First up is Insurgent, the second installment in the Divergent series(based on Veronica Roth's popular YA trilogy). Mental warrior woman Tris(Shailene Woodley) and the small band of Faction folk that fled with her are seeking alliance with Amity, the seemingly peaceful farming community.
However, the Erudite have bigger plans beyond their initial takeover and the deviously ambitious Jeannie(Kate Winslet) is now seeking the Divergent for a even more sinister purpose than before. Having seen the first movie(and read the book as well), this series is quite engaging and smartly written, so I won't be alone in looking forward to this:
Next is a live action version of Disney's Cinderella, with Lily James as the title glass slipper wearer and Cate Blanchett being her wicked stepmother. Other well known names in the cast include Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, Agent Carter's Hayley Atwell as Cinderella's birth mother and Derek Jacobi as the king father of Prince Charming.
The movie looks very pretty and quite opulent, no surprise since Kenneth Branagh is at the director's helm here. However, I don't detect anything truly unique about this upcoming rendition of the classic fairy tale, so it might be best to stick with the animated version, if you ask me:
I'm not familiar with this series(called the Wardstone Chronicles in the UK) but it does sound like good old fashioned fun. There is a touch of cheesiness to be had from this trailer yet that adds more to the allure of this story.
I'm not saying I would run right out and see it on opening day but given the nature of midwinter/early spring releases, this might not be a bad time at the movies there. If this movie does well, there are a hefty stack of books to follow it onscreen, so we shall see:
For something completely different, we turn to Far From The Madding Crowd, the newest adaptation of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel which is celebrating it's one hundred and fortieth anniversary.
Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene, the fiery independent woman who is torn between three men; Gabriel Oak(Matthias Schoenaerts), a devoted farmer, William Boldwood(Michael Sheen) a well to do landowner and Sergeant Troy(Tom Sturridge), whose fighting impulses do not serve him well outside of the military.
I am already committed to rereading the original novel as part of my Road to Rereading this year and no doubt many a book club will try their hand at this story as well as watch this latest version. It does look promising and perhaps shall bring about a renewed interest in Thomas Hardy, whose work has proven to be rather film friendly before:
There will be many more books arriving on film this year and it should provide some immense pleasure for both movie goers and constant readers alike. Of course, not every adaptation will get things just right but that never stops a literature lover from grabbing some popcorn and heading to the multiplex on the way to the bookstore: