Books to Big Screen: Trailer Time!

April 17th, 2016 by

The universe seems to think it’s my birthday, because the Interwebs just delivered three shiny presents to my doorstep! And luckily for you guys, I’m going to share my good fortune! Well, actually, the three presents I speak of are really three new trailers for movies based on children’s books — so technically I’m not sharing anything you couldn’t just find online yourself. But hey, I’m saving you some Googling, right?

Enough talk, let’s get to the trailers!

Obviously, Nancy and I are HUGE Harry Potter fans, so we’ll be lining up to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on opening night! Check out the latest trailer:

There have been multiple popular film adaptations of several Roald Dahl books, and now it’s time for The BFG to shine. Will the beloved main character be as Big, as Friendly, and as Giant in the movie as we’ve all imagined him based on the book? Watch the trailer and judge for yourself:

To be totally honest, I never guessed Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls would become a movie. The story of a boy struggling with his mother’s terminal illness is super intense, heartbreaking, and dark — and as you read, it’s kind of hard to know how all the pieces fit together. I’m curious to see how this movie makes it work, but based on the trailer, it seems like they’ve got it figured out!

What do you think of the trailers? How do you think they compare to the original books? Which movie are you most excited to see? Leave a comment with your thoughts!


— Karen

To be totally honest again, Karen may not see the movie adaptation of A Monster Calls. It looks scaaaaaaaaary!

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The Graveyard Book: Movie News

May 3rd, 2012 by

graveyard-book-neil-gaimanIf you enjoyed going to the theater and munching on popcorn as you watched Coraline flee from button-eye wielding alterna-parents in the movie version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, then you’re in luck — Disney has announced a film adaptation of Gaiman’s Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book!

The movie will be directed by Henry Selick, who did the Coraline movie. Disney hasn’t said whether The Graveyard Book will be live-action or animated, but my hope is that it will be stop-motion in the same visual style as Coraline.

Also no word on the release date. They actually don’t even have a screenwriter yet, so I think we’re in for a looooooooooong wait… The upside? More time to re-read the book, or discover it for the first time if you haven’t read it before. And if that’s the case, you can get the scoop on the story in this podcast, where I made The Graveyard Book my Halloween pick.

Now, I was completely spooked the entire time I read The Graveyard Book, so I can only imagine the extreme terror I’ll feel when the story comes to life before my eyes. But obviously, there’s no way I’m going to miss this movie! I just may need to hide my face every once in a while. I hope Nancy doesn’t mind when I clutch her arm and scream in her ear

But what about you? Have you read the book, and would you see the movie? Leave a comment and let me know!

— Karen

Karen has to confess she’s never read Coraline or watched the movie. Nothing freaks her out more than the idea of parents who are actually monsters. Great, now she’s getting creeped out just thinking about it! [insert panic and fear here]

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Movie News: Percy Jackson Sequel Cast

March 29th, 2012 by

It’s been a while since we raced to the movie theater to watch Logan Lerman — I mean, Percy Jackson go in search of Zeus’ missing lightning bolt. The film version of The Lightning Thief came out in February 2010, over two years ago! So it’s about time that there’s some buzz around the sequel!

Based, of course, on the second book in Rick Riordan’s super popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Sea of Monsters is set to hit theaters March 2013. That’s nothing new.

But I’ll tell you what is new: the actor playing Chiron! Anthony Head is taking over for Pierce Brosnan as the beloved centaur/camp director. What do you think? He looks a bit more clean-cut than Pierce Brosnan did in the first movie, but I hear that Anthony Head has experience dealing with ghouls and demons from his days on Buffy, so I’m open to it!

Anthony Head replaces Pierce Brosnan as Chiron.

In other casting news, Nathan Fillion will play Hermes. He is definitely not the way that I pictured Hermes, but I guess that since Luke is so handsome, it makes sense that since Luke’s father would be good-looking too. Did I say good-looking? I mean great-looking! Har har. Hee hee. Squee.

Nathan Fillion as Hermes. Ruggedly handsome since 1971.

