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Page to Screen: Top Books to Movies 2012 #1

Updated on October 21, 2016
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Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

PAGE TO SCREEN


The relationship between the written word and the movie industry has been a lasting one. Like any lasting relationship there are good times and bad times, productive couplings and disastrous dalliances.

When they work harmoniously the book transcends the pages, arrives in a grander much more refreshing form as a movie under the careful tutelage of its Director and production team. We love to see a book we adore become a better film. We may bicker and moan, especially when some of our favourite bits, our favourite characters perhaps, get left out. But overall we will love the end result.

When it fails, it does spoil a good book. A poor adaptation can leave a very bad taste in the mouth. We curse the author for selling out; the writer may disown the narrative, and all around there may be a smell of a cheap cash in on the books popularity.


Source

THE WRITTEN WORD

The reader in us loves a book. We devour the carefully crafted lines and if the writer is any good, we paint a picture in our brains. The more we read, the grander the vista. soon we make our own movies in our head. We know what the characters look like as we conjure up the sights and the scenes in a story. Good writers leave enough room for the artist in us to direct our own movie.

When a producer, director or an actor read the same story, they want to share that vision with the wider world. They want to make an actual movie and populate it with splendid actors. They will take the scenario and do splendid production design. Sometimes these grand visions come alive much better than they do in our heads and we love the end result. sometimes, the film falls short of our expectations. Our brain, in these circumstances, is a much better production crew than those who made the film!

Sometimes I feel it is an unfair judgement too. The book and film are different creatures. A two and half hour visual narrative is an intrinsically different beast compared to a book. The screenwriter and the Director need to make some tough choices, knowing what to leave and what to take out, as well as ensure it works as a film. It certainly is not as easy as some make it out to be.

Here, we have a selection of popular books ( and some not so popular ones) that are already under production and are arriving in a cinema near you. Lets hope the teams behind these film adaptations have enough sense to nurture the authors vision and perhaps enhance it.

Concept art for the film
Concept art for the film
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

CLOUD ATLAS


Author: DAVID MITCHELL

This wonderfully crafted novel was published in 2004 to much critical acclaim and got nominated for the Man Booker Prize, Nebula and the Arthur C Clarke awards. Deservedly so.

It is a complex yet captivating narrative of six 'nested' stories, much like the Russian matryoshka dolls. The tales range from the late 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future. The clever plotting and broad panorama are populated with diverse characters. Each story is either read or observed by a character in the next. The author, David Mitchell, keeps the reader gripped and engaged by interrupting each of the story at a chronological point and starts the next. At the end, the stories start 'collapsing' back to the origin with each denouements cascading back from the future to the past.

The writer is thus able to paint wonderful visions set in diverse historical settings. It at once is a thriller, a human interest tale, a literary juggling act, a meditation in humanity and much, much more. It will be tough act to film, but in the capable hands of the Warchowski brothers ( Matrix trilogy) one could hope it will turn into a dazzling spectacle. The ensemble cast includes Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon.

Cloud Atlas: Release date OCTOBER 2012

Cast & Crew
Role
Warchowski Brothers
Direction & Screenplay
Tom Twyker
Direction & Screenplay
 
 
Tom Hanks
Dr Henry Goose
Hugo Weaving
 
Hugh Grant
Multiple
Halle Berry
Meronym
Jim Sturgess
 
Jim Broadbent
 
Ben Whishaw
Robert Frobisher
Susan Sarandon
 
Xun Zhou
Yoona 939

Characters- Actors

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gary Oldman - Floyd BannerTom Hardy - Forrest BondurantShia LaBeouf - Jack BondurantGuy Pearce - Special Agent Charlie RakesJason Clarke - Howard BondurantJessica Chastain - MaggieMia Wasikowska - Bertha Minnix
Gary Oldman - Floyd Banner
Gary Oldman - Floyd Banner
Tom Hardy - Forrest Bondurant
Tom Hardy - Forrest Bondurant
Shia LaBeouf - Jack Bondurant
Shia LaBeouf - Jack Bondurant
Guy Pearce - Special Agent Charlie Rakes
Guy Pearce - Special Agent Charlie Rakes
Jason Clarke - Howard Bondurant
Jason Clarke - Howard Bondurant
Jessica Chastain - Maggie
Jessica Chastain - Maggie
Mia Wasikowska - Bertha Minnix
Mia Wasikowska - Bertha Minnix

