Geeky Friday | Fall Films Based on Books

Seems impossible, I know, but Hollywood is gearing up for its fall releases, and once again many of the promising properties are based on the print resources we hold near and dear. Here’s a breakdown by release date. For the real biggies, it’s probably a good idea to make sure you have copies of the books and maybe do a display with them to get some of your older titles circing again (send a pic, and I’ll run it some Friday).

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Sept. 14). In this adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s novel, Emma Watson, Logan lerman, and Ezra Miller take on the leads. Oddly, Chbosky also directed the film.

Dredd 3D (Sept. 21). Based on Brian Bolland’s comics, the psycho future cop gets a reboot after being dormant since the 1995 stinker that offered the unlikey duo of Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider. Fingers crossed that this one is better (and god help us if it’s actually worse).

Wuthering Heights (Oct. 5). What, again? I wonder if Laurence Olivier is turning in his grave?

Atlas Shrugged Part 2 (Oct. 12). Did anyone know there was a Part 1?

Twilight: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 (Nov. 16). Although this last installation in the megapopular series is a slam dunk to pull in mondo bucks from the horny couger squad and their kids (how disgusting is that?), the over-publicized breakup of the two leads might boost the box office even more. For those who think these films and their print counterparts are crap, take heart that it all will be over soon.

Anna Karenina (Nov. 16). This book already has been adapted for film at least half a dozen times, so what’s one more? With it competing directly against Twilight no one will see it anyway.

The Life of Pi (Nov. 21). Ang Lee takes on Yann Martel’s bestselling 2001 novel about a teenage boy stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal Tiger. This has art house written all over it, but Lee scored big time with Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, both also seemingly art housers, so maybe he can pull a hattrick. Still, what works in print doesn’t always transfer so easily to a visual medium. A kid stuck in a boat with a starving 400-pound cat would be a really short film—The Horrible Death of Pi?

Silver Linings Playbook (Nov. 21). Matthew Quick’s 2008 novel, hopefully, will prove another successful book-to-screen adaptation for star Jennifer Lawrence, who already has won critical and financial acclaim in the film versions of Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games. Having Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro in the cast won’t hurt any. De Niro has done so much swill in recent years that it would be great to see him in something solid again.

Bonus Films: For the sake of completeness, I’ll add Lincoln and Skyfall to the list, both debuting on November 9. Steven Spielberg’s Honest Abe biopic is partially based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals and while Skyfall is the 23rd installment in the perpetually crowd-pleasing James Bond series, it’s not directly based on a Fleming property.

The Hobbit (Dec. 14) owns December, plain and simple. Make sure to have print and audio copies available, because you’re going to need them. Having The Lord of the Rings extended editions on Blu-ray isn’t a bad idea either. Ringalings everywhere will be coming out of their holes in droves to see this movie multiple times. It’ll make a billion fazools no problem, and that’s a lot of cakes and ale, kiddies!

The cat version even will make money!

(WTF is with that?)

Les Miserables (Dec. 14). Despite the fact a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been a proven a smash on Broadway for decades and the dream team of Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe squaring off as Jean Valjean and Javert is to die for, opening against Bilbo and his dwarf companions is suicide. What the hell are those people thinking?

Jack Reacher (Dec. 21). Much to many fans dismay, Tom Cruise takes on the role of Lee Child’s former military cop turned drifter in this filming of Child’s 2005 One Shot, Reacher. Although backed by the rock solid Robert Duval (how old is this guy?), Cruise hasn’t been a box-office draw in quite awhile, and his recent marital woes further solidified his reputation as a nutcase. Could do jack you-know-what in ticket sales

On the Road (Dec. 21). I’m really curious to see if the legions of Kerouac fundamentalists who worship this book (including me) will plunk down a Hamilton plus a few Washingtons to see what Hollywood has done to their scripture. As mentioned last weekRoad‘s trailer makes the film simply look like a vehicle for Kristen Stewart, who has been a busy girl of late (it’s a miracle she still has time to sleep around—bwahahaha!) This could easily end up being road kill.

Hasta la vista, babies. Have a good weekend. I’m getting my geek on with Indy in IMAX tomorrow—woohoo!—so be sure to get yours on, too!


Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.


  1. Libarbarian says:

    You neglected one of the biggies: “Cloud Atlas”, from Andy and Lana Wachowski plus an intriguing one, “Midnight’s Children” – directed by Deepa Mehta and scripted by Salman Rushdie.

  2. Mike Rogers says:

    Thanks for the help. Keep ’em coming!

  3. CarolK says:

    The Jack Reacher trailer confirms my fears that Tom is just not the right person to play the part. I’ll skip it but know I’ll end up purchasing for our library.