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2012 has been a great year for movie adaptations based on or loosely tied to books. Argo, Beast of the Southern Wild, Les Misérables, Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook are all from adapted screenplays.

Now that the Award Season is behind us, time to move forward to see what some of the upcoming movie adaptations are in the works. The following is a list of films in various stages of development, with some scheduled to be released in 2013. Time to read or reread the books before your see the movies.

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A Most Wanted Man 

A Most Wated Man

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in John le Carré’s thriller (2008) with a contemporary theme of international war on terror. Hopefully it will reprise the depth of the star-studded Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Robert Wright, Rachel McAdams, and Willem Dafoe are in.

A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle in Time

After the success of LOTRNarnia, The Hobbit, some think it’s time to remake Madeleine L’Engle’s YA Sci-Fi classic A Wrinkle In Time. Disney it is, together with Bedrock with Jeff Stockwell (A Bridge to Terabithia, 2007) writing the script. Let’s hope it’s a production worthy of its literary source.

Before I Go To Sleep 

Before I Go to Sleep

Adapted from S. J. Watson’s popular and intriguing novel about a woman having bouts of amnesia every morning she wakes up. If your memory or enthusiasm needs a little prodding, here’s this cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Mark Strong. Nobody can forget Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (TV 1995), but do you remember Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley in Emma (TV 1996)? Both were in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and Mark Strong in the recent Zero Dark Thirty (2012). I can’t wait for this one. Will have to read the book first.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

The popular and acclaimed YA book by Markus Zusak with setting in WWII Nazi Germany. YA or not, it’s been on the NYT Bestseller List for over 4 years. Interesting fact is, Downton Abbey director Brian Percival will helm the production, which will star Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech, 2010) and Emily Watson (Anna Karenina, 2012). The young Canadian actress Sophie Nélisse who’s brilliant in the Oscar nominated Monsieur Lazhar (Canadian entry for Best Foreign Language Film, 2011) will play young Liesel.

Devil’s Knot

Devil's Knot

Based on Mara Leveritt’s book Devil’s Knot: The True Story of the West Memphis Threethe true case of the wrongful conviction and imprisonment of three teenaged boys for eighteen years for the murder of three children in West Memphis, Arkansas. Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon star. Acclaimed Canadian director Atom Egoyan helms, with music score by the recent Oscar winning Canadian composer for Life of Pi Mychael Danna. Yes, sounds like an international joint effort. The film has a 2013 release date in the U.S.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

Completed in 2012, but delayed its release until May 2013. Just as well, considering all the mighty rivals of last year’s movies. The trailer looks unsettling, and in 3D, I’m afraid the Baz Luhrmann version may focus on the loud and glitzy but ignore the true colours of Jay Gatsby. Of course, innocent until proven guilty. My eyes are peeled. Leo DiCaprio is Jay, Carey Mulligan Daisy, Isla Fisher Myrtle, Tobey Maguire Nick. Quite a cast.

The Invisible Woman

The Invisible Woman

Claire Tomalin’s account of Charles Dickens’ affair with the young writer Nelly Ternan will be brought to screen with script from Abi Morgan (Shame, The Iron Lady) to be directed by Ralph Fiennes, who will play Dickens himself. To add to the rave, Kristin Scott Thomas is also on board. Felicity Jones will be playing Nelly Ternan. Fiennes never ceases to amaze us with his versatility, after directing Shakespeare’s Coriolanus in postmodern style, now comes Dickens.

The Piano Tuner

The Piano Tuner

It has been reported that the iconic German director Werner Herzog (Cave of Forgotten Dreams, 2010) is directing the movie adaptation of this 2002 book by Daniel Mason. Set in 1890′s Burma where the British Empire was having its glorious era, the chords of harmony and dissonance ring. Not a lot of info on it, but as I read a few book reviews, which are all careful not to reveal any spoilers, I can see this can be a colourful and thought-provoking cinematic offering in the hands of an auteur whose career has spanned half a century.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

Don’t rant about Jane Austen’s novels being turned into just too many movies. Shakespeare probably holds the record. This time, a 21st C. version of Romeo and Juliet will be written by none other than Julian Fellowes, who has brought us the wildly and globally popular Downton Abbey, something Shakespeare just might approve. The new pair of star-crossed lovers? Douglas Booth (Great Expectations, TV 2011) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit, 2010), with a cast of prominent US and British actors.

The Sea

The Sea

Irish writer John Banville adapts his own Booker-winning novel (2005) of the same title. Ciaran Hind (Persuasion, 1995) stars. Banville has also written the screenplay of the Oscar nominated movie Albert Kobbs with Glenn Close. I was planning to read The Sea last year for the Ireland Reading Challenge but later made another choice. Now knowing there will be a movie, I should get back to it.

Suite Française

Suite Française

The heart-wrenching novel by Irène Némirovsky with setting in German occupied WWII Paris. Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long, 2008) and Michelle Williams star with Rust and Bone actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Glad to know screen adaptation is written by the Oscar winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood, who has given us such memorable films like The Browning Version (1994), The Pianist (Oscar win 2002), Being Julia (2004), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Oscar nom, 2007), and the recent Dustin Hoffman directorial debut Quartet (2012). I’m reading this book together with the Bonhoeffer bio. Can’t wait to see the film.

The Taming of the Shrew

Taming of the Shrew

Yes, another Shakespeare’s play in the works. This one will be adapted by the screenwriter who has brought us The Iron Lady (2011), the movie Meryle Streep won an Oscar for playing Magaret Thatcher. Coincident? This time, the iron lady is Katharina, and she’ll be played by recent Oscar winner Anne Hathaway. From Fantine to the Shrew? She’ll need a lot of method acting and we’ll need a lot of forgetting to see her in that new role. As for Petruchio? Let me know who you think should be the one. No, I’m not the casting director, but I’ll put in a good word for you.

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Do you know of any other literary titles to be adapted into films in the coming year? Let me know in a comment.

Thanks for your input, here are the titles some of you have added to my list:

Serena

Broken

Mr. Morgan’s Last Love

August: Osage County

Much Ado About Nothing

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