A Walk in the Woods is based on travel writer Bill Bryson’s eponymously-titled 1998 book about attempting a 2,200-mile hike around America (following the Appalachian Trail) with an old friend. We wonder how the book, written in Bryson’s notoriously witty prose, will translate to the big screen? And the casting is intriguing: when Bryson embarked on the hike, he was in his mid-40s; in the film, his character is played by 79-year-old Robert Redford! We are looking forward to seeing if A Walk in the Woods is a road trip movie to remember, and if it matches up to the book.
Everest director Baltasar Kormakur has confirmed that the film is based on climber Beck Weathers’ book Left for Dead, which accounted his harrowing experience in 1996, when an attempt to climb Everest culminated in a terrible catastrophe. Led by Josh Brolin (Weathers), Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke, it depicts their desperate attempts to survive. Kormakur certainly doesn’t gloss over the gritty details, and used real audio tapes of the fateful day to help paint an accurate picture of what happened. Also starring Keira Knightly.
Andy Weir’s fictional book introduces Astronaut Mark Watney – one of the first people to walk on Mars. After a horrific dust storm, the rest of his crew assumes that Mark is dead. He isn’t, but he is abandoned and has no way of contacting Earth. Starring Matt Damon, and pitched as ‘Gravity meets Cast Away’, the movie adaptation is sure to be another set-in-space hit, but – like some of the others in recent times – will probably be both awesome and stressful in equal measures
Book two in the bestselling ‘Maze Runner’ series sees Thomas (played in the film by Dylan O’Brien) and the Gladers enter the second phase of their “trials” after escaping the maze, and now compete to earn a cure for the Flare virus. With a solid cast, James Dashner’s YA post-apocalyptic books manage to translate well to the big screen, and this production is said to be as angst-ridden and creepy as the first.
Colm Tóibin’s writing is highly acclaimed and treasured by many – and now his most commercially successful book has been made into a movie, thanks to Nick Hornby and John Crowley. Ellis Lacey, a young lady who emigrates from Ireland in the 1950s, is played by Saoirse Ronan. When she arrives in Brooklyn, she falls in love with an American but – following her sister’s death – has to go back to Ireland. On her return, she finds she is strongly attracted to someone else – and so the torment of love across the continents ensues. Once you’ve read the book, you will be intrigued and fascinated to see how it is portrayed onscreen.
The last book in Suzanne Collins’ dystopian YA ‘Hunger Games’ series, Mockingjay is the conclusion of Katniss Everdeen’s rebellion against the autocratic Capital and her quest to overthrow President Snow. The final film is undoubtedly going to be brilliant (will Katniss end up with Gale or Peeta?), but for many it will be bittersweet as it signifies that the Hunger Games experience has sadly come to an end. As well as this, the film holds the very last performance by the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Based on the 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, the film version boasts an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson. It follows the true-story criminal life of the notorious Irish-American mobster Whitey Bulger (played by Depp in a balding wig!), the dark deal he makes with FBI agent John Connolly (played by Joel Edgerton), and how it spirals out of control. The book was chillingly compelling – will the film manage to maintain its gritty authenticity? If it does, it could very well be this generation’s Goodfellas.
Victor Frankenstein is a horror film, based on modern adaptations of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, and will star James McAvoy as Victor and Daniel Radcliffe as his young, troubled assistant, Igor. Unusually, the story is told from Igor’s point of view, taking the viewer back to the days when he made friends with Victor, and how he became an eyewitness to the radical scientist who created the monster. When Victor goes too far, it’s Igor that manages to pull him back from the brink of insanity. If you haven’t picked up the original Frankenstein since school, now would be the perfect time to read it before going to see the new reimagining of the gothic classic.
What do you make of this season’s movie adaptations? Do you think the film can ever truly compete with the original book? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below!