‘Casual Vacancy’ is now a BBC mini series

Fans of J.K. Rowling’s ‘Casual Vacancy’, beware! The book is being adapted into a tv series by BBC One, in association with HBO.

The cast includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, Julia McKenzie, and introduces Abigail Lawrie.

The miniseries comprises three one-hour episodes. It is scheduled to debut on HBO on 29th of April with two back-to-back episodes. The third episode will be screened on 30th of April.

Watch the trailer here:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling

The Mortdecai Trilogy: In cinemas starting 23rd January 2015

Mortdecai is adapted from ‘The Mortdecai Trilogy’ by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Charlie Mortdecai is an art dealer with some distinctly dubious friends in the London underworld and some great connections to the British upper classes.

The trilogy is a collection of his misadventures. ‘Don’t Point that Thing at Me’ finds Charlie momentarily distracted by a police charge accusing him of stealing a priceless Goya; a nuisance that he overcomes without passing up a single glass of fine wine or plate of foie gras. In ‘After You with a Pistol’ Mortdecai is roped into a marriage with a beautiful Viennese heiress, who is willing to blissfully accompany him on his life of taste and intrigue as long as he can help her with one little errand: assassinate the Queen of England. ‘Something Nasty in the Woodshed’ features Charlie, exiled in London due to his growing unpopularity fueled by the aforementioned shady art deal, taking refuge on the island of Jersey. What begins as a epicurean interlude morphs into a macabre manhunt as Charlie seeks to expose a local rapist.

The movie version stars Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ewan McGregor. ‘Mortdecai’ will be released today in the United States of America. Malaysia cinema-goers get an earlier release date, 22nd of January 2015.

Watch this trailer here:

Top Ten Most Eagerly-awaited Book-inspired Movies

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner. This post contains spoilers so kindly skim it if you don’t want too know in detail.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme started by The Broke and the Bookish in an effort to encourage bloggers to discuss about books. There is a new topic every Tuesday.

Today, bloggers can choose any topics that they’d like to write about. There are many book-inspired movies that will be released in 2015. Here is a list of ten book adaptations that I look forward to this year.

In the Heart of the Sea

Based on: ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ by Nathaniel Philbrick
Movie release date: 13th of March 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – This Ron Howard-directed movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson & Ben Whishaw
2. Fascinating storyline – it’s a sea adventure that involves a whale!

Watch the trailer below.

Paper Towns

Based on: ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green
Movie release date: 19th of June 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – The script is written by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (the duo who wrote ‘(500) Days of Summer’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’). I also like Nat Wolff’s acting in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.
2. John Green – I have read ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ and ‘Looking for Alaska but not this (yet). I’d like to explore more of his writing so I shall borrow from a friend.

There is no trailer yet but click here to read my blog post on the movie.

Me Before You

Based on: ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes
Movie release date: 21st of August 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – a romance story involving a paralysed man. I haven’t read any of Ms Moyes’s work but this movie prompts me to put this book in my to-be-read pile.
2. Cast and/or crew – In an interview for ‘Love, Rosie’ (another book-turned-movie), Sam Claflin mentioned that he’d like to play a physically and emotionally challenged character. I look forward to seeing him in that role.

There is no trailer yet but click here to read my blog post on the movie.

Black Mass

Based on: ‘Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob’ by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’neill
Movie release date: 18th of September 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – it’s based on a true story about 2 childhood friends who end up on opposite sides of the law – one is a FBI agent while the other is a part of an Irish mob.
2. Cast and/or crew – Benedict Cumberbatch.

Victor Frankenstein

Inspired by: ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley
Movie release date: 2nd of October 2015
Reasons to watch: 
1. Fascinating storyline – Told from Igor’s perspective, movie goers will get to see how Victor Frankenstein transforms from a medical student to the man who created The Monster.
2. Cast and/or crew – Igor is played by Daniel Radcliffe while James McAvoy takes on the role of Victor Frankenstein.

Mockingjay Part 2

Based on: ‘Mockingjay’ by Suzanne Collins
Movie release date: 20th of November 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – It’s my favourite book out of the trilogy. I enjoyed reading the book because of its darker themes (war, post-traumatic stress disorder, displacement, tokenism etc.).
2. Cast and/or crew – Francis Lawrence did a great job directing ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ – I dislike Gary Ross’s direction in ‘The Hunger Games’. As for the cast, I’d love to see more of Haymitch because he’s my favourite character in the book.


Based on: ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Cast and/or crew – Michael Fassbender. In my humble opinion, he’s the best actor in his generation.

Michael Fassbender as Macbeth

Dark Places

Based on: ‘Dark Places’ by Gillian Flynn
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – It’s about a woman who survived brutal killing of her parents. She meets crime enthusiasts, revisits the murder case and starts to see the case from a different angle. After reading the synopsis of the book, I am compelled to read the book. Book is now in my to-be-read list.


Based on: ‘High Rise’ by J.G. Ballard
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. Fascinating storyline – The book has been described as ‘Lord of the Flies inside an apartment’. I’m going to read the book!
2. Cast and/or crew – Tom Hiddleston. As much as I enjoy watching him as Loki, I’d love to watch him in a meatier role.

