A recent announcement has sent Blyton fans into a tizzy the world over, as the much-loved fantasy—The Faraway Tree series is finally going to be translated to screen in the more-than-capable hands of Sam Mendes of American Beauty and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame. This long-awaited film version will bring to life magical characters like Moonface, the Angry Pixie, Dame Washalot and of course the wonderful lands that keep changing in this marvellously imagined world where tree branches reach out to the clouds. This will be the latest series to join the adaptation bandwagon. From touching teen romances like The Fault in Our Stars to culinary dramas like The Hundred-Foot Journey and our very own home-grown path-breaking Shakespeare adaptation Haider, 2014 has been a year of big screen gems inspired by bestselling books both for children as well as adults. Here we are in the last quarter of the year and there is still much to look forward to and time enough to actually read the books that the films are based on. This is our pick of the five most exciting upcoming book-to-screen adaptations.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The first part of the final installment of Susanna Collins popular dystopian science fiction series, the film version of the books have already garnered quite a fan following and also raked in the millions world over. With edge-of-the-seat action and Jennifer Lawrence's superb turn as the indomitable Katniss Everdeen and a superb cast of supporting actors including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci and Woody Harrelson, this rousing tale of revolution and good vs evil is touted to be quite the puller for the teenage crowd.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
When Peter Jackson announced that he would turn a slim children's book into another three-part epic, it seemed like he was flogging a dead horse. However, Jackson managed to silence all his critics and make a perfect prequel to the LOTR series. To bring together a melancholy dragon, a pint-sized and not so brave hobbit and a motley crew of dashing dwarves and make them the heroes you want to root for his hard and yet, Jackson does it with ease. The final part of the trilogy promises to be bigger better and equally full of surprises.
The Best of Me
The trailer of this mushy gushy romance based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, the king of the genre will have you going through a box of Cleenex tissues and reaching for that tub of gooey chocolate ice cream in order to get over the trials of young lovers, Dawson and Amanda. Starring the perky Michelle Monaghan and the dashing James Marsden, this one will make you go weak in the knees and is the perfect first date film if you are in high school or college. So plan ahead.
Based on Gillian Flynn's 2012 bestselling thriller of the same name, this film directed by David Fincher and starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, promises to be every bit as gripping as Flynn's tale about a husband's search for his missing wife and the media frenzy around the case. Fincher's earlier films have included searing procedurals like Seven and Zodiac and more recently the Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He seems to be the right man for the job of turning this suspense masterpiece into a film.
Finally, comes a movie that will bring the adventures of this lovable bear to screen. Created over 50 years ago, Micheal Bond's endearing polite and very English bear tries to adjust to life in London and along the way makes many friends, learns a whole bunch of things and never stops to entertain. His idiosyncrasies and misadventures are the stuff of mirth. This year, we can finally see him on screen as British director Paul King will bring this delightful small bear to movie theatres.