Anyway… Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle, and Yvette Nicole Brown have also recently been cast, as the Three Fates. No offense to these actresses, given that the Fates don’t always look or behave in an appealing manner, but I think this is awesome casting! I look forward to seeing them torture Logan — I mean, Percy…

Mary Birdsong, Missi Pyle and Yvette Nicole Brown as the Three Fates. Head size will be adjusted for the movie.

Bonus Images: Logan Lerman x3

What do YOU think of this casting? And what are you most excited to see in the upcoming movie? Any particular scene that you just can’t wait to see on the big screen? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

— Karen

Karen decided to hold off for a while before reading The Son of Neptune because Nancy already read it and said it’s frustrating to have for the next Heroes of Olympus book. Sometimes it’s hard to resist. But then Karen reminds herself that the book is huge and heavy! Karen’s lazy, so that helps.

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Seuss News: Lorax Movie Trailers!

November 10th, 2011 by

the-lorax-movie-posterRecently, Nancy posted the news that Johnny Depp will be starring as Dr. Seuss in a forthcoming movie. But unfortunately, that movie has yet to be written, filmed, edited, etc. So that’s sadly way, way, way in the future.

But never fear — in just a few months, Seuss will meet the silver screen in another way: the film adaptation of his beloved book The Lorax! The animated movie will hit theaters in March 2012, and two — count ’em, TWO — trailers have recently been released!

First, check out this official trailer:

Hmmm, seems a bit sweet and light-hearted when you consider that this is a tale about how greed can wreak great devastation on the environment. Oh, you couldn’t tell from the trailer that that’s what The Lorax is about? Well, that’s my point! Sure, it looks gorgeous, but what about the story?

Cue this trailer that was released more recently in Australia:

That’s better! You still don’t get the whole eco-angle, but it does seem closer to the set-up in the original book. After all, The Lorax the book starts this way:

At the far end of town
where the Grickle-grass grows
and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows
and no birds ever sing excepting old crows…
is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.

And that’s basically how the trailer starts too!

So, which trailer is a more accurate depiction of the final movie? Guess we’ll have to wait until March to find out! Nancy and I will definitely be in the audience. Will you? Leave a comment with your thoughts on the trailers and the film!

— Karen

Karen has to admit she’s really excited about this movie not just because it’s based on a Dr. Seuss book, but also because it stars Zac Efron. Well, his voice anyway. Too bad his face won’t be making an appearance!

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Breaking Book News: How to Train Your Dragon 2

March 10th, 2011 by

Nancy and I are huge fans of How to Train Your Dragon — both the movie and the book by Cressida Cowell. (If you missed it, check out our review — it’s as glowing as a village that’s been breathed on by a dragon!) So we’re extremely pleased that yesterday, Dreamworks announced the release date for the movie sequel: June 20, 2014.

Yeah, I know that’s really far away. But the way I like to think about it, that just gives them more time to make an awesome movie. Right?

Just like the first film, How to Train Your Dragon 2 will be in 3D, and the cast will all be pretty much the same. But what will happen in the movie? I have no idea! Unfortunately, no one’s spilling much about the story. I’ve been doing furious research on the Interwebs, and all I could find was this little teaser from the writer/director, Dean DeBlois:

“What I presented to them was the second act of a much larger story. So the film takes on much more breadth, it’s really quite epic. We leave the first film with these Vikings on the backs of dragons, so the world just opens up and expands exponentially.”

Hello, talk about vague! Can we have some actual details, please?!

Normally, I’d say that since there’s actually a whole series of How to Train Your Dragon books, we should all just read the second book about Hiccup, and that would reveal all. But in this case, the movie was actually quite different from the book. So somehow, I have a feeling that How to Train Your Dragon 2 ISN’T going to be all about Hiccup’s search for Grimbeard the Ghastly’s treasure — which is the focus in How to be a Pirate (Book 2 in the series).

Oh well. I guess we have plenty of time to speculate: over three years! [wail of agony] Thank goodness there are so many Hiccup books to keep us entertained:

  • How to Be a Pirate
  • How to Speak Dragonese
  • How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse
  • How To Twist a Dragon’s Tale
  • A Hero’s Guide to Deadly Dragons
  • How to Ride a Dragon’s Storm
  • How to Break a Dragon’s Heart

You can find out more about them all at Cressida Cowell’s official site.

