It's National Read a Book Day, and painful as it may be, we have to wrench you away from that page-turner to tell you about seven upcoming movie adaptations.
ON RELEASE NOW
Pennywise is back to confront the Losers Club in the second instalment of the petrifying Stephen King horror saga. The story now jumps ahead 27 years as the older Losers return to Derry, Maine to confront their past and their deepest fears.
Director Andy Muschietti and screenwriter Gary Dauberman crank up the terror as Pennywise returns, even more malevolent than ever. As the story flits between past and present, the cast is bolstered by A-list faces including James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain and a scene-stealing Bill Hader.
BOOKS TO MOVIES COMING SOON...
Movies in 2019 don't come more prestigious than this literary drama, adapted from Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
The Goldfinch is an ambitious, decade-spanning story of love, grief and redemption, as troubled Theo Decker pines for his late mother and becomes embroiled in dangerous art theft.
Directed by Brooklyn's John Crowley, scripted by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy's Peter Straughan and lensed by Blade Runner 2049's Roger Deakins, this is handsome cinema with pedigree on its side. And the cast is superb: Ansel Elgort leads with Nicole Kidman, Jeffrey Wright, Sarah Paulson and Finn Wolfhard also featuring.
The Goldfinch is released on 27th September.
IT CHAPTER TWO isn't the only Stephen King horror sending chills up the spine this year. In time for Halloween, we get the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, which cleverly incorporates footage from the Stanley Kubrick masterpiece into the story of the older Danny Torrance.
Ewan McGregor plays the haunted, alcoholic Danny, whose shining abilities bring him into contact with a gifted young girl and a deadly cult. It's directed by Mike Flanagan who scored a serious Netflix hit with The Haunting of Hill House, and promises to both celebrate and extend the legacy of The Shining, one of the most famous horror movies of all time.
Doctor Sleep is released on 31st October.
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Yes, indeed – musical blockbuster Cats is based on a literary source. The Andrew Lloyd Webber smash draws its character names from T.S. Eliot's collection of children's poems, Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. And the upcoming movie adaptation certainly looks eccentric and distinctive.
You can't fail to have heard about the reaction to the trailer, in which the assembled A-list cast are transformed into humanoid felines via 'digital fur technology'. How this translates into the finished film remains to be seen. However the credentials of the assembled cast are beyond doubt: Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jason Derulo, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen all star.
Cats is released on 20th December.
Louisa May Alcott's beloved 1868 novel Little Women has received multiple movie adaptations in the past – in fact, the earliest stretches back to 1917.
However, writer-director Greta Gerwig's take is particularly exciting, not least because of the cast. The Oscar-nominated Lady Bird film-maker brings us the story of the March sisters and their growth to adulthood, with Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Eliza Scanlen depicting the close-knit family unit.
They're joined by a superb supporting cast including Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep and Bob Odenkirk. Will Gerwig put a progressive spin on this most timeless of stories?
Little Women is released on 26th December.
What if Adolf Hitler was your imaginary friend? That's the intriguing – and not a little controversial – premise of Taika Waititi's irreverent World War II satire, based on the novel Caging Skies by Christine Leunens.
Roman Griffin Davis plays young Jojo 'Rabbit' Beltzer, a young boy in the Hitler youth who is beset by the horrors of the Holocaust. Fortunately, or unfortunately, he has a petulant Hitler (played by Waititi) to guide his sense of patriotic fervour and nationalism – which is complicated when Jojo discovers his mother is sheltering a Jewish girl (Thomas McKenzie) in their home.
Expect the craziness of Thor: Ragnarok, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and What We Do in the Shadows to be grafted to a sobering account of one of the darkest periods in human history. The terrific supporting cast includes Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Sam Rockwell and Stephen Merchant.
Jojo Rabbit is released on 3rd January 2020.
Call of the Wild
Author Jack London's 1903 story Call of the Wild is one of the most vivid and engrossing depictions of the wilderness ever put to paper. It tells the tale of canine Buck, who is wrenched from his cosy domestic life and kidnapped before being sold to an Alaskan sled dog team. As he grapples with his new-found existence, Buck finds himself reverting to his primal ancestry.
The upcoming movie adaptation puts a CGI animation spin on London's classic yarn, courtesy of Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age; Rio). The star-studded cats includes Dan Stevens, Harrison Ford and Karen Gillan.
Call of the Wild is due for release in 2020.