Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen

It’s time for another article in the “Fiction Meets Film” series. As you know, 2017 is a big year for upcoming movies with the likes of Wonder Woman, Everything, Everything and The Circle just around the corner. It’s no secret that Hollywood often delves into the world of literature. Many of the biggest blockbusters have been based on novels – from Jaws to Forrest Gump and Jurassic Park. With that in mind, here are three books to read before their film adaptations hit the big screen – don’t worry, I won’t spoil too much.

The Circle

Written by American author Dave Eggers, The Circle follows bright-eyed protagonist Mae into a brave new world of social media. Our plucky main character becomes a member of info-tech company The Circle. While The Circle echo’s Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, it thankfully doesn’t offer the same weighty totalitarian fascist interpretation.  Instead, the novel prompts you to consider The Circle’s audacious attempt at creating a utopian vision of democracy through questionable human rights ethics alongside encroaching innovative tech. However, the novel isn’t flawless. I found Eggers’ writing style an acquired taste and the characterisation of several characters quite flimsy. That said, the fast-paced plot and uniquely soft-touch totalitarianism/thriller vibe definitely immerses you in The Circle’s own fictional world.

For an idea of what the film adaption will be like – check out my trailer review for The Circle.

Wonder Woman

Set to premiere on June 2nd, Wonder Woman is one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Based onthe renowned DC Comics, Wonder Woman presents a live-action depiction of the comics. While there’s been many presentations of the famous Wonder Woman, this movie adaption sticks to the recently launched “New 52” comic series written by Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chaing. Spanning from 2011-2016, the “New 52” comic series was an attempt to engage younger readers in the DC continuum. The Wonder Woman reboot tackled everything from her origin story to her iconic heroine costume. Most importantly, Diana is no longer a figure made of clay (by the Greek gods); instead, she is the biological daughter of Hippolyta (Queen of the Amazons) and Zeus (fictional deity based on the Greek mythical god) making her a demi-goddess. The upcoming live action film sticks relatively close to the comics depicting her with her commonly featured shield, sword and iconic Lasso of Truth.

There’s no doubt the comics and movie will have their fair share of differences (look at every Marvel movie out there), but, either way, there are great expectations for the film. In the meantime, with 55 issues released under the “New 52” era, there’s plenty to keep you occupied until the release date of June 2nd, 2017.

Everything, Everything

Both film and novel follow the story of 18-year old Madeline Whittier (Amandla Stenberg) who suffers from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Due to her illness, Madeline is confined to her house, only ever interacting with her mother and nurse Carla. Everything changes when a new family move in next door and Madeline befriends neighbour Olly Bright (Nick Robinson). As far as the novel goes, there is a huge plot twist – it’s yet to be revealed whether the film will follow the same plot line.

Originally written by Nicola Yoon with a The Fault in our Stars feeling to it, there’s no doubt Everything, Everything will be a box office hit on its debut date: May 19th, 2017. So, whether you’re looking for some light reading or a good old American romance novel – I’d put Everything, Everything on your reading list.

Zoya Raza-Sheikh

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