So… if you had your choice, what would you want to see in Hiccup’s next onscreen adventure? More romance? More adventure? More Viking helmets? Share your ideas in the Comments — the sky is the limit! (Just like how the sky is the limit when Hiccup and Toothless are flying! Get it? Har har har.)

— Karen

Karen imagines she would not be very good at training a dragon. Once she killed a cactus in two weeks. A cactus

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An Oscar-Winning Book?

January 30th, 2011 by

Recently, I said that the Newbery Awards are like the Oscars for books. But this time, I’m talking about a book that might actually win an Oscar! How’s that possible? Well, it’s actually a movie that’s based on a book — but it’s closer to the original than the average film adaptation because it’s an animated movie based on a book that’s mainly made up of illustrations, and because the book’s author played a huge part in creating the movie.

The movie is The Lost Thing, and it’s nominated for an Oscar in the animated short film category. The book is also called The Lost Thing, and it’s a picture book by Australian author/illustrator Shaun Tan. In both the book and the film, a boy discovers a strange creature one day while he’s at the beach and tries to find out where it belongs. Sounds simple enough, right? Not exactly Oscar material? Well, it’s not quite as straightforward as that: The creature is gigantic and red, with green tentacles — and yet no one except the boy really pays any attention. And the setting for the story isn’t your ordinary town, but a sort of future world with green skies and crazy amounts of machinery and plumbing. NOW I’ve got your attention, right?

Check out this beautiful illustration from the original book (taken from Shaun Tan’s official website, where you can see even more!):

Illustration from "The Lost Thing" (from

Now see how The Lost Thing comes to life on film in the official movie trailer:

(You can also see some incredible behind-the-scenes sketches and movie stills on Shaun Tan’s site.)

Unfortunately, you probably won’t get a chance to read the book before the Academy Awards next month because up until now, the book has never been published in the United States. But don’t worry — in April, The Lost Thing will be published in America as part of a collection of short stories by Shaun Tan, called Lost and Found.

And if you can’t wait until then, definitely check out Shaun Tan’s other amazing books, which also have gorgeous and bizarre illustrations: The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia.

— Karen

Every year, Karen tries to watch all the Oscar nominees for animated short film. It’s usually the only category where she sees all the movies. Just further proof she forgot to grow up somewhere along the way!

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PS – Full disclosure: I work for the company that publishes Shaun Tan’s books in America, but I don’t work on them at all. Man oh man, how I wish I did!!!!!

Harry Potter Mania Continues!

November 27th, 2010 by

Well, it’s been a week since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 blessed the big screen, and surely there’s been plenty of Thanksgiving family time, food comas, and football to keep everyone busy since then. And yet… Harry Potter mania continues!

The Internet is still abuzz with news and commentary related to the movie and the books. Check out some recent reports since the movie’s release:

Photo from NYDailyNews

Looks like there’s a new train line that goes straight from Manhattan to Hogwarts! At least, that seems to be the wish of some HP fans in New York, who added a “9 3/4” sticker to a subway sign, as reported by New York Daily News. (Funnily enough, I actually got out at this subway stop when I went to see the movie!)

Photo from Cake Wrecks blog

Some wizards in the kitchen have combined two of my very favorite things in the world: Harry Potter and baked goods! Check out this round-up of amazing HP-themed cakes over at the Cake Wrecks blog. (Nancy, now you know where to order my next birthday cake.)

Photo from Moviefone's blog

Merlin’s pants! I can’t believe the pain some super dedicated fans go through to wear their HP devotion on their sleeves. Get it? They wear it on their sleeves because these are Harry Potter tattoos! Ha ha ha ha! I’m hilarious. Anyway… check out this photo gallery at Moviefone’s blog.
And some Harry Potter fans are hoping to make a permanent mark not on their skin, but on the world. Founded in 2005, the Harry Potter Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that supports human rights related and other causes that Dumbledore and the Order would be proud of. As they say on their website, the HPA “fights the Dark Arts in the real world.” (Don’t you just love that? It makes me shiver a little.)

