From Page to Screen

2012 featured a plethora of movies that were adapted from original books.  From blockbusters like “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2” (book|movie) and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (book|movie) to smaller, more arthouse fare such as “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (book|movie) and “John Dies at the End” (book|movie), this past year featured some wonderful book to movie adaptations.  This month’s From Page to Screen feature is dedicated to the upcoming 2013 movies that are based on popular novels.


by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s popular young adult novel is coming to the big screen this year.  “Beautiful Creatures” stars Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum and Emma Thompson and hits theaters on February 13th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.



by Stephen King

I’m betting that many of you have read the book Carrie by Stephen King or seen the 1976 film adaptation by Brian De Palma and starring Sissy Spacek. This time around, Kimberly Peirce is sitting in the director’s chair and the film stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore and Judy Greer.  Originally scheduled to open in March, “Carrie” has now been pushed back to October 18th to better capitalize on the pre-holiday horror season.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

 Carrie White has a gift – the gift of telekinesis.

To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.

But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her…



by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel and is a very popular science fiction series. The film adaptation of the first book is a star-studded affair, featuring Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, and Viola Davis. “Ender’s Game” doesn’t release until November 1st so you have more than enough time to read the source material first.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.



by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This American classic by F. Scott Fitzgerald is required reading in many high schools.  If you don’t remember the story (or you didn’t read it in the first place), director Baz Luhrmann wants to help you out.  Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke, Tobey Maguire, and Joel Edgerton, “The Great Gatsby” hits theaters on May 10th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald announced his decision to write “something new–something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned.” That extraordinary, beautiful, intricately patterned, and above all, simple novel became The Great Gatsby, arguably Fitzgerald’s finest work and certainly the book for which he is best known. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, Gatsbycaptured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. Self-made, self-invented millionaire Jay Gatsby embodies some of Fitzgerald’s–and his country’s–most abiding obsessions: money, ambition, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–” Gatsby’s rise to glory and eventual fall from grace becomes a kind of cautionary tale about the American Dream.

It’s also a love story, of sorts, the narrative of Gatsby’s quixotic passion for Daisy Buchanan. The pair meet five years before the novel begins, when Daisy is a legendary young Louisville beauty and Gatsby an impoverished officer. They fall in love, but while Gatsby serves overseas, Daisy marries the brutal, bullying, but extremely rich Tom Buchanan. After the war, Gatsby devotes himself blindly to the pursuit of wealth by whatever means–and to the pursuit of Daisy, which amounts to the same thing. “Her voice is full of money,” Gatsby says admiringly, in one of the novel’s more famous descriptions. His millions made, Gatsby buys a mansion across Long Island Sound from Daisy’s patrician East Egg address, throws lavish parties, and waits for her to appear. When she does, events unfold with all the tragic inevitability of a Greek drama, with detached, cynical neighbor Nick Carraway acting as chorus throughout. Spare, elegantly plotted, and written in crystalline prose, The Great Gatsby is as perfectly satisfying as the best kind of poem.



by J.R.R. Tolkien

Though Tolkien’s book only clocks in around 370 pages, director Peter Jackson decided to to tell the story of Bilbo Baggins over the course of three movies.  This second entry is subtitled “The Desolution of Smaug” and Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Richard Armitage all return from the first film.  All the hobbitses will be lined up to watch “The Hobbit: The Desolution of Smaug” on December 13th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.



by Joe Hill

Joseph Hillstrom King (aka Joe Hill) is Stephen King’s son and his 2010 supernatural thriller Horns has been adapted for the screen with Daniel Radcliffe set to play the starring role, Ignatius Perrish, and co-starring Juno Temple and James Remar.  “Horns” does not have a release date yet, but expect to see this thriller sometime in 2013.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances. A mental breakdown would have been the most natural thing in the world. But there was nothing natural about the horns, which were all too real.

Once the righteous Ig had enjoyed the life of the blessed: born into privilege, the second son of a renowned musician and younger brother of a rising late-night TV star, he had security, wealth, and a place in his community. Ig had it all and more—he had Merrin and a love founded on shared daydreams, mutual daring, and unlikely midsummer magic.

But Merrin’s death damned all that. The only suspect in the crime, Ig was never charged or tried. And he was never cleared. In the court of public opinion in Gideon, New Hampshire, Ig is and always will be guilty because his rich and connected parents pulled strings to make the investigation go away. Nothing Ig can do, nothing he can say, matters. Everyone, it seems, including God, has abandoned him. Everyone, that is, but the devil inside.

