog that was the Battle of the Five Armies, do we really need more Lord of the Rings? And with the time jump going way back thousands of years to the second age, does it even matter than it’s Tolkien’s universe?
Writers J.D. Payne and and Patrick McKay (whose only IMDB credit so far is Star Trek Beyond) are attached to the show so far. So there’s that.
Release Date: Meh. 2020?
Game of Thrones (Prequel)
Remember when Breaking Bad was the show to watch? Then it ended and got a critically acclaimed prequel spinoff that no one really talks about at the office cooler? And then there’s the’s Fear the Walking Dead that, dispite mixed reviews is still going strong towards a fifth season.
Oh my. Canaries, this trailer is everything I could have asked for from a Golden Compass/His Dark Materials TV show adaptation.
His Dark Materials
Last month, we were twittering our excitement about this show’s star lineup (Logan‘s Dafne Keen as Lyra? Yes please.), and this month we got a treat. The trailer for Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials adaptation is out!
We’re so ready for this show.
Don’t fail us now, HBO.
Release Date: Sometime “later this year.” And we can’t wait.
This week, I got movies on my mind. Good Omens, The Watch, and a possible Dune adaptation (yes please).
Based on the humorous romp through the end of times in Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. This six episode series is coming to BBC and Amazon Prime at the end of the month, and I am looking forward to checking the reviews and then maybe diving in. Full disclosure, I have a I-love-it-but-I-hate-it relationship with the book.
But there’s definitely a list of votes in this show’s favor. For one, I’m delighted to see David Tennant playing the demon Crowley and Benedict Cumberbatch coming on as Satan. Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock) is directing, with Neil Gaiman as the writer (woohoo!).
See you all on the other side.
Release Date: First episode airs next week, May 31, 2019
Speaking of Terry Pratchett…BBC America is looking to do an adaptation of another one of Pratchett’s books, this one from the Diskworld series.
The latest, greatest and (sometimes) strangest blurbs from the book world.
You don’t have to be a die hard Sherlock Holmes fan (which I am) to appreciate this blurb. (But before you read the blurb, check out the cover. For a split second, aren’t you convinced this is a story about Sherlock Octopus? Alas.)
“Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation.
When Ms. Haas is enlisted to solve a case of blackmail against one of her former lovers, Miss Eirene Viola, Captain Wyndham is drawn into a mystery that leads him from the salons of the literary set to the drowned back-alleys of Ven and even to a prison cell in lost Carcosa. Along the way he is beset by criminals, menaced by pirates, molested by vampires, almost devoured by mad gods, and called upon to punch a shark. “
—The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall
Canaries, what books have caught your eye recently?
This week, I got movies on my mind. Books-to-movie adaptations, that is. Here are some of the book-related movies on my feathery radar…
Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
I haven’t read anything by Patrick Ness, but when I heard that his series was being turned into a movie, I went straight to the synopsis: “A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each others’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.”
And my first thought was: Immersive visions of other people’s thoughts? Can you even do that through a movie?
Turns out, maybe not.
Between a release date that got pushed out from March 2019 to sometime 2020, news that the movie is undergoing major reshoots, and the word “unreleasable” floating around, it’s definitely not good news for this adaptation. Fede Alvarez (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) has come in to do the reshoots, which will cost the Lionsgate another $15 million on top of the $100 million already spent on the movie.
On the bright side, this does mean I have some extra time to read the books.
Release Date: 2020?
Writers Mark Gatiss (Sherlock) and Steven Moffat (Sherlock, Doctor Who) are teaming up for a three episode miniseries adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula for Netflix and BBC.
What’s it gonna look like? Sounds like it’ll be a period drama retelling of the 1897 original, with Claes Bang is attached to play Dracula himself.
Release date: Many question marks. Moffat and Gatis finished the script in January 2019.
War of the Worlds
The classics, they are a-coming. As BBC miniseries.
