Wayward Pines Season 2 Promo: The Fight for the Future

Wayward PinesThis new promo for Wayward Pines isn’t hugely revealing, but there are some intriguing glimpses of what we have in store for us this season. I was happy to see the school scenes, because I think those are often the most interesting. (And was that Kacey Rohl’s character pregnant? Hmm.) Season 2 of Wayward Pines premieres on Fox on Wednesday, May 25th. Are you planning to watch?

Daily Read (5/9/16)

I had somehow missed that there’s a movie adaptation of Margaret Mahy’s great YA novel The Changeover in the works, and I’m very excited but also a little worried. So far the cast includes Timothy Spall, Melanie Lynskey, Charlie Heaton, Lucy Lawless, Erana James, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Jamie Curry. The main character in the novel is part Maori and I’m hoping they preserve that, though I don’t know if that’s Owen’s role. (I also don’t know James’s age or background, so maybe that’s her.) I was just trying to look this up and discovered that James and Owen are both from New Zealand – at least according to the Internet – so that’s a start.

Tim Matheson and Cynthia Nixon will star in National Geographic Channel’s newest Bill O’Reilly adaptation, Killing Reagan. I’m sort of surprised that I’ve only seen one “Nixon Playing Reagan” headline so far.

And Jack Huston and Emilia Clarke will star in Above Suspicion, based on the FBI thriller by Joe Sharkey.

Star Maisie Williams has some nice things to say about her role in YA adaptation The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which is one of the few zombie stories I’ve ever actually liked.

New Preview for Endeavour Season 3!

EndeavourMorse prequel Endeavour, starring Shaun Evans as the famous detective back when he was just starting out in his career, is one of my favorite mystery shows of recent years, so I’m thrilled that season three is starting on PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery on June 19th. This short preview doesn’t give a whole lot away, but it’s great to see the characters back!

Daily Read (5/6/16)

Amazon is working on show Strange New Things, based on Michael Faber’s novel The Book of Strange New Things. Netflix has a show called Stranger Things premiering later this year, and I can predict with confidence that I will second guess myself and double check which is which every single time I read about one of them.

I’m not saying this in a bad way, at all, but I can’t believe there’s a big actual movie based on a Mary Downing Hahn book. That just . . . doesn’t feel like a thing that happens in the world we live in. I hope you do well, Wait Till Helen Comes!

There’s movement on the Crazy Rich Asians movie – Jon M. Chu is in talks to direct – and I’ve heard enough good stuff that I just added myself to the hold list at the library. Regardless, I’m excited at the prospect of a big movie that – we assume! We hope! – cannot be whitewashed.

It’s Friday. Let’s watch people make dragons.

Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James

The Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed movies are currently filming, so I figured it was about time to finish reading the trilogy so I could cover the movie happenings here. (Here’s my review of the first movie, if you’re curious.)

First of all: The central relationship here still does nothing for me. I tend to be turned off by romances in which the characters have even a mostly incidental power imbalance (boss/employee, say), and here that imbalance is one of the focuses and selling points, so it makes sense that I wouldn’t be wild about it. I still want Ana to get as far away from Christian as she can. That said: This is a better book than the first one. The writing is less painfully terrible and it was a quicker, more fluid read. There are fewer points that stand out as only making sense in relation to Twilight. The characters are starting to feel more like actual people. There are moments of genuine humor and warmth, moments that made me wonder what E.L. James’s future books outside this series might be like. I didn’t enjoy this, it didn’t work for me as a romance, but it’s better and I felt like I was finally almost getting why so many people like it.

I think it’s important to be very careful when talking about these books, though, because as much as I personally don’t care for them, I also don’t think readers liking them is some kind of moral danger, and I always bristle at suggestions that women need to be protected from their own choice of reading material. This is not the kind of romance I personally tend to like, but I’ll object whenever readers who do like it are labeled as stupid or damaged or antifeminist or when it’s assumed that they like it because they want something just like this in their real lives. Here’s the thing about reading: It’s a great way to explore all kinds of ideas and situations that you would never, ever want to happen in your real life. (And really, if someone does want a relationship like this – well, billionaires are a little thin on the ground, so I’m not sure how well it would work, but what business is it of mine?) People almost never get up in arms about whether adult men’s entertainment choices will “hurt” them, and I won’t hold women’s choices to a different standard.

