Obsidian…The Movie!?!

obsidianMy very adult, very cultured response to this one was “holy crap!”. According to Page to Premier, Jennifer L. Armentrout‘s first Lux book, Obsidian, will be heading to the big screen.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Sierra Pictures has acquired Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, the first of the Lux series, to adapt it for the big screen. Nick Meyer and Marc Schaberg of the production company will executive produce, with Sierra financing and producing the movie. Sierra/Affinity senior vice president of production and acquisitions Kelly McCormick and senior vice president of sales Kristen Figeroid chased and purchased the rights.

Synopsis: The story follows Katy Swartz as she moves to rural West Virginia just before her senior year, resigned to a life of boredom. Things look up when she meets Daemon Black, her neighbor, but she quickly finds herself infuriated by his arrogance. However, Daemon and his sister soon turn out to have otherworldly powers with a galaxy of enemies pursuing them, with Katy caught in their crosshairs.

I know that it is way, way too early to consider this a done deal (case in point, Dreamworks picking up the Fever series), but I just didn’t see that one coming. I love Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing, as I have said over and over (ok, and over), and I do so hope that this one works out. Last year I did a post about all of the books that were being adapted, and it looks like it is time to do an updated list, since every other day you hear about another one.

Divergent Movie News

Kimmy over at PagetoPremier has gotten some new scoop on the much anticipated Divergent movie. The upcoming edition of Entertainment Weekly features Tris and Four on the cover, and has an excellent article inside. I keep an eye out for this stuff, but then I don’t want to see too much so I don’t get spoiled for the movie itself. Between this, City of Bones, and the just starting Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters info, there is a lot going on. Check out Kimmy’s site for all the latest info and pictures.

ew divergent1. Director Neil Burger really wanted to actually shoot the film in Chicago, and he made it happen. He says, “Every movie these days they’re like, ‘Let’s shoot this in Canada or Louisiana or Romania because it’s cheaper.’ I didn’t want digital landscapes or CGI skylines. This is great for the story and it’s great for Chicago, and it’s great for the movie”

2. Veronica Roth’s mother will have a cameo in the movie.

3. Veronica Roth was happily overwhelmed during her first set visit, saying: “I think I just stared at everything for five hours and couldn’t even form a sentence.”

4. The actors have become fast friends, and have great relationships off screen! “Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz giggle together after each take. When Theo James trips on something off camera, Shailene teases him, ‘Hard day at the office, bro?’

5. Jai Courtney (Eric) has high hopes for Shailene’s future. While watching her perform on the monitor he said, “She’s going to be a big f—-ing star.”

6. Shailene Woodley doesn’t worry about the fans online who are mad about her “Tris” hair color. “Her hair has been lightened a few shades, but not enough for some Divergent devotees. ‘I don’t read any of that stuff. I actually forget there’s a fan base. But then I’ll talk to a publicist who’ll be like “If this turns out to be like Twilight or The Hunger Games this or that might happen”… but you can’t think like that.”

7. Shailene Woodley almost passed on the role of Tris Prior in Divergent! ‘”My agents were like, ‘Are you f—ing crazy?” But I said, if this movie is successful, things will change, and I don’t want that.” Woodley discussed whether she should take Divergent with both her mother, and Descendants director Alexander Payne. After a night of soul searching she decided to take the plunge.’

8. Shailene Woodley says, “What I like about Tris is that she isn’t perfect. She’s not a super hero – she’s not Katniss. She doesn’t know how to shoot a bow and arrow, she’s not a badass by nature,” she says. “And I really responded to her and Four’s relationship. It’s authentic and human and genuine.”

9. Shailene Woodley says Theo is “the perfect Four”! She adds, “We’re not into the industry and have separate lives outside of it. That’s refreshing. I don’t know what I would do if Four was played by someone who cared what he looked like and spent more time in front of the mirror than I do.

10. Theo James was suggested to the filmmakers only after many younger actors didn’t make the cut for the part of Four. “I didn’t know they’d been through the rigmarole for a while. We talked about Four having a kind of strength and centeredness that is a bit older.”

11. Theo James says, “A fan base is kind of fun and exciting – it means people are invested emotionally. But – and everyone probably says this – you can’t buy into the hype because then you’re f–ed. Also, I’m a big believer of it’s not something until it’s something. You know? There’s no guarantee of anything.

