Being a complete book and media nerd, I get really excited when projects I’ve been watching for a while actually make it to the screen, whether small or big. It used to be that we had to wait until the start of the summer blockbusters to get comic love and book blockbuster fixes, but studios have realized not only that television is an exiting media but also that spring can be a really useful launch timeframe for movies, especially with movies that could be problematic. This winter/spring there are a swarm of book to screen projects making their way to light- some I’m super excited about, some I’m a little wary about, and some I’m definitely reserving judgement on until after seeing. I’ve listed beyond the break the ones on TV and movie screen that I’m most excited about, including their release date, what they’re based off of, and my reasoning.
Which ones are you excited about?
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow; premiers January 21 on The CW
Book Name: based off of various DC Comics heroes scattered throughout, including Firestorm, The Atom, White Canary, Rip Hunter, Hawkgirl, and Hawkman.
Plot: A spin-off of the successful series of The Flash and Arrow, Rip Hunter pulls together heroes to help defend the Earth from villains- heroes that are legends when the Earth needs more than what heroes can provide.
Why You Should See It: While DC isn’t doing really well on the big screens (see reviews for Man of Steel), they are kicking butt on TV with The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl. Legends of Tomorrow will have Arthur Duvall (Doctor Who) playing Rip Hunter, along with a huge cast of characters.
The Fifth Wave; Release Date January 22
Book Name: The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy, part of a three part series. Part two, The Infinite Sea, was released late 2015, with part three, The Last Star, being released May 2016.
Plot: Aliens have invaded Earth in waves: the first turned off the electronics, the second was an earthquake that flooded the earth. The third was a plague that killed most of the population, and the fourth put them among us. Cassie has been separated from her little brother and will stop at nothing to get him back, while Ben has been taken to a military compound to learn to fight the aliens…or so he thinks.
Why You Should See It: Aside from having Chloe Mertz and Ben Richardson, the premise of aliens being inside ourselves and us not knowing it is creepy enough to be captivating. The book was really, really good, and the studio purchased the rights to the entire series before Yancy had even finished the series. That says something.
Lucifer ; premieres January 25 on Fox
Book Name: Sandman series by Neil Gaiman and Lucifer spin-off series by Mike Carey (DC Comics).
Plot: Lucifer (yes, THAT Lucifer) has grown bored with running Hell, and has decided to come to Earth to help humankind for a bit, challenging the idea of predestination while helping a Los Angeles detective.
Why You Should See it: Anything involved with Neil Gaiman is typically brilliant, and the concept of Lucifer being mischievous and bored, and wanting to get involved in the human race makes for really good plot. Having read the comics, I’m really curious to see where they take it, especially with the angels that plagued Lucifer in the comics.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Release Date February 5
Book Name: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith and Jane Austin.
Plot: The deceased ancestors of the English have become decidedly troublesome and won’t stay in their graves. Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters live in the countryside where they learn zombie-killing skills from their father and marriageable skills from their matchmaking mother. Carrying on the plot of Pride and Prejudice, with zombie killings and various mayhem interspersed, will Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy be together?
Why You Should See It: Yes, it’s been a long while since the book came out (around a decade), and yes, it’s based on the Austin book. (Disclaimer- I never could get into P&P, or the movie versions…bad librarian). However, zombie-fighting Victorians is something I can get behind.
Deadpool; Release Date: February 12
Book Name: Deadpool by writer Fabian Nicieza and artist/writer Rob Liefeld, from the Marvel comics.
Plot: Cancer ridden Wade Wilson, who decides to undergo radical treatment in order to “cure” his cancer, subsequently gains accelerated healing, scarred skin, an unstable mind and a twisted humor. Unable to go back to his previous life, he’s now determined to go after those who have made him this way and who are threatening those close to him.
Why You Should See It: First, even though they kept Ryan Reynolds, it’s obvious the producers and writers have really worked with Reynolds to let it be much, much better than the last comic movie he did- in fact, they’re cracking jokes about it in one of the trailers. Second, they’ve already said this Deadpool is completely separate from the Deadpool we saw in Wolverine movies, which is good, because he was an ass in that one. Third, this is the first comic movie in a long while that is getting an R rating, and Deadpool should have it: his anti-hero humor, antics, and violence need that rating, and that makes me hopeful that they’re going to do Deadpool justice. Even if Deadpool is owned by the studios who are doing the X-Men series instead of the Disney Marvel Studios that have been putting out the Avenger hits, I’m hopeful.
