Several motion pictures based on our books are debuting on theater screens across North America this fall, beginning this weekend and continuing into the pre-holiday season. Our hope is that the old adage – “see the movie, read the book” – will continue to prevail among filmgoers. Read on, and watch the trailers.
September 22: “Victoria & Abdul”
The extraordinary friendship between an elderly, ailing Queen Victoria and her young Indian companion, Abdul Karim, is chronicled in Shrabani Basu’s book, VICTORIA & ABDUL: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant (Vintage). Lonely in the wake of the deaths of her beloved Prince Albert and John Brown, and increasingly isolated from the cocooning royal entourage, Victoria and Abdul formed a platonic bond, and to the dismay of her staff and son Bertie he became an empowered figure in her court and a friend close to her heart. In the film, directed by Stephen Frears, Dame Judith Dench portraysQueen Victoria and Ali Fazal plays Abdul Karim. Michael Gambon and Eddie Izzard are also part of the cast.
Watch the trailer:October 6: “The Mountain Between Us”Charles Martin’sTHE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US (Broadway) is a life-affirming tale of love and survival. Following a plane crash, a pair of strangers – one a doctor, the other a writer – are stranded in the remote wilderness of Utah. With winter closing in, no food or water, and only meager supplies, the pair is forced to rely on one another. As the days in the mountains become weeks, their mutual survival becomes increasingly perilous. The film, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, was directed by Hany Abu-Assad and written by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, based on Martin’s book.
Watch the trailer: October 20: “The Snowman”Jo Nesbo’sTHE SNOWMAN(Vintage), the eighth Harry Hole novel, revolves around a bizarre missing-person’s investigation that sets Hole on the trail of an elusive and brutal serial killer. One night, after the first snowfall of the year, a boy wakes up and discovers that his mother has disappeared. Only one trace of her remains: a pink scarf, his Christmas gift to her, now worn by the snowman that inexplicably appeared in their yard earlier that day. Inspector Hole suspects a link between the missing woman and a suspicious letter he has received. The case deepens when a pattern emerges: over the past decade, eleven women have vanished—all on the day of the first snow. In the film, directed by Tomas Alfredson and written by Hossein Amini and Peter Straughan, based on Nesbo’s novel, Michael Fassbender plays Hole, with the cast also including Rebecca Ferguson, Val Kilmer, Chloe Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and J. K. Simmons.
Watch the trailer:November 17: “Wonder”R. J. Palacio’sWONDER (Knopf Books for Young Readers), a multi-year #1 bestseller, with more than 6 million copies sold, and inspiration for the #ChooseKind movement, is the story of Auggie Pullman, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary face. Born with a facial difference that for the first several years of his life prevents him from attending school, Auggie is finally allowed to enter fifth grade at Beecher Prep – but is the school ready for him? In this long-awaited film, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson star as the parents of Auggie, portrayed by Jacob Tremblay. Stephen Chbosky directed and Steve Conrad wrote the screenplay, based on Palacio’s book.
Watch the trailer:December 15: “Ferdinand”
The Grosset & Dunlap classic children’s book, THE STORY OF FERDINAND by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson, originally published in 1936, tells the story of the world’s most peaceful and beloved bull, one that prefers smelling flowers to chasing red capes held by matadors in the bullfighting arenas of Spain. FERDINAND, the movie, based on Leaf’s book and directed by Carlos Saldanha, is a timeless tale of pacifism and nonviolence for all ages, and proves “you can’t judge a bull by its cover.” Kate McKinnon, John Cena, Bobby Cannavale, and Gina Rodriguez are among the actors who give voice to the characters in the animated film.
Watch the trailer:
Barnes & Noble announced the winners of its 2016 Discover Great New Writers Awards and Matthew Desmond won the nonfiction honor for EVICTED: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown/Broadway). He was awarded a cash prize of $30,000 and will receive a full year of marketing and merchandising support from the bookseller.
This year’s second-place winners were Yaa Gyasi for HOMEGOING(Alfred A. Knopf) in fiction, and Hope Jahren for LAB GIRL (Alfred A. Knopf) in nonfiction. Each runner-up writer was awarded a $15,000 cash prize.
Congratulations to our authors, their editors and publishers.
[caption id="attachment_5297" align="alignright" width="300"] Yaa Gyasi and Hope Jahren[/caption]
The Discover Great New Writers Awards are presented annually in recognition of literary excellence. The six finalists were chosen by two panels of noted authors from the 42 titles handpicked by Barnes & Noble booksellers for the Discover Great New Writers program in 2016.
Previous winners of the annual Discover Awards include a number of Penguin Random House authors, among them: Mia Alvar for IN THE COUNTRY: Stories (Vintage) and Jill Leovy for GHETTOSIDE: A True Story of Murder in America (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), both in 2015; Evie Wyld for ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING (Vintage) for 2014; Anthony Marra for A CONSTELLATION OF VITAL PHENOMENA (Hogarth) and Justin St. Germain for SON OF A GUN (Random House), both in 2013.
Additional information about the 2016 Discover Award program, winners and judges can be found at www.bn.com/discover.
Oprah Winfrey, Rose Byrne and Renée Elise Goldsberry star in the HBO adaptation of the Crown/Broadway Books New York Times bestseller, THE IMMORTAl LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot. A trailer has been released to promote the HBO Films’ April 22 premiere.
The biopic tells the story of Henrietta Lacks (played by Ms. Goldsberry of Hamilton fame), the black woman whose cells — which were harvested without her permission as she lay dying from cancer in 1951 — led to the discovery of the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, and gene mapping. The story is told through the eyes of her daughter Deborah (Winfrey), who teams up with Ms. Skloot (Byrne) to learn about the mother she never knew.
George C. Wolfe, who adapted and directed the film, told Entertainment Weekly: “The book connects the epic with the intimate, and that’s the movie’s ambition. This woman’s cells helped heal the planet, yet her children were suffering. They didn’t know their mother’s story, even though they were living in the shadows of Johns Hopkins. I found that dichotomy incredibly moving.”
Watch the trailer here.
Last fall, Ms. Skloot’s book also sparked a group of Oakland, California middle school students to produce and star in a rap video that took social media by storm. Read about the phenomenon in our story: Must-Watch Rap Video by Middle Schoolers Inspired by Rebecca Skloot’s Bestseller