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Posts Tagged ‘Steven Spielberg’

Steven Spielberg to Direct a Live-Action Adaptation of ‘The BFG’

Roald Dahl BFGOscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg will direct a live-action adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved novel, The BFG.

Variety reports that DreamWorks had acquired the film rights back in 2010. E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison will pen the script. The finished movie will be released some time in 2016.

According to an announcement posted on the RoaldDahl.com blog, “The BFG tells the tale of a lovable, dream-hunting giant and Sophie, the little girl who first spots him through the window of the orphanage where she lives. It has continued to delight audiences ever since its release, and was one of Roald’s own favourites. In 1989, the story was adapted as an animated TV film.”

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DreamWorks Picks Up Film Rights to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s New Biography

bullyDreamWorks has snatched up the film rights to The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, & the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Simon & Schuster will release the 928-page tome on November 5th. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian has been working on this book for seven years.

Goodwin has devoted her research and writing career to studying American presidents; her subjects have included John F. KennedyLyndon B. Johnson, and Abraham Lincoln. Last year, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln movie enjoyed great success and made her a Hollywood name. To learn more, check out her TED talk.

Lincoln Nominated for 12 Academy Awards

Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin has lead the Academy Award nominations this year, earning 12 Oscar nominations.

We’ve embedded the trailer above–what did you think of the film? The Theatre Communications Group will be publishing the Lincoln screenplay on January 22nd.

The Best Picture nominees included a host of adapted books. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of books adapted into Best Picture-nominated films.

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Stephen King’s Under The Dome Coming to CBS

CBS has ordered 13 episodes of a serialized television adaptation of  Stephen King‘s Under the Dome. Coming next summer, the series will be produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and CBS Television studios.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev will direct the first episode. The scriptwriting team for the project included Neal Baer, Stephen King, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Stacey Snider and Brian K. Vaughan; they will all work as executive producers on the project.  Simon & Schuster (part of the CBS corporation) will re-release of the trade paperback and eBook through the Pocket Books imprint.

Here’s more from the release: “UNDER THE DOME is the story of a small New England town that is suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome.  The town’s inhabitants must deal with surviving the post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers to what this barrier is, where it came from and if and when it will go away.”

What If Jurassic Park Was a Musical?

Over the summer, the Old Murder House Theatre troupe toured the country with a cheesy musical adaptation of Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic Park. We’ve embedded a video about the Jurassic Live: Dino Action Show above–what do you think?

Using cardboard boxes, papier-mâché and some simple costumes, the actors recreated scenes from the novel and the classic film by Steven Spielberg. Here’s more about the production:

The latest production from Old Murder House Theatre (producers of ALIENS ON ICE!), this show is the latest in a long line of elaborate parodies that drag Hollywood blockbusters down kicking and screaming to a cardboard and duct-tape scale. The results — which WIRED Magazine called “lo-fi love notes” — are simultaneously homage and satire, and have been called a “miracle of live performance” by Movies.com and “unparalleled chaos” by io9. We’re not sure which we’re more proud of, but after years of single-night events and after-the-fact internet buzz, this will be the first time Old Murder House hits the road and delights audiences nationwide!

The Adventures of Tintin Reviewed: ‘Tintin for Morons’

The Guardian has published an early review for Steven Spielberg‘s The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, and the critic was not kind to the movie. Above, we’ve embedded the trailer.

Here’s more from the literary-infused movie review: “the film has turned a subtle, intricate and beautiful work of art into the typical bombast of the modern blockbuster, Tintin for morons, and the nicest things one can say about it are that there’s a pleasing cameo of Hergé himself in the opening scene, the cars look lovely, indeed it is as a whole visually sumptuous, and (after 20 minutes or so of more or less acceptable fidelity; and the 3D motion-capturing transference of the original drawings is by far the least of the film’s problems) it usefully places in plain view all the cretinous arrogance of modern mass-market, script-conference-driven film-making, confirming in passing that, as a director, Spielberg is a burned-out sun.”

