Books to Read Before they Become Movies

August 8th, 2013

Recipe for a Successful Hollywood Movie in 2013:

1 George Clooney 1 Matt Damon 1 Cate Blanchett 1 Jean Dujardin 1 Amazing script based on a story set during WWIIToss these together, and you get The Monuments Men, a film based on the novel of the same name written by Robert M. Edsel, which releases on December 18th, 2013. Screenplays based on novels have ruled the roost in Hollywood ever since we can remember. From Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather series based on Mario Puzo’s novel, right up to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, movies based on novels have made cinematic history. And who can forget the Harry Potter series, the Bourne series, and even one-film projects like Psycho (1960), Goodfellas (1990), Gone With the Wind (1939), The Exorcist (1973), and lately, The Descendants (2011).

2013 is no exception, and Hollywood has an interesting list of movies adapted from novels, most of which are lined up for release later this year or early next year. Here’s what you can expect.

10 Books to Read Before the Movie Release

Stephen King’s Carrie

Starring Chlo? Grace Moretz in the title role, with Julianne Moore as her mother, Carrie releases on October 18, 2013. Movies based on Stephen King’s novels, with their supernatural-horror undertones, have always brought audiences to the theater in hoards. In this case, it doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the 1976 version of this movie, but if you’ve missed reading the book, I’ll say you’ve clearly missed out on a lot. Carrie is a classical horror story of a shy girl who lives with her faithfully-religious mother in a small town. As a social outcast, she is bullied and ridiculed at her prom, after which she vents terror on her tormentors using telekinetic powers. Author Stephen King is, as we all know, the final authority on horror, so in my humble opinion, the written word in this case is more enthralling than the cinematic version. Do not miss it!

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars

Release date unconfirmed. A love story of two teenagers struck with cancer. Melancholy overload is what this movie will be about, and if we are to go by the book sales, this movie is expected to be a sure-fire box office winner. So, we have a tragic love story based on the backdrop of tragedy. If you like your share of sniffles and tears, read this moving novel before you step into the theater to see Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star as the main characters, Hazel and Augustus, in this tear-jerker.

Veronica Roth’s Divergent

With Shailene Woodley, Theo James, and Kate Winslet in lead roles, Divergent is expected to release on March 21, 2014. Tipped to be even bigger than The Hunger Games, this story is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic version of Chicago, where a citizen’s personality puts him/her into one of the five factions of society. Our protagonist, Tris, realizes she does not fit into any of the five factions, which makes her, you guessed it right, Divergent, a fact she must conceal from all, or face death. As promised, thrilling action is delivered.

Jordan Belfort’s The Wolf of Wall Street

The film releases on November 15, 2013. Who wouldn’t want to read a book about a man who, in his own words, “partied like a rock star and lived like a king”? Wall Street stockbroker Jordan Belfort had the women, the money, the planes, the yachts, the booze, and the drugs, only to lose it all eventually. So, when this guy decided to chronicle his murky life in a tell-all book, you bet it’s going to be interesting. Well, interesting enough for a certain Mr. Martin Scorsese to direct the celluloid version, and have Leonardo DiCaprio star in it as the lead. Still wondering whether you should read it?

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl

Release date unconfirmed. Loads of suspense, with a brilliant twist right in the middle of it all. All mystery novels are generally described as ‘unputdownable’ by esteemed reviewers, but this is one story that certainly lives up to that adjective. Gone Girl is the layered story of a dysfunctional marriage, told in an unconventional format, which will have you hooked till its last page.

Ron Rash’s Serena

Starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, Serena will see an initial release in late October, 2013. A love story at its core, Serena is much more than that. It delves into the finer nuances of love that spawns greed, jealousy, and the inevitable revenge. The novel is set during the 1930s, a turbulent era in American history that saw financial upheavals, coupled with the rising environmental movement. Serena was named Best Book of the Year by publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, and Miami Herald.

Joe Hill’s Horns

With Daniel Radcliffe in the lead, Horns will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013. Horns is a dark fantasy goth novel that stays true to its genre, delivering weirdness in the right amounts through its nonlinear narrative. The protagonist is a young man whose girlfriend has been raped and murdered. Following the incident, he realizes that he possesses diabolical powers, which enable him to understand the darkest secrets hiding in the minds of anybody he touches. And yes, he’s also sprouting those mysterious looking horns on his forehead that no one thinks of as strange.

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game releases on November 1, 2013. Aliens ahoy! Planet Earth has scraped through two invasions by insectoid aliens called Buggers, and is reeling under the threat of a third invasion. Enter child prodigies who are trained at the Battle School to form future fleet commanders. This military sci-fi novel became recommended reading for the US Marine Corps, so you know what kind of action is to be expected. Starring in the movie are Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Abigail Breslin.

Harlan Coben’s Six Years

Though Hugh Jackman is tipped to play the lead role, the filming of this movie is yet to begin. Harlan Coben returns with another thriller. This time, it’s about a nerdy scholar named Jake Fisher falling head over heels for Natalie, an artist, who leaves him to get married to an old boyfriend. Years later, when Jake learns about the death of Natalie’s husband, he wishes to reconnect with her. He lands at the funeral, only to discover that the mourning widow is not his Natalie, with no one connected to her acknowledging his existence. Devious? You bet!

Robert M. Edsel’s The Monuments Men

The movie is scheduled to release on December 18, 2013. The Second World War provides the backdrop for this intense, fast-paced drama, but that isn’t all there is to it. You’d be right to expect a strong anti-Nazi sentiment here, but our heroes here are far from ordinary. This is the story of a bunch of British and American museum directors and curators, who race against time and risk their lives to collect and protect Europe’s greatest artistic treasures from the evil clutches of the mighty F?hrer. George Clooney has produced, directed, and co-written the screenplay for the film which releases later this year. Hollywood studios have always made big money making movies based on novels, and even short stories. With this exciting line-up of movies slated for release, you’d better buck up and grab a copy of the books they’re based on, just so you know what lies in store.

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