Trailer: Love, Nina

The BBC has released a trailer for new show Love, Nina, adapted by Nick Hornby from Nina Stibbe’s fictionalized book of letters to her sister from when she was a nanny in 1980s London. It stars Faye Marsay and Helena Bonham Carter, and if this trailer is anything to go by, it should be delightful. I don’t think there’s any word on a U.S. airing yet, but I’ll let you know!

Daily Read (5/10/16)

Heh: Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Wallander’ is ‘almost too intense for everything’. Poor Wallander.

Drama! Russell Crowe and James Franco said they were making a movie based on Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian but oops, they don’t actually have the rights. (Deadline’s phrasing in that story is hilarious as they chastise the “instantaneous online media climate.” Which is, you know, them.)

Idris Elba is reportedly joining Jessica Chastain in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Molly Bloom’s memoir, Molly’s Game. I don’t care about poker but I DO like all of the people involved in this!

Jesse Peretz will direct an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked, which is a novel I LOVE, so fingers crossed.

About a Boy Pilot

About a BoyAbout a Boy, NBC’s new sitcom based on Nick Hornby’s novel, premiered last week, and I finally had the chance to take a look at it over the weekend. My verdict: this pilot was adorable and if the show continues in the same manner, I’ll be tuning in every week for sure. It’s funny and clever and touching, and the three leads – David Walton, Benjamin Stockham, and Minnie Driver – already have great chemistry. I can’t wait to see more.

Miss the pilot? No problem. Watch it right here:

Trailer: A Long Way Down

A Long Way DownHere’s a look at A Long Way Down, based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby. It stars Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Paul, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Rosamund Pike, and Sam Neill, and it will open in the U.K. on March 6th. No word yet on a U.S. release, but I’ll let you know.

Trailer: About a Boy

About a BoyNBC has released a new trailer for comedy About a Boy, based on the novel by Nick Hornby and starring David Walton, Minnie Driver, and Benjamin Stockham. The show will have a special preview on Saturday, February 22nd after the Olympics, and then start in its normal timeslot on Tuesday, February 25th at 9/8c. Warning: This trailer got me a bit teary. In a good way.

Comedy Premiere Dates: About a Boy & Surviving Jack

About a BoyTwo new comedies based on books have premiere dates set! About a Boy, based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, will have a special preview on Friday, February 21 at 10:30/9:30c after the Olympics. It then starts in its normal timeslot on Tuesday, February 25th at 9/8c.

Meanwhile, Surviving Jack, based on Justin Halpern’s memoir I Suck at Girls, will premiere on Fox on Thursday, March 27th at 8:30/7:30c.

Book Review: Wild

Wild is the memoir of Cheryl Strayed, who lost her mother at age 22 and spiraled into a series of destructive decisions involving drugs and breaking up her marriage. Four years later, she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone, with few resources and very little preparation. Wild alternates between the harrowing story of that months-long trip and flashbacks to her difficult childhood, her dying mother, and more.

Strayed’s writing is strong, and it’s to her credit that I managed to mostly suppress my natural inclination to skim passages that are descriptions of nature. She brings both the scary and wonderful aspects of her journey to life vividly. I am Not The Outdoorsy Type, At All, so this basically resulted in me saying “NOPE.” But I read about plenty of things I don’t actually want to live, and while I wind up loving plenty of them, with this one I just couldn’t quite get there.

I can absolutely see why a lot of readers loved this book – it’s a survival story, a woman out on her own, mixed with a heavy dose of family drama and tragic backstory. But I had trouble connecting with it because, while I’m impressed that Strayed in fact made it through this, I spend the entire book mentally yelling “Why are you doing this? Stop making bad decisions!” at her. And it’s not the long, dangerous hike I object to – as she shows in the book in her encounters with other hikers, there are plenty of reasonably sane, reasonably safe ways to accomplish this feat. It’s her blithe lack of preparation and research. She makes everything harder, both on herself and on the people around her who feel compelled to help, and she basically seems to see this as a badge of honor.

Nick Hornby is writing the movie adaptation of this book, which is set to star Reese Witherspoon and be directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. I can definitely see this translating well to the screen – the long sections of Strayed alone on the trail will provide Witherspoon with good solo (award-bait?) material, and the flashbacks and occasional meetings with other hikers will keep the movie from being monotonous. I’m curious about the choice of Hornby to write it – I love his writing but he doesn’t really seem like the obvious fit for this subject matter or Strayed’s style.

Anyone else read this? Were you more successful in getting into it than I was?

Reese Witherspoon to Star in Nick Hornby’s Wild Adaptation

Reese WitherspoonAccording to Deadline, Fox Searchlight is adapting Cheryl Strayed’s popular memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby is writing the adaptation, and Reese Witherspoon is set to star. Here’s the official description of the book:

“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.”

NBC Schedules Dracula, Crossbones, About a Boy

DraculaYesterday, NBC announced its fall schedule, including three of its new adaptations. Dracula will air on Fridays at ten in the fall, and Crossbones will take over that timeslot at midseason. About a Boy will also premiere in midseason, on Tuesdays at 9:30. Undateable does not have a timeslot yet. Here are the official sites and excerpts from the descriptions for each show. Click through to see pictures, information about the cast, and more:

Dracula: “It’s the late 19th century, and the mysterious Dracula has arrived in London, posing as an American entrepreneur who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. He’s especially interested in the new technology of electricity, which promises to brighten the night – useful for someone who avoids the sun. But he has another reason for his travels: he hopes to take revenge on those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. Everything seems to be going according to plan… until he becomes infatuated with a woman who appears to be a reincarnation of his dead wife.”

Crossbones (based on The Republic of Pirates): “It’s 1715 on the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, where the diabolical pirate Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard (John Malkovich), reigns over a rogue nation of thieves, outlaws and miscreant sailors. Part shantytown and part marauder’s paradise, this is a place like no other on Earth – and a mounting threat to international commerce.”

About a Boy: “After writing a hit song, Will Freeman was granted a life of free time, free love and freedom from financial woes. Now he’s single, unemployed and loving it. So when Marcus (the oddly charming 11-year-old next door neighbor) stops by, Will’s not so sure about being a kid’s new best friend… until Will discovers that women find single dads hot. Well, that changes everything. A deal is struck: Marcus will pretend to be Will’s son, and in return Marcus is allowed to chill at Will’s house, playing ping-pong and gorging on steaks – something Marcus’ single, needy (and very vegan) mother would never allow.”

Undateable: “When confident slacker Danny Beeman (‘Whitney’s’ Chris D’Elia) takes Justin on as a roommate, Danny unwittingly inherits Justin’s group of romantically challenged friends. Seeing himself as the ultimate player, Danny decides to teach the crew (whom he dubs ‘The Undateables’) everything he knows about ‘the game of love.'”