Now Ig is possessed of a terrible new power to go with his terrible new look—a macabre talent he intends to use to find the monster who killed Merrin and destroyed his life. Being good and praying for the best got him nowhere. It’s time for a little revenge.  It’s time the devil had his due. . .



by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer is obviously best known for her “Twilight” novels, but with that franchise now at a close, another studio has decided to take a stab at adapting her other novel, The Host.  Focusing on aliens instead of vampires, “The Host” stars Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt, Max Irons, and Jake Abel and opens on March 29th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.



by Suzanne Collins

“The Hunger Games” was a massive hit in early 2012 and Lionsgate is hoping “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” will be just as big, if not bigger.  Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all return for the second entry and Jena Malone, Sam Clafin, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman have also been added to the expanding cast.  The games begin again on November 22nd!

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading, and the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

In Catching Fire, the second novel of the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before…and surprising readers at every turn.



by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones is the first book in Cassandra Clare’s popular YA series “The Mortal Instruments.” Fans and critics alike are calling it “the next Twilight,” and predicting it will skyrocket the careers of Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower.  We’ll find out after “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” releases on August 23rd.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder–much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing–not even a smear of blood–to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know.



by William Shakespeare

Riding high from the success of “The Avengers,” director Joss Whedon turns his eye to a modern retelling of the Bard’s classic. Starring Whedonverse regulars Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, and Fran Kranz, “Much Ado About Nothing” rolls into theaters on June 21st.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

The action is set in Sicily, where Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon, has recently defeated his half-brother, the bastard Don John, in a military engagement. Apparently reconciled, they return to the capital, Messina, as guests of the Governor, Leonato. There Count Claudio, a young nobleman serving in Don Pedro’s army, falls in love with Hero, Leonato’s daughter, whom Don Pedro woos on his behalf. The play’s central plot shows how Don John maliciously deceives Claudio into believing that Hero has taken a lover on the eve of her marriage, causing Claudio to repudiate her publicly, at the altar.



by Rick Riordan

“Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” wasn’t exactly a box-office succcess, banking $226.4 million worldwide on a $95 million budget, but Fox is giving this series adaptation a second chance with “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.”  This installment sees Nathan Fillion, Stanley Tucci, Sean Bean, and Anthony Stewart Head joining Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson when they bring Rick Riordan’s world back to life on August 16th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson is finding his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any normal friends. But things don’t stay quiet for long.

Percy soon discovers there is trouble at Camp Half-Blood: the magical borders that protect Half-Blood Hill have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and the only safe haven for demigods is on the verge of being overrun by mythological monsters. To save the camp, Percy needs the help of his best friend, Grover, who has been taken prisoner on an island somewhere in the Sea of Monsters, the dangerous waters Greek heroes have sailed for millennia. Only today, the Sea of Monsters goes by a new name: The Bermuda Triangle.

Together with his friends, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece from the Island of the Cyclopes or Camp Half-Blood will be destroyed. But first, Percy will learn a stunning new secret about his family, one that makes him question whether being claimed as Poseidon’s son is an honor or simply a cruel joke.



by Nicholas Sparks

This year’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation is “Safe Haven“.  Starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, the swooning appropriately begins on Valentine’s Day, February 14th.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again, you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.



by Isaac Marion

Director Jonathan Levine brings Isaac Marion’s standout novel to the big screen.  Starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer as the star-crossed R and Julie, the zombie love story “Warm Bodies” shambles into theaters soon, beginning February 1st.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

R is a young man with an existential crisis–he is a zombie. He shuffles through an America destroyed by war, social collapse, and the mindless hunger of his undead comrades, but he craves something more than blood and brains. He can speak just a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse. Just dreams.

After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend. Julie is a burst of vibrant color in the otherwise dreary and gray landscape that R lives in. His decision to protect her will transform not only R, but his fellow Dead, and perhaps their whole lifeless world.

Scary, funny, and surprisingly poignant, Warm Bodies is about being alive, being dead and the blurry line in between.



by Max Brooks

Another zombie novel adaptation, Max Brooks’ World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, hits theaters later this year.  Starring Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, David Morse, and James Badge Dale, this film has already faced a delay from its original release date of December 21, 2012, seven weeks of reshoots, and a third act rewrite.  “World War Z” will finally hit theaters on June 21st.

Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book it is based on:

“The end was near.” –Voices from the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

What movie adaptation are you most looking forword to this year?  Are there any movies that we missed?  Tell us about it in the comments!

© 2013, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

Comments 1

  • Great article, Christal. I’m looking forward to Warm Bodies (I love the trailer!), World War Z (Brad Pitt!), and the Percy Jackson movie (I hoped they learned not to omit major characters). I’m kind of meh on The Shining – been there, seen that already and really, who could top Sissy Spacek covered in blood? The Hobbit was OK, I guess. But is it necessary to make it into 3 movies?