Here’s another one. H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is coming to BBC for an eight-episode alien invasion sci-fi period drama thriller. Much like BBC’s Dracula adaptation, this War of the Worlds adaptation will also stay true to the book’s historic period and will be set in Edwardian London. (Though it sounds like its two main characters will be new additions.)
Gilles Coulier (Cargo) and Richard Clark (Versailles) will each direct four of the eight episodes.
Release Date: Sometime in 2019.
Somewhere beneath all the Game of Thrones chatter and hype, HBO is coming out with another book(ish) adaptation. It’s the comic book, Watchmen, back for another stab at the screen.
Check out the ten seconds of footage at 0:12
The fact that they already have footage gives me hope that we’ll see the show soon. Looks like screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Cowboys & Aliens, Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Tomorrowland) will be doing a more loosely inspired adaptation of the comic. After the almost painfully faithful (yet not-quite a hit) panel-for-panel Zach Snyder’s 2009 movie adaptation, I’m totally ready to see something new and current from this ten-episode show.
This adaptation promises a pretty good lineup of talent, with Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune), Regina King (The Leftovers) and Golden Globe-winner Don Johnson (Miami Vice) taking lead roles. They filming in spring 2018, so we should be getting a official trailer or promo soon.
I’m back, and here are some book-to-movie trailers to distract you from how long I’ve been away. Enjoy!
Based on the canary favorite Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, the first trailer has us exchanging cautious looks. With director Kenneth Branagh (Murder on the Orient Express, Thor, Cinderella, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) at the helm, it could turn out to be a lot of things. Plus, when one of the book’s cornerstones is its humorous writing style, how do you translate that into a movie?
Actor lineup features a couple new (or relatively new) faces. Artemis Fowl will be played by newcomer Ferdia Shaw, while Captain Holly Short will be played by Lara McDonnell. Of the more established names, we have Judi Dench and Nonso Anozie to play Commander Root and Butler respectively.
Horror director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) is leading this adaptation, and if you want to know more, you’re gonna have to look it up yourself, because memories of this terrifying collection are flooding back and I am noping my way out of this post.
Release Date: August 9, 2019
His Dark Materials
Okay, so this one is actually, honest-to-goodness happening and I am stoked. We last chirped about this show in fall 2016, and between the trailer and actor lineup, it looks like His Dark Materials will be well worth the wait.
I mean, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson, and Lin-Manuel Miranda? Yes, please.
More excitingly, main heroine Lyra will be played by Dafne Keen. If Keen’s showing in Logan is anything to go by, she will rock Lyra’s half-feral fierceness.
Release date: Not soon enough. (Filming wrapped December 2018, with a 2019 release.)
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22.”
Check out what just dropped in trailer-world. Joseph Heller’s dark satire about war is coming to the screen in the form of a Hulu miniseries. And though I’m definitely on the fence about adding another show to my list, the supporting actor has me intrigued. See: George Clooney, Hugh Laurie and Kyle Chandler.
Release date: Friday, May 17
Canaries, what adaptations are you most looking forward to?
The latest, greatest and (sometimes) strangest blurbs from the book world.
Okay, this is the second time in a row I’m derailing this series in favor of cover art, but seriously. This is some lovely design work. Who cares about story when you could have this on your bookshelf?
“They are the daughters of a king. Though they share the same royal blood, they could not be more different. Bluebell is a proud warrior, stronger than any man and with an ironclad heart to match. Rose’s heart is all too passionate: She is the queen of a neighboring kingdom, who is risking everything for a forbidden love. The twins: vain Ivy, who lives for admiration, and zealous Willow, who lives for the gods. And Ash, who is discovering a dangerous talent for magic that might be a gift—or a curse.
But when their father is stricken by a mysterious ailment, they must come together on a desperate journey to save him and prevent their treacherous stepbrother from seizing the throne. Their mission: find the powerful witch who can cure the king. But to succeed on their quest, they must overcome their differences, and hope that the secrets they hide from one another and the world are never brought to light. Because if this royal family breaks, it could destroy the kingdom.”