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This Tuesday was a freebie and I got to catch up on some TV binge-watching while Winter Storm Jonas let off some rage over my town which led me to my grand idea…
Top Ten Book to TV Adaptations I’m excited about in 2016!
Cue band music, applause, and awards. Thank you! Thank you! Muah! Muah!
Yeah yeah, I’ll get on with it…
Ok so this one isn’t from 2016, but it’s so freaking GOOD!
Warning! This not your average Pepper Potts saves Tony Stark from his own inner demons Marvel production! This is deliciously, beautifully, and wonderfully dark as befits it’s heroine and storyline.
You can find Jessica Jones on Netflix. All episodes of the 1st season were released Nov. 20, 2015
Adapted from: Alias, Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis (author) and Michael Gaydos
Goodreads: “Meet Jessica Jones. Once upon a time, she was a costumed superhero, but not a very good one. Now a chain-smoking, self-destructive alcoholic with a mean inferiority complex, Jones is the owner and sole employee of Alias Investigations – a small, private-investigative firm specializing in superhuman cases.”
I have been waiting in ecstatic anticipation for this one since they announced it and released a teaser trailer over a year ago.
The book series was sold to me as what if the wizards of Harry Potter were adults, making adult choices…and it delivers. I can’t wait to see what Syfy does with this. This is another one that can go down a very dark path…hopefully they don’t shy away from that.
Premieres on Syfy on Jan. 25.
Adapted from: The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Goodreads: “Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn’t bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician’s Land, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren’t black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.”
The Shannara Chronicles
I haven’t read this sci-fi/fantasy series from 1977, but it’s by an amazing author and the plot is intriguing. AND an epic fantasy novel being brought to primetime television?! Yes, I am outrageously excited to see this one do well.
I’ve watched the first episode, and am hooked already. I even got the notoriously picky boyfriend interested in the next episode.
Premiered on MTV on Jan. 5.
Adapted from: The Shannara Chronicles series by Terry Brooks
From The Sword of Shannara on Goodreads: “Long ago, wars of ancient Evil ruined the world and forced mankind to compete with many other races – gnomes, trolls, dwarfs, and elves. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles until giant, forbidding Allanon, with strange Druidic powers, reveals a supposedly-dead Warlock Lord plots to destroy the world.
The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, only usable by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flies into the Vale to kill Shea. To save the Vale, Shea flees, drawing the Skull Bearer after him.”
Based on the popular The Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman (my favorite rock star author and wizard extraordinaire of all things weird and magical) and Lucifer by Mike Carey (also a graphic novel), the trailer for this series looks fun! I imagine it leans heavily on the plot and style of Lucifer, since I’ve never read it or heard of it prior to this show, as the tone seems much more lighthearted than The Sandman is (from what I remember).
Premieres on Fox on Jan. 25.
**This must be the year of Gaiman, because The Sandman is also in production for its own movie from Warner Brothers, American Gods is in production for TV on Starz, and Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories (Sky Arts) is a television series that will adapt several short stories from Trigger Warning, Fragile Things, Smoke and Mirrors, and Angels and Vistations.
From The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes on Goodreads: “In 1916, Dream is captured and encased in a glass globe in a failed attempt by a fictional Edwardian magician (very much in the vein of Aleister Crowley) named Roderick Burgess to bind Death and attain immortality. Dream bides his time for decades until Burgess dies. Afterwards, his son Alexander becomes Dream’s new captor. Finally, in 1988, Alex’s guards grow careless and the guards watching him fall asleep in his presence, allowing Dream to use the sand from their dream to his benefit. When the guards awake and break the seal Dream was in, he is then able to escape. Dream punishes Alex by cursing him to experience an unending series of nightmares. The rest of the story concerns Dream’s quest to recover his totems of power, which were dispersed following his capture: a pouch of sand, a helm and a ruby. The pouch is being kept by a former girlfriend of John Constantine’s. Once that is recovered, Dream travels to hell to regain the helm from a demon, where he incurs the wrath of Lucifer (an enmity that will have major repercussions later in the series). The ruby is in the possession of John Dee, a.k.a. Doctor Destiny, a supervillain from the Justice League of America series. He has warped and corrupted the ruby, rendering Dream unable to use it, and with it he nearly tears apart the Dreaming. However, thinking that it will kill Dream, Dee shatters the ruby, inadvertently releasing the power that Dream had stored in the ruby and restoring Dream to his full power. The collection ends with “The Sound of Her Wings”, an epilogue to the first story-arc. This issue introduces a character who has become one of the series’ most popular and prominent personalities: Dream’s older sister Death. She is depicted as an attractive, down-to-earth young goth girl, very unlike the traditional personification of death, and spends the issue talking Dream out of his brief post-quest depression.”