The Secret Scripture

Based on: ‘The Secret Scripture’ by Sebastian Barry
Movie release date: 2015
Reasons to watch:
1. The book – I started reading this book a couple of weeks ago but put it on hold to start reading another book (for my monthly book club meets). I found out about the movie when I conducted research for this blog post.
2. Cast and/or crew – I haven’t watched Jim Sheridan’s works but I know he has an impressive portfolio. Now that I know about the casting of Vanessa Redgrave (as older Roseanne) Eric Bana (as Dr William Greene), it would be much easier to be immersed in the story.

Do you have any of these movies in your watchlist? What are your book-inspired movies that you look forward to this year? Check out the links for ideas and then let me know in the comment box below.

The DUFF: Coming to cinemas near you

Another young adult book is adapted for the big screen. ‘The Duff’ is based on a book titled ‘The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ by Kody Keplinger’. Here is how the story goes:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

‘The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend’ by Kody Koplinger

The movie stars Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell and is expected to be released in US cinemas on 20th of February 2015. It will be released in Malaysia tentatively on 9th of April 2015. For a sneak peak, watch the trailer below.

For more news, visit the official link of the movie.

‘Me Before You’: An adaptation in the works!

Fans of Jojo Moyes, get excited!

‘Me Before You’ is being adapted into a movie!!! The movie will be directed by Thea Sharrock – who seems very passionate about this project. Writers Michael Weber and Scott Neustadter are said to be working on Ms Moyes’s draft of the script. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin are set to play Louisa Clark and Will Traynor respectively. The tentative release date of ‘Me Before You’ is August 2015.

If you don’t know much about ‘Me Before You’, here is a synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Now who’s excited about this book-to-movie adaptation?

One of the many covers for ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

‘How to Build a Girl’: A book-to-movie adaptation is in the works

Monumental Pictures has bought the film rights to Caitlin Moran’s novel ‘How to Build a Girl’. Ms. Moran and John Niven will be writing the screenplay. The movie is set to be released in 2017.

The novel has received raving reviews and sold more than half a million copies in more than 16 countries. For those who are not familiar with ‘How to Build a Girl’, here is a brief synopsis of the book:

What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes—and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, fourteen, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde—fast-talking, hard-drinking gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer—like Jo in Little Women, or the Brontës—but without the dying-young bit.

By sixteen, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk, and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters, and a head full of paperbacks enough to build a girl after all?

‘How to Build a Girl’ by Caitlin Moran

Ms Moran described the novel as a semi-autobiography. Now I am intrigued to read it because I don’t read enough autobiography. I wonder if the novel is meatier enough for a book club discussion. What do you think?

If you are a fan of the book or are simply excited for the movie, like this post! 🙂

‘Olive Kitteridge’: Now a TV series

I was reading my Twitter dashboard on Wednesday when I saw this tweet.

‘Olive Kitteridge’ is based on a book of the same name by Elizabeth Strout. The tv serial is currently showing in Malaysia via HBO Asia. Click the ‘play’ button to view the trailer.

Need more clue on the story? Here is an excerpt:

At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive’s own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.

As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

One of many covers for ‘Olive Kitteridge’

For more details on the adaptation, visit the official website.

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’: from book to the big screen

Another classic novel is being filmed: ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy. Here is a synopsis of the story:

Independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. The first of his works set in Wessex, Hardy’s novel of swift passion and slow courtship is imbued with his evocative descriptions of rural life and landscapes, and with unflinching honesty about sexual relationships.

One of many book covers for ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy

Thomas Vinterberg, who directed the critically-acclaimed Danish movie ‘The Hunt’, helms this project. The script is written by David Nicholls, a well-known British author and screenplay writer. Cast includes Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Juno Temple, Matthias Schoenaerts and Tom Sturridge. The film will be shown in cinemas on 1st of May 2015. 

For more updates on the film, visit the Facebook page.

‘The Rosie Project’: book-to-movie adaptation coming soon

Pssst have you heard about ‘The Rosie Project‘ by Graeme Simsion? If you haven’t, this is what the story is about:

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realisation that love is not always what looks good on paper.

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

There is even a book trailer (click ‘Play’ to view):

Sony Pictures has bought the movie rights to the novel and approached Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to direct. Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (past works include ‘(500) Days Of Summer’ and ‘The Fault In Our Stars’) are set to write the screenplay. No news on the cast and tentative release date.

For more information on the book and movie, visit the official website and/or Facebook page. You could also follow the author on Twitter.

‘Eleanor & Park’: book-to-movie adaptation is in the works

There is another YA fiction that will be adapted for the big screen: ‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell. Dreamworks has bought film rights to the novel and plans to start shooting the movie next year. Guess what? Ms Rowell will write the screenplay.

For those who are not familiar with ‘Eleanor & Park’, here is a brief synopsis of the book:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

‘Eleanor & Park’ by Rainbow Rowell

My favourite online educator (pssst I love CrashCourse!) is also excited about this movie!

I must admit that I haven’t read any of Ms Rowell’s work. Now I am more intrigued about the book after reading the news and finding out that the lead characters are not your typical American teenagers in the 80s (guy is half-Korean while girl is a plus-size). I am going to ask Mr Sam (SS Readers Corner owner) to stock the store with Rainbow Rowell’s books.

What are your favourites? In addition to ‘Eleanor & Parks’, what other titles should we buy for the store?