THE WETTEST COUNTY IN THE WORLD

Author: MATT BONDURANT

Based on the illicit brewing of moonshine in Franklin County, Virginia, this is a story of the Bondurant brothers ( the author's grandfather and two granduncles) who were heavily involved in bootleg trade. Growing up in the Bondurant household, the author Max listened to family stories of the illicit activities that later stimulated the writing of this wonderful historical novel. Although largely factual, the author explains how difficult it was to get accurate details from the people involved, as no one openly talked about the bootleg era.


Published in 2008, it garnered critical and commercial acclaim. The historical basis for the novel centers around the Great moonshine conspiracy trial of 1935. During the prohibition era, the locals prided themselves that Franklin county was the moonshine capital of the world. allegedly 99 out of 100 households were in someway involved in illicit distilling and selling of moonshine during that era.


The trials and tribulations of the Bondurant brothers, their involvement in the moonshine trade and their loves and lives forms the basis of this wonderful novel which paints a rich and dangerous historical tapestry. Much like Boardwalk Empire ( based on Atlantic city during prohibition era) The Wettest county puts Franklin firmly on the map. The locals are apparently still proud of the 'Moonshine capital of the World' tag, as it gives them a sense of civic pride in their endurance and entrepreneurship during the American prohibition.


The story of the Bondurant brothers is being made ready for a August 2012 release, directed by John Hillcoat ( The Road) and written by Nick Cave for the screen. It is being produced by those Hollywood Heavyweights behind many successful Oscar Campaigns, The Weinstein Brothers. This has Oscar potential written all over it. Period drama, prohibition era and featuring a great cast including Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska and many others.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN - VAMPIRE HUNTER

AUTHOR: SETH GRAHAME SMITH


A delicious mash up of history and vampire lore, this novel hit the bestseller lists and created a whole new genre' the mashup' novels. The author Seth Grahame Smith had already set the literary world buzzing with his wonderful ' Pride and Prejudice with Zombies' .

The wry, gripping 'alternate biography' of Abe Lincoln tells how right from the age of eleven, Lincoln had learnt of the existence of Vampires from his father. He swears to kill as many in his lifetime as he can, as a revenge for his Mothers death.

Abe soon realises that he is not a physical match for all his vampire enemies. After a chance encounter with a more powerful vampire, Henry, he is told that there are 'good' vampires and 'evil' ones. Henry then trains Abe in vampire combat and many kickass adventures ensue. As Abe discovers that the vampires want to carve out a nation of their own out of the United States, it is all out war.

Skilfully weaving historical perspective with madcap vampire adventure, this 'mashup' links several key events in Lincoln life to the vampire lore, making it into a 'believable' knit. As this was a NY times bestseller for several months, it is no surprise it was optioned and has been made into an action-horror-adventure by that Russian king of vampire movies, Timur Bekmambetov ( Nightwatch, Daywatch). It is also produced by the master of the gothic himself, Tim Burton.

Featuring a relative unknown Benjamin Walker as Abe Lincoln, the film also features Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Dominic Cooper, Alan Tudyk and Rufus Sewell.

Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter Release June 2012

Cast and Crew
Role
Tim Burton
Producer
Timur Bekmambetov
Director
 
 
Benjamin Walker
Abe Lincoln
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Mary Todd Lincoln
Joseph Mawle
Thomas Lincoln
Dominic Cooper
Henry Sturgess
Rufus Sewell
Adam
Robin McLeavy
Nancy Hanks Lincoln

Read, Watch and Enjoy

So there you have it dear leader, the first section of page to screen. There are more delectable offerings on their way. From Scott Fitzgerald's American masterpiece to more zombie mayhem, there are books leaping to a screen near you. will see you shortly with the next set. Hope you enjoyed this outing.


Now how good is your book to film knowledge?

Take the page to screen quiz to test your mettle. Prove to the world that when it comes to knowing your books and films, you are indeed, a master.


Docmo

© Mohan Kumar 2012

PAGE TO SCREEN QUIZ


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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Nice hub. The Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunger looks intriguing but I would be interested in seeing 'The Wettest County In The World', it looks very interesting.