Anyway. We’re here to talk about adaptations, so: What kind of movie will this make? Again, I think it has the potential, at least, to be better than the first. It has a more traditional narrative structure that will lend itself well to the beginning-middle-end of a movie; it has plot momentum; it has a mix of internally and externally imposed tensions. More of it takes place outside of Ana’s head and in person rather than over email. The secondary characters have more to do, and there are several social events and the like that could make really fun scenes. I do like Johnson and Dornan, and the secondary cast here is even stronger than it was in the first movie. (They’d better keep the scene in which Dakota Johnson’s Ana dances with Hugh Dancy’s character. That is apparently the main thing I want out of this movie.)

This trilogy – book or movie – is never going to be a thing I love, or even like. But not everything has to be for me, and I want fans to get an enjoyable movie. And the second novel being such an improvement over the first made me cautiously optimistic that Fifty Shades Darker will satisfy its audience.

Daily Read (5/5/16)

I hear some of you like Benedict Cumberbatch? Here he is talking about playing Richard III in the new season of The Hollow Crown. (I just glanced at the cast list for that episode and it’s GREAT, of course.)

Apparently Josh Boone has confirmed he’s written a script for the Interview with the Vampire reboot. Maybe I will finally get around to reading that book.

Huh: A modern Midsummer Night’s Dream with Rachel Leigh Cook, Hamish Linklater, Avan Jogia, Lily Rabe, and others?

Speaking of Shakespeare: Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts may star in Ophelia, based on the Lisa Klein novel based, of course, on Hamlet.

FX has optioned Don DeLillo’s forthcoming novel Zero K.

Meet Kacey Rohl’s New Wayward Pines Character

Wayward PinesWayward Pines returns for season two this month, premiering on Fox on May 25th, and the always delightful Kacey Rohl has joined the cast! Here you can hear her tease a bit about the character she’ll be playing. Season one of Wayward Pines was completely insane in a way I wound up finding really compelling, so I’m very curious to see where they go with season two. If you’re intrigued, you have time to catch up before the premiere – there are only ten episodes and they’re all on Hulu!

Daily Read (5/4/16)

I loved Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood and I’m intrigued that the movie (produced by Stephenie Meyer) will star Cameron Monaghan and Maddie Hasson, both of whom I have liked quite a lot in other things.

This has a Game of Thrones spoiler (from the most recent episode, not something yet to come) so I will say no more but it is really cute, if you’re caught up.

Paramount TV has optioned Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies, a book I am quite excited to read. But I’m always curious when nonfiction books like this are optioned, especially if they’re not biographies or narrative histories. Is it going to be… fictionalized, somehow?

National Geographic Channel’s first scripted series will be called Genius and be an anthology series based on various geniuses, which is pretty intriguing. First up: Einstein, based on the Isaacson book. Who would we cast as Einstein???

Televisa – they seem to be doing a lot all of a sudden – is adapting Scott Shepherd’s sci-fi novel The Seventh Day. Haven‘s Lloyd Segan is an EP, and… honestly, after the way that show totally fell apart, I’m not sure it’s a point in favor of this, but. ACTUALLY. Wait. Segan left Haven back in 2012, so I will only hold him responsible for the parts of the show I liked. So I’m back on board here.

Trailer: Julian Fellowes + Anthony Trollope = Doctor Thorne

Amazon announced yesterday that it had acquired Julian Fellowes’s new miniseries Doctor Thorne, based on the Anthony Trollope novel of the same title. (It’s one of his Chronicles of Barsetshire.) The show stars Tom Hollander, Ian McShane, Alison Brie, Stefanie Martini, Rebecca Front, Harry Richardson, and others; it will arrive on Amazon on May 20th. Here’s Amazon’s new trailer. Thoughts? Mine are a. They don’t even mention Trollope, huh? and b. This looks like lots of pretty clothes and scenery and angst, so yay!

Daily Read (5/3/16)

Someone is making The Catcher Was a Spy into a movie! Starring Paul Rudd! I haven’t actually read that book yet, but I read about Moe Berg in a different baseball-related book and his story was FASCINATING.

Oprah Winfrey will star in the movie based on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Amazon is doing a new Jack Ryan series starring . . . John Krasinksi? I’m not sure I’ve actually seen a Jack Ryan movie but that casting feels . . . different. I am intrigued.

I am also intrigued by The Lears, a comedic (?!) King Lear adaptation starring Bruce Dern and Anthony Michael Hall.

The movie based on Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, which is also Ewan McGregor’s directorial debut, is now set to come out on October 21st.