From Lucifer, Vol. 1: Devil in the Gateway on Goodreads: “From the pages of THE SANDMAN, Lucifer Morningstar, the former Lord of Hell, is unexpectedly called back into action when he receives a mission from Heaven. Given free reign to use any means necessary, Lucifer is promised a prize of his own choosing if he fulfills this holy request. But once he completes his mission, the Prince of Darkness’ demand shakes the foundation of Heaven and Hell. Now as his enemies unite to stop his reemergence, Lucifer gathers his forces as he prepares to launch his new revolution.”
The remaining options are in pre-production, so no premiere date yet. But I’m still really excited about them!
Y: The Last Man
Brian K. Vaughn, genius author of Saga, wrote Y: The Last Man back in 2002. It’s a pretty amazing post-apocalyptic tale where a plague has wiped out everyone on Earth with an XY chromosome except for Yorick and his monkey Ampersand. In a TV and movie landscape full of zombie plagues, this is an interesting take on life on earth after an extinction-level event.
Being developed by FX.
Adaptation of Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (artist), Pia Guerra (illustrator), and José Marzán Jr. (illustrator)
Goodreads: ‘”Y” is none other than unemployed escape artist Yorick Brown (his father was a Shakespeare buff), and he’s seemingly the only male human left alive after a mysterious plague kills all Y-chromosome carriers on earth. But why are he and his faithful companion, the often testy male monkey Ampersand, still alive? He sets out to find the answer (and his girlfriend), while running from angry female Republicans (now running the government), Amazon wannabes that include his own sister (seemingly brainwashed), and other threats.”
His Dark Materials
Ok so the first book already had a movie adaptation way back in 2007 (really? Only 2007?), but since it didn’t do very well no further sequels were made, which is a shame. I for one was a huge fan of these books growing up and was disappointed to see the movie fare so poorly; I actually really liked it.
BBC One is partnering with New Line Cinema to bring the entire trilogy to the small screen.
Adaptation from His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman
Goodreads: “Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford’s Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called “Gobblers”—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person’s inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.”
The Mortal Instruments
Here’s another series that should have made a good movie, but ultimately failed. This movie I was pretty indifferent about. I didn’t love it, and I didn’t hate it…but the source material was good enough for it to work. ABC Family has adapted the series into a TV series that premiered Jan. 12, called Shadowhunters. Also, on a completely unrelated note, ABC Family is now called Freeform? Alrighty then.
Adaptation from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
From City of Bones on Goodreads: “When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.”
Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events
And again! Now this movie was pretty amazing. It was perfectly cast, quirky, and quite true to the spirit of the Lemony Snicket novels…but again, it wasn’t successful enough to generate further movie adaptations and went back on the shelf long enough for all the actors tied to it to move on. Jim Carey as Count Olaf was perfection…COME ON!
While casting is in progress for the series, it’s definitely happening. Netflix has the honor of bringing this delightfully unfortunate series back to life again.
Adaptation from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
From A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: A Bad Beginning on Goodreads: “Dear Reader,
I’m sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect,
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Ok so here’s another one that’s not really from 2016 either, but this book has been on my TBR for well over a year now, and I don’t have BBC One or BBC America so it’s still upcoming for me!
Premiered on BBC One on May 17, 2015. Also available on BBC America.
Adapted from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Goodreads: “At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England–until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.”