      Voted up etc.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and interesting. Fascinating hub. Can't wait to see Abe catching those vampires. Passing this on.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      They all look interesting. I think my favotite would be, 'Cloud Atlas' Starring great actors such as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and my personal favorite Susan Sarandon. The wettest country would probably be really good too. I did terrible on the quiz, ( I'm not 'gonna tell ) Great hub. Thank you Docmo...

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Jools99 - they both look interesting and I am also looking forward to the cloud atlas. Thanks for your visit and comment!

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Gypsy Rose- appreciate your visit and comment! Abe is gonna kick some vampire ass.cant wait!

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Ruby, I think Cloud Atlas looks most intriguing, innovative and new. I did love the book very much. thank you!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent synopses, Docmo. All three films look intriguing and since I am a great fan of good stories and well-constructed films, I plan to see them all. Thank you for your research and thumbnail sketches.

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you drbj. You are like me in your taste in books and films- eclectic and looking for a good story. I too am looking forward to catching these films.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Damn, Docmo, the authors and filmmakers should be paying you for your words, because I want to read each book and watch each film! The most intriguing concept, to me, is Abe Lincoln, President by Day, Hunter by Night. I was laughing at the idea, but stopped short when the picture, mysterious and sinister, caught my eye. Whoa!

      I was, again, impressed at your research. You are always ten steps ahead of the crowd, Docmo. Phantasmically futuristic, you are!

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Thank you, dear Amy, now I've got the perfect 'blurb' for the covers of my future novel. Mohan Kumar ' phantasmically futuristic' Indeed. It is you who should be paid for those exquisite phrases. Thank you.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I haven't seen any of these flicks. I thought the Lincoln one might really be cheesy, but since it's based on a novel, it might actually be good and I'm looking forward to it. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks alocsin- they all are due out his year and not yet released... appreciate your visit.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      I have to say, it is very tedious to figure out how to apply the written word to the screen because there are numerous forms of interpretations the reader can get and those very interpretations can be different, and sometimes negative, when applied to the screen. I will definitely have to read and watch these stories. THank you for another fantastic hub, docmo!

      -KD

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks Keith - you are right. The media are fundamentally different and ran slating one to another gains some and loses some!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      "Never judge a book by its movie." ~ What a perfect motto!

      In our imagination everything seems to be more beautiful than in reality, and also the ugly seems to be uglier.

      Very well written article, Docmo!

      BTW - you look good in a T-shirt, but truly stunning in a suite... (Just saying, because I am honest and not afraid to share my thoughts.)

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Martie, thank you. Always judge a man by how he looks in a suit! I'd have been upset if you didn't compliment me! As you may know me by now neither am I afraid to receive or give compliments- life's too short for unsaid words.

      By the way I was hoping for another *outstanding* I think you've got me hooked, Martie Coetser. U is mooi!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Lol! I've just seen my typo. Oh well, I'm sure you will look really stunning wearing a suit in a suite... Lol!

      What a lovely compliment! Thank you, Sir :)

      But yes, always judge a man by how he looks in a suit. A punk cannot hide his 'punkness' in/with a suit. In fact, a suit emphasizes what a man really is. (Will a monkey wearing a suit looks like a man?). But then, some women really don't recognize the difference between a man and a monkey...

      Take care, Docmo!

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      I feel like singing ( to the tune of ' Am I a man or am I a muppet) Am I a man or a monkey/ Am I a suit in a suite....

      Take care!

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      When I first saw the trailer (on TV) regarding Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter, I rolled my eyes in pure disbelief. Really, a vampire hunter? Then I perused your trailer in this hub and now--I must admit--I found the story far more intriguing! I find myself drawn to the idea of reading the novel and with Tim Burton in the director's chair for the action packed movie rendition, I might just find myself paying for a theater ticket. Great fun here!

      HubHugs~

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks- I had the same expression. The book is actually quite good and I recently watched the trailer in glorious big screen in 3D and I had a very goofy smile on my face. The action sequences rock in that mindlessly entertaining sort of way. The director is Timur Bekmambetov ( Wanted, Nightwatch) and it is produced by Tim Burton. thanks for dropping by and your comments.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      I see now where Tim Burton is the Producer, thanks for clearing this up for me. I actually saw Wanted,(James McAvoy and Ms Jolie were an interesting match) what a thrill ride that movie was! Makes me want to learn how to bend a bullet!