What do you think? The adaptation of Herge’s beloved Tintin series hits theaters December 23rd. (Via Publishers Weekly)

Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner To Adapt Team of Rivals

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin‘s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln will be adapted by Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg.

Pulitzer/Tony-winning writer Tony Kushner will handle the screenplay. According to Deadline, “it is anticipated that the film will focus on the political collision of Lincoln and the powerful men of his cabinet on the road to abolition and the end of the Civil War.”

Spielberg has hired two Oscar-winning actors to star in this film. Daniel Day-Lewis will play President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field will play First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

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Inside James Frey’s Fiction Factory

Writer James Frey has launched  Full Fathom Five, a company focused on producing commercial young adult novels co-written with a team of aspiring writers. A New York magazine feature explored the fiction factory, and one writer declared:  “It’s a crappy deal but a great opportunity.”

Frey introduced Full Fathom Five at a Columbia University MFA seminar. Suzanne Mozes, one of the nine Columbia students present at Frey’s talk, wrote about the experience for the magazine. In an interview, Frey once compared the operation to Andy Warhol’s Factory.

Here’s more about the company’s contract: “In exchange for delivering a finished book within a set number of months, the writer would receive $250 (some contracts allowed for another $250 upon completion), along with a percentage of all revenue generated by the project, including television, film, and merchandise rights—30 percent if the idea was originally Frey’s, 40 percent if it was originally the writer’s.”

Frey has already achieved successes with writer Jobie Hughes, another Columbia MFA student. The pair co-wrote the science fiction book, I Am Number Four, under the Pittacus Lore pseudonym. The book trailer is embedded above.

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Kitty Kelley Says Bio is Not ‘A Takedown’ of Oprah

Unless you’re just getting back from a vacation on Neptune, you should know by now that Kitty Kelley (best known previously for upsetting Frank Sinatra‘s number one fan) has a new biography out about Oprah Winfrey.

But, at just 196 pages in, I felt like Kelley was editorializing a bit too much. So, I called her on it. Without interviewing Oprah herself, how do you know that your sources aren’t fudging the facts out of jealousy?

“Everybody has a motive. Everybody does. You have to give it to the reader honestly. You have to put it in context, and that’s really what I’ve tried to do,” said Kelley during our Media Beat interview. “This book is not a takedown of Oprah by any means. There are many, many people on the record talking about her in a most admirable fashion.”

Watch the video to find out what Kelley says she uncovered about Oprah’s now distant relationships with her family and several co-workers from The Color Purple, including Steven Spielberg, Alice Walker, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Part 2: Kitty Kelley Calls Oprah Herself ‘The Biggest Source’ for Bio

Part 3: Kitty Kelley Predicts the End of the Unauthorized Biography

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Theoretical Physicist Sean Carroll on Writing about Time Travel

seancarroll.jpgTime travel is one of literature’s most popular themes, but very rarely do writers get a chance to consult with a theoretical theorist about their stories.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at Caltech in Pasadena, California. His research covers theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. On the show, he discussed his new book, From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. Conversation topics included: the daily life of a theoretical physicist, science in movies and books, and Lost predictions.

Press play on the embedded player below to listen. The show will be archived around the mediabistro.com network. You can listen to all the past podcasts archived at mediabistro.com or download episodes for free on iTunes. Click here to download the MP3 version.

For all the science fiction eggheads in the audience, Carroll scrutinized the use of time travel in Lost–a useful discussion for any writer who experiments with time travel.

He explained: “In season six, they seem to have two different timelines going on at the same time. It will be very interesting to see if they reconcile those–like one of them collapses or it was just a dream or something like that. I’m not sure what the philosophy of time travel is on Lost right now. But of course, that’s what keeps the show interesting.”

After the jump, Carroll answered the burning question. For a theoretical physicist, what would be the most satisfying ending for Lost?

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