With the release of the new Harry Potter movie, the HPA is now taking on their biggest fight yet: the Deathly Hallows Campaign. In the nine months between now and the release of the final HP film, the HPA is asking Harryheads around the world to join them in their fight against seven real-life horcruxes (to be revealed in monthly announcements). The first one is the “Starvation Wages Horcrux,” which the HPA is fighting by sending around a petition and asking Harry fans to sign — and get their friends to sign too.

Check out this video about the HPA’s Deathly Hallows Campaign (including a reenactment of the Battle of Hogwarts!):

And there you have it: a round-up of continued Pottermania even as the movie release date becomes history. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m almost done listening to the audiobook of Deathly Hallows for the third time.

— Karen

Karen is sad she missed the wizarding duel in New York the night of the movie release. Luckily, she has nine months to get ready for the final film in July. Homemade Hufflepuff costume, anyone?

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Breaking Book News: New Deathly Hallows Trailer

September 23rd, 2010 by

Gulping gargoyles! It’s here! It’s here it’s here it’s here it’s here it’s here! A new trailer for The Deathly Hallows: Part I, based of course on the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling!

But seriously, if you didn’t already know that, then you’re wasting your time reading this post. On the other hand, if you’re as big of a Harry head as I am, well, then you’re REALLY wasting your time by reading this instead of watching the video! So, here it is:

Video courtesy of Warner Bros., via The Leaky Cauldron

Sweeter than a Chocolate Frog, no?

I definitely clapped my hands and squealed out loud while watching the new trailer (yes, all by myself in my apartment). And then, of course, I watched it all over again. And again. And now I’ve watched it four times — which is how many times I’ve experience the book, btw: twice reading it and twice listening to the audiobook. (What? Me? Obsessed? I don’t know what you’re talking about.)

Obviously I’m head over heels for the whole trailer, but I think it really gets going around 1:06 when Kingsley’s patronus arrives at the wedding to announce, “They’re coming.” Just like in the book, that’s when all heck breaks loose, and I love it!

I’m also impressed by the segment at 1:27, when Harry and Ron are fighting. Comparing their acting to the early movies, it looks like they’ve really improved — which will be incredibly important for capturing all the intense stuff that goes down in Book 7. For example, this image of Harry and Hermione visiting Harry’s parents’ graves is very touching.

Speaking of which, for a better look at all your favorite scenes, check out the image gallery at The Leaky Cauldron. It’s definitely worth its weight in galleons!

ZOMG, I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS MOVIE! Unfortunately, I guess I’ll have to, since I can’t travel into the future. So now my big question is: should I re-read the book right before I see the film? That’s what I’ve done for all the others, but it does kind of ruin the magic (pun intended) because then I end up comparing the movie to the book while I’m watching. What do you guys think?

And, of course, leave a comment telling me YOUR opinions on this new trailer. Love it? Hate it? Favorite parts? Surprises? A knut for your thoughts! (Hee hee.)

— Karen

Karen saw the first Harry Potter movie when she was in college. So that makes her how old? Let’s just put it this way: she’s waaaaaaaaaaay older than you, but she ain’t got nothin’ on Dumbledore!

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Breaking Book News: “Mr. Popper’s Penguin” Movie

September 2nd, 2010 by

Okay, so remember how I posted a while back about how Hollywood executives don’t seem to have any new ideas because all their films are based on books? Well, I still think it’s true — but now I’ve decided it’s a good thing.

Before, I was like, “Can’t they have some original ideas?” But now that I think about it, children’s books are AWESOME. So it’s great that there are lots of movie adaptations of children’s books, right? Because that way, we get to see our favorite stories come to life!

The only problem is that sometimes the adaptations are not very good. And I gotta say, I’m little bit worried about that happening in the case of Mr. Popper’s Penguins, based on the book by Richard and Florence Atwater. Because guess who they cast as Mr. Popper. I’ll give you a hint: he’s played such other literary characters as Count Olaf (from A Series of Unfortunate Events) and the Grinch. Now do you know who I mean? The answer: Jim Carrey.