      Cheers~

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      The slo-mo bullet bends have been replaced with slo-mo axe wielding as you can see in the Lincoln/hunter trailer. The exceptional train sequence looks like it has been replicated on rickety tracks.. what is missing is the delectable Jolie and her bee-stung lips.sigh.(sorry I got distracted for a minute)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Mohan, you are the only person I know out of the Ukraine who uses the word "Matryoshka". Everybody in this country and elsewhere make the mistake of saying "Babushka", and it is obvious that she (they) are not old women, but Princesses and pretty girls.

      Love the hub, and of course I was knocked back by your elegant writing style.

      I love the idea of the Lincoln movie. I really enjoy the eroticism of Vampire movies.

      Attaboy!

      Ian

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Ah. Ian, I 'd love to share pint with you and mull over such frustrations in life. I recently was sailing Scandinavia and the shops did store a lot of them (as well as viking helmets and ubiquitous troll dolls) and people kept calling them babushkas- I kept correcting them but then nobody took me on. I'm delighted to find a fellow Matryoshka appreciator! thank you, kind sir. again. I need to get over and visit your hubs soon. I'm sitting here marking university assignments and assessing portfolio. yawn.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      It's all okay Doc, the best of us get mesmerized by the beauty (inside and out) of Ms Jolie! I now look forward to both reading and seeing the Lincoln/vampire story.--hugs--

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Mohan, I have not written for HubPages since the end of January, so you have most probably seen and read all I have produced.

      Some years ago, I was in Kharkov and also Kiev, in the Ukraine.

      Kharkov is very close to the Russian border, and most of the people speak Russian and also refer to their currency as being Roubles and Kopeks, (Lengthy aside), but I remember being in the main square in Kharkov and seeing the most amazing Matryroushkas (Spell it as you will, it has to be the correct sound as we do not have the Cyrillic alphabet). Some of them were enormous, and had, i believe, maybe twelve or more inside, inside, inside.

      And in Kiev, I ate the most amazing Chicken Kiev, although there it is called Cotoletta Kievski.

      Ramble, ramble.

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      K9 - I am glad we have more than one common interest films, books, vampires, Angelinas ;-) - I am sure there'll be many more... do visit often and I will too. Your hubs look very interesting. hugs right backatcha. slo mo style.

    • Docmo profile image
      Author

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Ian, I love that story. You are amazingly well traveled and a raconteur I could listen to all day. As you know my indefatigable appetite for experiences and information perks up when I hear see a comrade at arms. Ramble on if you will. I'll have to come and see you sometime - if I am down your way sometime. Fascinating!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      You have given us 'food for thought' with these upcoming movies.

      It is very often a disappointing when we see our favorite book made into a movie - but them we have to realize the movie is only 2-1/2 hours long and can't possibly show us all the thoughts and history and contemporary happenings of the book.

      Now Mohan you need to see these movies and review them as superbly as you outlined them.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and I'll have to see all these movies!

    • livelovelaugh5 profile image

      livelovelaugh5 4 years ago

      Am looking forward to catching Abaham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. The book was fantastic and I was completely enthralled which was a nice surprise. Wasn't expecting to be. Great hubs! Also love part 2 of this series.

    • jcevans2009 profile image

      Judith C Evans 4 years ago from Boise, ID

      "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" and "Cloud Atlas" are on my to-read list, and now I can't wait to see the movies. I enjoyed reading this hub...voted up and interesting!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

      Well I enjoyed part one of your book to screen series. I think Cloud Atlas is the longest trailer that I have ever seen. But I think if it stars Tom Hanks it should be a good one. I scored 90% on the attached quiz...thanks for sharing that....as I can always go for some trivia. I had no idea Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter was a book...I will probably check out the book well before I check out the movie. I look forward to reading parts 2,3 and 4 in future....voted up and awesome.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Fabulous hub that only Docmo could create!!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      I have not read any of these books but heard about the movies. Docmo, this is a wonderful hub.

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