12. Theo conducted this interview for Entertainment Weekly in an American accent. When it was mentioned to him that he was the only British actor that did this, he grinned and whispered: “Pussies. All of them!”

13. The journalist describes the much anticipated ferris-wheel hip-touch: “The look they exchange is so fizz-filled and loaded you can feel it even by the subpar light of a small monitor.”

14. Neil Burger describes Theo and Shailene’s performances for the Ferris wheel scene: “They’re in a precarious position. They’re under physical stress and they have to perform – and they’re doing it.”

15. Will Neil Burger be on board for Insurgent? “The director jokingly looks around the mess hall for [the producers]. “I think I am?” he laughs. “Can you let me know if you find out?”

Casting the Movie – Where Do You Stand?

The debate rages on. And on. And on.

Whenever a book is adapted for either the television or movie screen, there is this strange thing that happens – usually logical, rational and sane people go absolutely nuts over casting choices. Everyone when they read has their own visual interpretation of the characters on the page, and so of course it is impossible to cast the perfect actor that will make everyone happy. There was an outcry when Jennifer Lawrence was cast as The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen – she was too blonde and not skinny enough. Ditto when Josh Hutcherson was cast as Peeta Malark – too short. Too young. Too boyish. Too not Peeta. Of course now, the first movie down and the second on the horizon, it is hard to picture anyone else playing Katniss and Peeta. It seems like the debates never happened.

Screen-shot-2013-05-28-at-7.46.10-PMRight now, there are three major adaptations in varying stages of production (TMI, Divergent, and Vampire Academy), and I am very happy to say I am a fan of all three series (and have read all the books). Things have been pretty quiet on the Vampire Academy front, but it seems that two of them have fans divided by the casting choices – but for different reasons. First up is City of Bones from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. There was a collective gasp from the fandom when Alex Pettyfer was not cast as Jace Wayland (Herondale. Lightwood. Valentine. Morgenstern? You know who I mean). Did I think Alex Pettyfer had the right look for Jace? Yep. Did I think he was the best actor for the role? Nope.

I was very surprised by the outrage many fans expressed when they found out Jamie Campbell Bower had won the role, however – things got loud, and personal, with many saying that Jamie was too ugly/skinny/strange to play Jace. I didn’t like that, and I thought it crossed the line. Questioning a casting choice is one thing, but insulting the actor is quite another. Jamie wasn’t my first choice, but I have steadily been warming up to him in the role from all of the interviews and clips I have seen. And for the most part, others seem to be much more accepting of him, as well. One of the things I am most impressed by is the fact that Jamie acknowledged the controversy, admitted that he found it both difficult and sometimes painful to deal with – and that it made him work even harder to prove everyone wrong. I liked that, and I respect him for it.

DivergentstillSo, while the Jace controversy seems to be dying down, another one is making the rounds. This one is directed at the casting of Theo James as Four in Veronica Roth‘s Divergent series. The main argument I have seen is that as good looking as he is, as talented as he is – Theo James is just too old. Four is written as an 18 year old, and Theo is in fact 28 (and looks 28, for that matter). I have to say, though, that I am on the other side of this one, since I was thrilled that they skewed older with the actor. I can’t see a teenage boy having the presence and the quiet strength and determination needed to play Four, and as I was reading Divergent I always read him as a few years older than written anyways. Maybe it is because I am a couple of decades past my teenage years (er, and the target audience), but this was a definite win for me. I would actually be less excited if things had worked out the other way.

Where do you stand? Yes or no on Jamie and Theo? Does the “wrong” casting choice change your opinion of seeing the movie, or do you go with the flow and hope for the best?