Now, I think Jim Carrey did a wonderful job as Count Olaf. He was just as over-the-top maniacal on screen as the villain is in the original books. But Mr. Popper is not a larger than life character. And although I know Jim Carrey is perfectly capable of turning in a toned-down performance, I just don’t know if he’ll be allowed to do that in a children’s movie. Because for some reason, people in Hollywood seem to think that kids only enjoy weird facial expressions and yelling. And that just doesn’t fit Mr. Popper’s character. So let’s hope Jim Carrey gets to actually act in this movie, not just run around like a crazy person.

The other reason I’m kinda worried is because apparently, the story is changed quite a lot from the original. In the book, Mr. Popper is a quiet house painter who gets sent a penguin. He then decides to get a second penguin, and this leads to a whole bunch of penguins. So to pay for all this, he trains the birds to perform. In the film version, Mr. Popper is a New York businessman who receives a bunch of penguins that turn his life upside down.

Hmm… Totally different, but I guess that could work. And as a New Yorker, I’m very much looking forward to when they start filming on location in the fall. Penguins in the city, y’all! :-)

But what do you guys think of this news? Any fans of the book want to weigh in? Leave a comment with your opinion!

— Karen
If penguins came to live with Karen, everyone would probably get along really well. Karen’s favorite thing in the world is sushi, and penguins eat raw fish — a match made in heaven!

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Breaking Book News: TWO Wizard of Oz Movies

June 17th, 2010 by

Okay, so remember how last month I totally bagged on Hollywood, saying that they never have any new ideas and all their movies are based on books? Well, guess what — they’re at it again! (Told you so!)

This time, the latest book-to-big-screen news is all about TWO new adaptations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

First off, a 3D animated film is in the works, and it was just announced that Lea Michele from Glee will do Dorothy’s voice! The movie, Dorothy of Oz, is a continuation of the original Wizard of Oz story, with Dorothy returning to Oz to find the land in decay and her friends — Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion — missing in action.

The film is actually based on a book that was written by Roger Baum, the great-grandson of original Oz author L. Frank Baum. I’ve never read it, but apparently there are many new characters, including a man made of marshmallows and named Marshall Mallow. Hello, can you say AWESOME? Except… if he’s a good guy, don’t you think it would be hard to keep yourself from eating him?

Anyway… Dorothy of Oz is set to release in April 2012.

The second upcoming Oz movie is a prequel film from Disney. It will be directed by Sam Raimi (who directed Spider-Man). And Robert Downey Jr. will star!

The movie will be called Oz, The Great and Powerful and tell the story of the Wizard himself, who apparently was transported to Oz by a tornado (not unlike Dorothy). When he got there, the people of Oz mistook him for a great and powerful wizard that they had been waiting for. And I suppose he didn’t bother to correct them! Well, actually, I don’t know; that’s just my guess based on the fact that he’s the Wizard when Dorothy gets there. But it looks like we’ll have to watch the movie to find out! Unfortunately, there’s not even a start date for work on the film, so we might have to wait a while…

But in the meantime, you can get ready for both these movies by stocking up your bookshelf! Not only is there the Dorothy of Oz book by Roger Baum, but did you know that L. Frank Baum himself wrote a bunch of sequels to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Including the original classic, he wrote 14 Oz books in total!

As a kid, I actually owned a copy of Book 2, The Marvelous Land of Oz, and I can still picture the book cover in my mind: a boy and some dude with a Jack-o-Lantern for a face, riding on a crazy furniture creature as it flies through the air. (That would be Tip and Jack Pumpkinhead riding on a Gump, FYI.)

Unfortunately, I can’t find an image of that cover anywhere online (I swear I’m not making it up!), so you’ll just have to make do with this photo of the original cover. Too bad it’s not quite as action-packed as the version I had. But if you’re intrigued (and I hope you are), you can read the whole book for free online! Ain’t the Internet a wonderful thing?

— Karen

Karen’s favorite actress used to be Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the 1939 movie. In fact, Karen used to bounce up and down on the couch and shout, “It’s Judy Garland! It’s Judy Garland!” whenever she came onscreen. This is what comes of having a father who loves musicals — total geekiness at an early age.
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