Friday Five: Gone Girl and Making the Leap from Page to Screen

By Peter SM RSS Fri, October 3, 2014

The crisp autumn air has blown away any cinematic stink from a fairly lackluster summer at the box office. In the remaining few months of the year, cineplexes will screen more than their fair share of film adaptations of beloved and bestselling books. Already throughout this year, YA-centric success stories have included The Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, and Divergent, all moderate to large successes with loyal YA-reading audiences and moviegoers.

Probably the biggest and most anticipated film adaptation of the year besides the next installment of The Hunger Games (but we'll get to that in a little bit...) is the David Fincher directed and Ben Affleck starring Gone Girl.

I've got to be honest though, I personally thought this book was awful and can't see the movie being much better. I am a fan of David Fincher's work and his recent collaborations with Trent Reznor have breathed some new sounds into the lost art of film scores, but the one-dimensional characters in this story are abhorrent and I don't feel sympathy for them or their predicaments at all. The whole thing is sensationalistic Lifetime Movie of the Week material at best.

The American public seem to love this book though, as Gone Girl was #1 on the New York Times fiction bestseller list for eight weeks when it was released in 2012 and also spent twenty-six weeks on National Public Radio's hardcover fiction bestseller list. The book has since gone on to sell over six million copies in print and digital editions according to the book's publisher, and has been a constant top searched and checked out title here at Free Library.

As is always on the minds of readers whose beloved books are adapted into movies, how faithful is the film to the novel?
Note: don't click on the link if you don't want to be spoiled!

But whether or not Gone Girl is a box office bonanza or a bloated bomb, Hollywood has no shortage of books they are planning on adapting for the screen. Here's a "Friday Five" of upcoming stories making the leap from the page to the screen this year:

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

This children's classic is getting the comedic movie treatment with Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner playing the parents of the titular character and his siblings who are having one of those days. The book really encapsulates the stream of consciousness worldview and unfiltered honesty that kids have at that age. Hopefully the film will keep some of that same attitude and not just be filled with jokey slapstick.

Theatrical premiere October 10th, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
by Suzanne Collins

The last book of The Hunger Games trilogy will be split up into two movies (as a book lover, movie fan, and somewhat impatient person—I HATE THIS!), but this is where the quest to free Panem and the revolution to overthrow the Capital starts. Expect lots of heart-wrenching drama and heart-pounding action sequences, as well as astronomical profits at theaters.

Theatrical premiere November 21st, 2014

Wild Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

Reese Witherspoon will be playing the title character in this film, based on the autobiographical journey of then twenty-two year old Cheryl Strayed, as she takes a 1,100-mile journey alone along the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State. But it's as much an emotional and spiritual journey as it is a physical one, as Cheryl overcomes personal demons and roadblocks along the way to enlightenment and healing. Expect Oscar nominations for Witherspoon's nuanced performance.

Theatrical premiere December 5th, 2014

Inherent Vice Inherent Vice
by Thomas Pynchon

Director Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's psychedelic private eye noir novel. Now this is a movie I am most jazzed about seeing in the theater!  A great director, a fantastic cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Jena Malone, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Eric Roberts, Martin Short, and Maya Rudolph, to name just a few. Just take a look at the trailer and you'll see what this flick is all about, where it is coming from, and where it is going to go.

Theatrical premiere December 12th, 2014

Unbroken Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand

Actress Angelina Jolie directs this adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand's best-seller Unbroken, which tells the powerful true story of WWII POW Louis Zamperini. It also touts a screenplay by the Coen brothers. Again, this epic narrative has Academy Award nominee stamped all over its celluloid scenes of survival, triumph, and redemption.

Theatrical premiere December 25th, 2014

What books being adapted for the screen are you looking forward to seeing in the future? What are some books you would like to see make the leap from the page to the silver screen and which ones are you praying never get adapted so as not to ruin the original reading experience? Leave a comment and let us know!


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Nice blog post. I haven't read "Gone Girl" but was looking forward to the film and I have to say I was not disappointed. Gone Girl is the most entertaining film I've seen all year! I highly recommend it for everyone. I'm pretty sure there will be awards for David Fincher, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike this award season.
Camille T
Monday, October 6, 2014