Syfy Picks Up The Magicians to Series

It’s official: Syfy has picked up their drama based on Lev Grossman’s The Magicians trilogy. Often likened to a more adult Harry Potter, the books center on a young man named Quentin who is recruited to a secret college for magicians. MTV has a good rundown of the basics, including the characters and their actors, including some comments from Grossman. Can’t wait!

Dominic Sherwood Cast as Jace in Shadowhunters

Dominic SherwoodBritish actor Dominic Sherwood has been cast as male lead Jace in Shadowhunters, the forthcoming ABC Family show based on the Mortal Instruments books by Cassandra Clare. The show announced the casting on Twitter; Clare herself tweeted that Sherwood’s audition was “terrific.” Personally, I thought Sherwood was one of the best parts of the Vampire Academy movie – he played Christian – and I’m curious to see what he does with Jace.

Thoughts, book fans?

Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Mysteries Optioned for TV!

I don’t often use exclamation points in headlines, but I’m very excited about this. Author Deanna Raybourn announced on her blog this morning that her Lady Julia Grey historical mysteries have been optioned for British television by Barry Ryan at Free@Last. There aren’t really any other details yet, but I love this series, so you can bet I’ll be keeping an eye on this one. Lady Julia is a widow in Victorian England who gets pulled into a series of murders – the first being that of her own husband. If you like smart historical mysteries with a nice ongoing romance, I highly recommend these. Start with Silent in the Grave.

ABC Family Orders Shadowhunters Straight to Series

ShadowhuntersExciting news! ABC Family has ordered 13 episodes of supernatural drama Shadowhunters, based on Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments novels. I enjoyed the City of Bones movie for what it was, but I think this is a story and a world that will work much better in TV form than as feature films, and I’m eager to see what they do with it.

So . . . anyone want to fantasy cast? (Obviously I’ll bring you any actual casting news as soon as I see it!)

Amazon Renews Bosch

BoschGood news! Amazon has ordered a second season of procedural Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and based on the novels by Michael Connelly.

“I am very excited about continuing the Bosch story with season two,” said Michael Connelly. From the press release: “I love what we started with and I think our plans for the second season will make the show even better and more exploratory of the character of Harry Bosch. We have a great cast and crew and we are all going to be one year better at this. I can’t wait.”

Richard Linklater May Direct Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Looks like it’s not a sure thing yet, but the Hollywood Reporter is, er, reporting that Richard Linklater (most recently of Boyhood) is in talks to direct the big-screen adaptation of Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette? I’ve heard great things about this book, and all the book-related people I follow on Twitter were very excited about this news.

If you haven’t heard about it, here’s the book’s official description from the author’s site:

“Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.”

War & Peace Casts Gillian Anderson & More

Gillian AndersonThe Weinstein Company’s War and Peace miniseries, directed by Tom Harper, keeps adding exciting people to the cast: Gillian Anderson! Joe Broadbent! Rebecca Front! Aneurin Barnard! Tuppence Middleton! The cast already included Lily James, James Norton (hi Sidney Chambers!), Stephen Rea, and more, so this is shaping up to be quite the star-studded adaptation. I’m pretty excited. (Will I be able to read the book in time? I need to make myself a schedule.) Variety has the full rundown on the casting news.

Irvine Welsh & Jon S. Baird Adapting Ivanhoe

Huh. These are . . . not the names I would guess would go with this project! According to Deadline, Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting) and Jon S. Baird (director of Filth) are teaming up for an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. You know, the one about knights and stuff. Apparently this will be a “strong new take on the source material, with Ivanhoe and his fellow returning knights suffering to different degrees from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following their ultimately failed exploits against Saladin and his successful recapturing of Jerusalem.” Interesting.

James Franco to Star in J.J. Abrams/Stephen King Show 11/22/63

James FrancoThis is one of those headlines that made me simultaneously say “WHAT?” and “Well, of course.” James Franco has been cast in the lead role in J.J. Abrams’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63, about an English teacher who time travels to try to stop the Kennedy assassination. The show will be coming to Hulu; no date has been set yet. What do you think of this casting?

Station Eleven Movie in the Works

This is not particularly surprising, as news goes, but it’s worth noting: the film rights to Emily St. John Mandel’s post-apocalyptic novel Station Eleven have been acquired by producer Scott Steindorff. Critic Alyssa Rosenberg is concerned that the description in the article above suggests that the movie will be made with a male protagonist; I join her in hoping that it was just clumsy wording (pulled from a publisher-provided description, I believe). Kirsten is the strongest, most interesting character in the novel, so I certainly hope she is given appropriate prominence in the screen version.

I read Station Eleven a few months ago, and I simultaneously think that it’s a natural choice for adaptation and that a movie might easily destroy what I personally liked about the book. I’m not particularly interested in dystopian stories, most of the time; I liked the book in spite of the subject matter, not because of it. I was more interested in the overall themes about art and fame and survival, and I was captivated by Mandel’s language – even at times when I didn’t really care about or was frustrated by the plot, I couldn’t stop reading because the writing was so beautiful. And, of course, beautiful writing is one of the hardest attributes of a novel to translate to the screen. So. We’ll see.

Have any of the rest of you read the book? Are you hopeful about the movie version?