Upcoming Books to Movies — and an Outlander Update

Outlander-Starz-show-logoI’m thinking about some new post ideas, and one is a regular “book to movie” (or TV) post, since there are so many books being made into movies these days.  Are you excited – or nervous – about The Book ThiefDivergent?  What did you think of Ender’s Game? ( I really liked it, the husband was less enthused.)

Some other books to movies I’ve heard about lately:

  • The Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin.  This is a book I’ve always meant to read, though not a big Colin Farrell fan.
  • Labor Day by Joyce Maynard and starring the amazing Kate Winslet. Looks really good, but I’ll see this movie just because she’s in it. Plus I just found a used copy of this book for $1 from the library, so I can read it first.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.  Not my favorite Dickens story. And Helena Bonham Carter as Havisham, ugh.
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty from a 1939 short story by James Thurber.  I feel like I’ve seen this trailer a million times so not too excited about it.
  • This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. Still in production but a big all star cast.  Tropper’s books would definitely make good movies.

What I really wanted to write about is Outlander, which is being made into a series on Starz.  The big news is they just cast the actors for Claire and Jamie.  On Diana Gabaldon’s blog, you can find a 45 minute video of Gabaldon and Ron Moore discussing everything you want to know about how this series is developing.  I was impressed and glad to see how seriously Moore is taking the fans’ love for the book.

On that point, even more interesting is this discussion posted last week on Gabaldon’s blog, where she rants (a little) about the fans freaking out about the casting choice for Jamie.  So here’s my first impression of the Jamie guy, Sam Heughan.  He’s way too beautiful – I picture Jamie as tougher looking.  But for one thing, I respect Gabaldon’s and Moore’s right to choose who they want.  Gabaldon writes – brilliantly – about why fans shouldn’t assume that the vision they have IN THEIR HEADS of Jamie is necessarily the right one.  The wonderful thing about books is that we put our own spin on the characters.  Do I have a vision of what Claire and Jamie should look like?  Yes – but it’s not my choice.

 Naturally, everyone forms mental images while reading. Everybody. I do it when I read other people’s books, too. Now, I can’t imagine why anyone—having read OUTLANDER—would form an image of Jamie as a 7-foot tall Bozo the clown on steroids, but you know….whatever floats your boat.

Why anyone should expect a film company to a) telepathically extract your personal vision of a character and b) try to replicate that onscreen is one of the Great Mysteries of the Universe, and I’m not about to try to solve it here—I got a book to write, among other things, and there are only so many hours in the day.

She also writes that until you’ve seen these characters ACTING, you have no right to complain.  It’s not about looking at a photo of someone, it’s about how they embody the character.

So for a fascinating discussion of what it means to cast a beloved book character, and why we should all back the *!@ off, check out Gabaldon’s post.  Honestly, it reminded me why I love her writing so much.  Now if she’d only finish the next book…

  2 comments for “Upcoming Books to Movies — and an Outlander Update

  1. November 11, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I like the idea of a regular books-to-movies feature! And I’m oddly excited about Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham. I watched some of the behind the scenes bits on YouTube and it looked promising.

  2. November 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I am looking forward to Walter Mitty. I read the book and enjoyed it. I have a site that allows fans to cast characters of a book with real Hollywood celebs. Check it out. It’s called http://www.thebookcaster.com

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