News is flying left and right of bestselling books beginning the transformation from the page to television or the movies. Here's a quick rundown of adaptations that have made the news in just the last week or so:
by Elizabeth Strout
Actress Frances McDormand is working on a possible series adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge. The title character of the bestselling novel is a seventh grade math teacher of a small east coast town and would be played by McDormand who is also working as a producer on the project for HBO. The book consists of 13 interconnected short stories that all center around a fishing village along the coast of Crosby, Maine. Deadline.com reports that McDormand optioned Olive Kitteridge before it won the Pulitzer Prize last year. It has also been reported that author of the novel, Elizabeth Strout, will be serving as a consulting producer.
Every Secret Thing
by Laura Lippman
Frances McDormand will also serve as producer for second project at HBO that would adapt Laura Lippman's crime novel Every Secret Thing. Lippman's novel focuses on two pre-teen girls walking home after having been kicked out of a birthday party. The two find a baby in a carriage as they head home and inevitably the child ends up dead, the girls are put away for seven years and when they’re released, other children begin to disappear. Actress Diane Lane is in line to play the detective seeking to get to the bottom of the mystery.
by Jonathan Frazen
Jonathan Frazen has been having a pretty hot week. He's been labeled "Great American Novelist" by Time magazine landing the cover the weekly magazine, is interviewed in a feature in the September Vogue magazine complete with a whistful photo spread and an interview from the library of his Upper East Side apartment. A fitting way to end the week for a literary genius whose new novel Freedom will be released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux September 31st? News that uber-producer Scott Rudin has closed a deal on the rights to the new unreleased novel, deadline.com reports. This may or may not come as good news to Frazen fans who will note that ten years later Frazen's last novel The Corrections has yet to progress towards the big screen despite having been optioned by the very same Scott Rudin.
Keys To the City
by Joel Kostman
HBO seems to be all about the literary adaptations. With Game of Thrones on the way and the above news about Olive Kitteridge and Every Secret Thing in development, deadline.com is reporting that Joel Kostman's Keys to the City is to get the HBO treatment. Keys to the City is a collection of 14 stories based on the author's experience as a professional locksmith in New York City. It centers on a New York locksmith and offers a view of people and sights glimpsed beyond the doors he unlocks. The project will be adapted by Oscar winning scribe William Monahan whose previous work includes The Departed.
The Three Weissmanns of Westport
By Cathleen Schine
Also from HBO comes news of an adaptation of Cathleen Schine's The Three Weissmans of Westport, a novel released in February of this year. Schine will serve as a producer on the project. The story centers around a woman's search for meaning after her husband of 48 years walks out on her. She reconnects with her grown daughters who are also struggling to define their personal and professional identities.
by Nicholas Sparks
Relativity Media payed a reported $2 million dollars for rights to the newest Nicholas Sparks novel, Safe Haven due in stores September 14th. Sparks has a proven track record of successful novel to film adaptations and has name recognition that guarantees viewers. The deal was somewhat interesting, stipulating that whoever won the auction for the rights had nine months to develop a script or else the rights to the book would revert to Sparks with the two million remaining firmly in Sparks' pocket. It was a tough ask in an even tougher economy/market. It seems as though Sparks was determined that a film adaptation of Safe Haven not remain in limbo for years such as the case with the aforementioned Franzen and The Corrections.
I Just Want My Pants Back
By David Rosen
Continuing its foray into scripted programming MTV recently greenlight a drama pilot based upon the David Rosen novel, I Just Want My Pants Back. The book centers around Jason Strider, a recent Cornell graduate who finds himself much more interested in marijuana, booze and sexual exploits. Shockingly, as the title suggests, the better part of the book centers around Jason trying to get his favorite pair of pants back from the woman who adequately quenched his sexual desire but fled wearing said pants after a second encounter. (Phew ... that took me several minutes to put together in a way that wouldn't get Loaded Questions an R rating.) MTV is touting the possible series as a romantic dramedy. Where the romantic part plays into it beats me! This is MTV after all.
Even more upcoming books making their way to the screen:
Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson
On the Road by Jack Keroauc
and Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Keywords: Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven, I Just Want My Pants Back, David Rosen, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Keys to the City, Joel Kostman, Freedom, Jonathan Franzen, Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout, Cathleen Schine, Every Secret Thing, Laura Lippman, Books Turned Into Movies, HBO, MTV,