New year, new films. As an avid reader and lover of cinematic experiences, I’m whole-heartedly excited to watch visual adaptations of many great books this year. From childhood classics to new, bold literature, the silver screen is taking on the challenge for “the book is always better than the movie” debate.
Ready Player One (March 30)
Get ready to geek out. Stuffed with nostalgic 80s pop culture references and directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, the sci-fi film Ready Player One is hyping up audiences with the Oasis, a virtual reality experience in a dystopian future. The remixed “Pure Imagination” song from the trailer has had me replaying the trailer over and over again. It’s just that epic.
A Wrinkle in Time (March 9)
Back to the bestseller list, this book has been a required reading in classrooms for generations. While I don’t remember being such a big fan, the Disney film is popularizing thanks to some familiar faces. Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, and Chris Pine, along with director Ava DuVernay, the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Selma (2014), are shaping the movie up to be a solid hit.
Peter Rabbit (February 9)
Star Wars co-stars Daisy Ridley and Domhnall Gleeson pair for a new project—and yes, they are still enemies. Ridley is voicing one of Peter Rabbit’s sisters, Cottontail, with Margot Robbie as Flopsy, James Corden as Peter and Gleeson as his ultimate rival, Mr. McGregor. The live action film is one of many to utilize CGI characters with real backdrops and while I’m not a fan of how the technique looks cohesively (or with how James Corden’s voice contrasts with the cute, young Peter Rabbit I grew up with), I hope Beatrix Potter’s characters are given the integrity they deserve in this modern portrayal.
Ophelia (January 22)
Words, words, words. While Hamlet has been countlessly told in a variety of perspectives, nothing makes me more excited than finding out that they’ve made a film in the viewpoint of his late lady, Ophelia. Daisy Ridley stars as the lead, a major role to really showcase her flexibility outside of Rey. With a strew of films focusing on female directors, actresses and characters, this is one that seems very fitting in the sense of grasping a contemporary lense on a timeless, retold play from The Bard himself.
The Bell Jar
I didn’t even have to see the film description to almost shout in excitement that Sylvia Plath’s novel is going to be a film, but when I saw that Kristen Dunst is directing and Dakota Fanning is playing Esther, I nearly combusted. The book has such a dry, sarcastic tone that eventually turns into a realization of mental disorder, it will be interesting to see how the film translates the narrator’s voice and inner turmoil while also presenting it to a sensitive audience as society has become. I hope it’s daring. I hope it’s Plath.
The Grinch (November 9)
In The Lorax and Despicable Me styliazation accredited to Illumination Entertainment, the Grinch is going to be remastered this upcoming holiday. I know every single line to Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I love the animated 1966 version, so I hope they don’t disappoint! I see it as an effort by Universal to keep their Dr. Suess Landing relevant, although the books are classic staples to a child’s beginning library. Grinch will be voiced by the very British Benedict Cumberbatch, so the accent will be… interesting…
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (January 26)
The third and final installment of the Maze Runner series is releasing this month, with a highly anticipated YA audience of the dystopian adaptations. While the movie was expected to release last year, an unfortunate injury Dylan O’Brien experienced on set caused them to reschedule for his recovery.