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Harry Potter, Aragorn, Katniss Everdeen—They are just some of the famous characters of bestsellers-turned-movie-hits. This year, several book-to-movie adaptations will hit the theaters. Here are five that people can’t wait to watch on the big screen. Did your favorite book make the list?
No contest. The book is ALWAYS better than the movie when you had read the book first. After all, no screenwriter or director, no matter how good, can possibly cram hundreds of pages in a two-hour film. Books will win with fully realized worlds and characters. Still, when movie adaptations get things right, they breathe new life to published stories and, in the process, gain the book more fans. You may not have survived more than two pages of the Tolkien books, but you sure know who Gollum is and what happened to the ring. Here are five books everyone’s excited to see on the big screen this 2017. Who knows, maybe it will be the next LOTR or Hunger Games.
WONDER (R.J. PALACIO, 2012)
It’s very hard not to root for a kid turned into an outcast because of a facial deformity (think Beast in Beauty and the Beast, but as a 10-year old kid), especially if that kid is played by Hollywood child actor of the moment, Jacob Tremblay. He stole our hearts in the Oscar-winning film Room, and with Oscar-winning Julia Roberts playing his mother in this movie, Wonder seems poised to collect year-end awards, or at least be a Grade-A tearjerker. It doesn’t hurt that Stephen Chbosky is directing this movie, he of the Perks o f Being a Wallflower fame. Chbosky definitely knows how to wield cinematic magic.
SMALLER AND SMALLER CIRCLES (F.H. BATACAN, 2002)
We don’t have many crime novels in the Philippines, so when F.H. Batacan released this fictional account of Jesuit priests trying to solve mysterious murders, it made quite a splash in the literary scene. It’s an instant cult classic! Imagine The Da Vinci Code, but with Payatas dump sites as the setting, instead of the Louvre. The movie promises to be gritty and timely in its critique of how justice is meted out in the country. It could also be a surprise hit, what with the people who produced 2015’s Heneral Luna behind it. Sid Lucero leads the cast along with Nonie Buencamino, TJ Trinidad, and Carla Humphries. At the helm is indie darling Raya Martin, who has shown his films at Cannes and other film festivals all over the world. No wonder, hardcore cinephiles can barely wait for this movie to be released.
THE CIRCLE (DAVE EGGERS, 2013)
Tom Hanks and Emma Watson doing a movie together should be worth the ticket price already. Throw in a dystopian Google-like company and psychological thriller into the mix and you may be looking at what could very well be one of the most acclaimed movies of 2017. The source material by Dave Eggers is a bestseller and a critics’ favorite, constantly compared to the likes of Brave New World and 1984, classics of the sci-fi genre. The Circle is quite a departure for both stars in terms of films they’ve done recently, so it is quite exciting to watch Tom Hanks and Emma Watson step out of their creative comfort zones. Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0IJEN7QAqs
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (AGATHA CHRISTIE, 1934)
Agatha Christie is the queen of sleuthing and mysteries. If there was any justice in the world, Hercule Poirot, Christie’s famously mustachioed Belgian detective, would be as well-known as a certain Sherlock Holmes. If Poirot is ever going to be popular with the millennial set, Murder on the Orient Express might just do the trick. Like its 1974 incarnation that featured then superstars Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave and Ingrid Bergman, this 2017 whodunit is a celeb-filled casting extravaganza. Among the announced cast are Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Star Wars: The Force Awakens breakout star, Daisy Ridley, and Kenneth Branagh who also directs the movie.
THE DARK TOWER SERIES (STEPHEN KING, 1982-2004)
From one master to another, we end this list with the granddaddy of authors whose books are always Hollywood-ready: Stephen King. The Dark Tower is King’s magnum opus (he said so himself!) and the movie—like the book—is going to be equal parts horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and Western. King fans have been excited since news of the adaptation broke out, and casual moviegoers are excited to see if this will measure up to other adaptations of King’s novels like The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption, and Carrie. The Dark Tower will feature A-list leading men Matthew McCounaghey and Idris Elba and if we base it from the success of fantasy-novels-turned-visual-spectacle like Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, this one is going to blow up the box-office in 2017.