This and That…Movie Edition

There seems to be a lot going on in the PNR/UF movie side of things in the last couple of days, both good and bad. This is just a quick round-up of what I have been seeing lately…

Well, first off, the big cover reveal for Veronica Roth‘s third Divergent book, Allegiant, took place this morning. Much hoopla was involved. Also Ryan Seacrest. That one still makes me shake my head, but dude looks like he would go to the opening of an envelope if it bought him some attention. Anyways, Allegiant will look like so when it hits the shelves on October 22nd.

allegiant-book-cover-high-res

Also from the Divergent-verse, it seems that things are looking like a go for the sequel, Insurgent. A screenwriter has been chosen, and things are progressing. With the amount of hype surrounding pretty much every aspect of this series, I am not surprised, but it is still good to get confirmation. I actually got excited when I saw a picture that included Theo James‘ (Four’s) forehead. In my defense, there is also an ear. Nerd.

forehead

Aaand, it seems that there being a second Mortal Instruments movie is a sure thing, since City of Ashes has just been greenlit. The director of the first movie, Harold Zwart, will be returning, and production will start this fall. Yes! My fear is always that the studios go into these movies with half a commitment, and take a wait and see attitude (for example, will there be a second Beautiful Creatures movie? Never heard anything more). At least this shows faith in the product. Nice.

Filming starts for the Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters at the end of this month. All of the stars are in rigorous training right now to get into fighting shape, and author Richelle Mead has been very pleased with what she has seen so far. According to a chat she recently did, she said that all of the important stuff from the books has made the translation to the script, and that things are looking good. Olga Kurylenko has just been cast as Headmistress Kirova – I did picture the Kirova as an old hag, not a Bond Girl, but that could work, too.

It seems, on a less positive note, that Fox has passed on the Delirium pilot starring Emma Roberts. Based on the Lauren Oliver trilogy of the same name, the cast had been very active trying to drum up fan support, but it was still not enough to get Fox to bite.

The Selection from Keira Cass seems to be up in the air, too. The first pilot was passed on last season by the CW, but it was given a second chance with a new cast and new focus. And that new focus is way, way heavy on the sex/intrigue. According to an article in The Examiner…

          The Hunger Games influence is still very very strong in this show — but they’ve given it a heavy injection of Game of Thrones as well. There’s a lot of sex and raunchiness, even by The CW’s standards, and tons and tons of cynicism. Everybody is plotting against everybody else, everybody is making alliances and cutting deals and nobody trusts anybody. Mostly it’s a chance to see Tony Head play a king again, so soon after Merlin.

Kiera Cass stated herself in a Tweet that it is everything the article stated – and more – and that the way things are going, an R rating wouldn’t be strong enough. Huh. Didn’t see that coming.

And finally, the trailer for the upcoming Ender’s Game has been making the rounds. Now, I have to admit, I know nothing about this. It wasn’t even on my radar, but I have seen much love directed its way on the other blogs, so I thought the least I could do was post the trailer.

Vampire Academy Movie News…

movie-iconUsually, there is this long, drawn out procedure to get to a book adaptation. First you hear the rights have been sold. Then nothing. Then you maybe hear that someone might be running it. Then silence. Then a ton of potential cast are whispered about. Well, not for this sucker. Looks like filming for Richelle Mead‘s Vampire Academy will be starting this summer, and the three lead actors have already been cast. This is from over on Page to Premier Network

          Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, and Danila Kozlovski will be playing Rose, Lissa, and Dimitri respectively in the upcoming adaptation of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead titled Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Deadline reports that Mean Girls director Mark Waters will direct the film, which will be produced by Preger Entertainment, Angry Films, and IM Global’s Stuart Ford. Filming for the flick, which Stuart Ford calls “snappy irreverent, [and] sexy,” will begin this summer.

The story follows Rose Hathaway (Deutch), a teenage girl whose best friend, Lissa (Fry), also happens to be a vampire. The pair attend a special school for vampires who wish to retain their humanity.

And here is the cast chosen to play Rose, Lissa…and Dmitri (click for larger image).

vampire academy cast

Zoey Deutch (Rose) will be playing Emily Asher in the upcoming adaptation of Beautiful Creatures, while Lucy Fry has mostly been seen on lesser known TV shows. And, surprise of all surprises, Russian Dmitri will actually be played…by a Russian actor. Danila Kozlovski is an award winning stage and screen actor born in Moscow.

Yea or nay? Tired of the adaptations already, or pulling for this one? I have to admit, this is one I would be very interested in. I even like the look of the cast (I just wonder how tall Danila is. Is that shallow?) Word first broke of this way back in 2011, and when there was no more news I thought it had gone the way of the Fever series adaptation and died a quiet death. Looks like I was wrong.