The Must See Book-To-Film Releases for 2012/13

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Posted on: 21 November 2012 by ABC DEF

From late 2012 through to mid-2013, some literary classics are set to invade our cinema screens, with Hollywood budgets having been thrown at a number of classic book-to-film adaptations. All too often, this kind of transformation flops but we’ve got our eye on a few that look too good to miss. Here are our favourites…

From late 2012 through to mid-2013, some literary classics are set to invade our cinema screens, with Hollywood budgets having been thrown at a number of classic book-to-film adaptations. All too often, this kind of transformation flops but we’ve got our eye on a few that look too good to miss. Here are our favourites…

Les Misérables

Many have adapted Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel for live performance- some with breath-taking results and some, less so.

This time round, Oscar-winning director of the King’s Speech Tom Hooper is having a go, with a little help from Cameron Mackintosh. He’s received a huge amount of praise from his all-star cast, which includes Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne, for insisting that they sang live on set, as opposed to recording the musical numbers in a studio pre or post-production.

It is this innovative direction, they claim, that gave them freedom on-set and allowed them real spontaneity with their acting decisions. Tom himself says, ‘You can tell in your bones there’s something false on unreal about people singing to playback. What will be exciting for the audience is that singing live will have such a profound effect on the power and the realism of the story.” Take a look at the film's trailer and witness the effect for yourself – we were particularly moved by Anne Hathaway’s heart-breaking rendition of I Dreamed a Dream.

Les Misérables will be in British cinemas from January 11th 2013.  

The Great Gatsby

F Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel is widely considered one of the best of the 20th century, and director Baz Luhrman clearly agrees. He and his award-winning cast, comprising Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke, have been shooting the film version since in Australia since September 2011.

The trailer suggests that the carefree, debauched feel of the 1920s, described so well in the book, has been perfectly captured on-screen. Dan Fellman, Warner Bros's president of domestic distribution has stated that the film ‘truly brings Fitzgerald's American classic to life in a completely immersive, visually stunning and exciting way.’

Despite this, the film’s initial Boxing Day release date has been scrubbed for a summer 2013 release. It’s probable that this will see it out of contention for Oscar glory, but we’re remarkably excited to watch it nonetheless.

The Great Gatsby’s release date is TBC, but is expected to be summer 2013.

Life of Pi

Yann Martel’s fantasy adventure novel received widespread acclaim when it was published in 2001, and won the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. So, it was only a matter of time before a film version was created.

After much directorial to-ing and fro-ing - M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón and Jean-Pierre Jeunet were all attached at various points - Ang Lee, of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brokeback Mountain fame has been confirmed as the director that has turned his hand to it.

Shot in 3D, Lee’s version sees Suraj Sharma make his big screen debut as Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel. Tobey Maguire had been involved, playing Yann Martel, but in September this year it was confirmed that his scenes had been cut; Lee cited Maguire's presence as being 'too jarringly recognisable', and chose to re-shoot his scenes with Rafe Spall instead. The film now features an entirely international cast.

Life of Pi is another film which has suffered release setbacks; it had originally been scheduled for a December 14th release date, but will now launch on December 20th 2012 so as not to compete with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Boys and girls have been growing up, dreaming of the fantasy world of Middle Earth and its inhabitants, Bilbo Baggins and friends, since J R Tolkien’s Hobbit trilogy was first published in 1937.

Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy went down so well, that it was only a matter of time before the Hobbit series was tackled too. The first instalment, An Unexpected Journey, once again sees Ian McKellen as Gandalf, with the likes of Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood and Orlando Bloom also reprising their roles. Benedict Cumberbatch, of Sherlock fame, takes on the role of Smaug the dragon.

Of course, the Hobbit trilogy is actually a prequel to the Lord of the Rings series - they’ve been produced and released in this order because of issues around the ownership of production and distribution rights – but the writing, a partnership, between Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, ensures that this new order works.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be in cinemas from Friday 14th December.

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