The Great Gilly Hopkins; Release Date February 19
Book Name: The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
Plot: Gilly, shuffled from foster home to foster home, only wants to live with her real mom, whose picture she’s had forever and ever. When she lands in the next foster home, she decides enough is enough and decides to track down her mom once and for all.
Why You Should See It: Kathy Bates and Glenn Close in the same movie? Sold, even if they aged Gilly up from her book age of 11.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot; Release Date March 4
Book Name: The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Baker
Plot: Kim Baker, an American correspondent for the Chicago Tribune in Afghanistan and Pakistan, falls in love with a Scottish journalist.
Why You Should See It: Tina Fey and Martin Freeman, based on memoirs of a female journalist during 2004-2009.
Divergent Series: Allegiant; Release Date March 18
Book Name: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Plot: Tris and Four, among others, go past the wall of their city and find an entire city in what is a destroyed Chicago (what we know as O’Hare airport), who claim that Tris and her people are the answer to saving the other humans around the world. Yet while Tris and Four’s relationship hits rocky waters, can they trust each other enough to figure out if they can trust these new people?
Why You Should See It: Having already seeing Divergent and Insurgent, realistically movie makers could have ended things very nicely at the end of Insurgent- the bad guy was defeated, the makers were welcoming everyone across the wall, and they showed ALL the people running to get away from the destroyed city. Yet movie makers have now taken Allegiant the book and split it into two movies (thank you Harry Potter movie makers), and given the second half a new title, Ascendant. Now I need to know where they split it and how they’re going to pull it all together, as they’re now making Tris the chosen one.
The Little Prince, Release Date March 18
Book Name: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Plot: A young girl befriends an older pilot, who tells her the story of a young star prince who fell to earth when the pilot was young. While the pilot was fixing the Prince’s ship, the Prince told him stories of his adventures, which the pilot then tells the young girl. After the girl is banned from the pilot’s house by her mom, she runs out into the night trying to find the Prince, and goes on adventures.
Why You Should See It: While not a straight adaptation of the novel that we know, it is to be a beautiful narrative of the stories woven together. Released this past fall in France and other countries, it has a huge critical reception and an all-star cast.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Release Date March 25
Book Name: original premise, but taking inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
Plot: Bruce Wayne/Batman, deciding that Kal-El/Superman is a threat to mankind, decides to take out Superman preemptively in order to save the Earth. However, a new evil comes to light.
Why You Should See It: This is DC Comics’ counter-attack to Marvel Studio’s Avengers juggernaut, and they are betting the house on this. Man of Steel did not do well, and they’re using Dawn of Justice to launch the Justice League and all the characters that spin off from there- Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc. They have done excellent casting with Aquaman, and Wonder Woman- hopefully the script will hold up.
The Jungle Book, Release Date April 15
Book Name: inspired by The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, this movie is a remake of the 1967 Disney movie
Plot: Mowgli is sent to the jungle to be raised by Indian wolves; after being threatened by a Bengal tiger, he leaves and goes on a journey of self-discovery.
Why You Should See It: A 3D remake, an all star cast including the voice talents of Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, and directed by Jon Favreau.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War Release Date: April 22
Book Name: inspired by Grimm’s Fairy tales
Plot: The Evil Queen, last seen dead in Snow White and The Huntsman, is brought back to life by her sister, the Snow Queen Freya. Wreaking havoc across the land, the only one who can stop both of them is The Huntsman and his long-lost love.
Why You Should See It: First, Charlize is back as the Evil Queen, and she was worth seeing the first one for. If you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, rent it and fast forward through all of Snow White’s “acting” just to see the Evil Queen and the Huntsman. It’s worth it. Second, Emily Blunt is her sister. Yes, that Emily Blunt. Third, Nick Frost and his sense of humor comes in somewhere.