Have you heard about the latest works being turned into films? Authors like Zane, Sapphire, Alexander McCall Smith, James McBride (mentioned previously), Lorraine Hansberry, Jeff Stetson, Alice Sebold, Sue Monk Kidd, and Steven Turner will all see their books come to the big/small screen . . . eventually. Some sooner than later. Find out more below.
Also, here’s a website that provides an entire listing of every book ever made into a movie:
Lee Daniels will direct Push, an independently financed adaptation of the bestselling novel by Sapphire (Ramona Lofton). Rocker Lenny Kravitz will make his feature-starring debut alongside Mo’nique, Paula Patton and newcomer Gabourey “Gabbie” Sidibe.
Geoffrey Fletcher-scripted pic is a co-production of Lee Daniels Entertainment and Smokewood Entertainment Group, with the latter financing. Production is just getting under way in New York.
Story concerns Clareece “Precious” Jones, an overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem. Just as she’s about to give birth to her second child, Jones is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher (Patton) helps her find an alternative path in her life. Mo’nique plays the girl’s mother and Kravitz plays a nurse who shows kindness to Jones. Sidibe won the role of Precious after 300 young girls auditioned in casting calls around the country.
(More . . . )
Based on the best-selling novel series by Alexander McCall Smith, “Detective Agency” chronicles the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, the proprietor of the only female-owned detective agency in Botswana. Singer Jill Scott will take the lead role of Precious Ramotswe in the Botswana-based version of Alexander McCall Smith’s best-selling novel, which will be directed and written by Anthony Minghella and co-written by Richard Curtis.
As a child, Precious learns from her father a great love for her country and the skills necessary to make a fine detective. After his death, Precious sets up her agency. It is a risky endeavour but with the help of her quirky secretary, Mma Makutsi (Anika Noni Rose), she soon finds her services much in demand. Precious investigates cases, helps people solve problems in their lives, and soon finds a special friendship blossoming with JLB Matekoni (Lucian Msamati), the highly respectable and slightly shy owner of Tklokweng Road Speedy Motors. (More . . .)
Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride “Miracle at St. Anna” chronicles the story of four black American soldiers who are members of the US Army as part of the all-black 92nd “Buffalo Soldier” Division stationed in Tuscany, Italy during World War II.
They experience the tragedy and triumph of the war as they find themselves trapped behind enemy lines and separated from their unit after one of them risks his life to save an Italian boy.
Directed by Spike Lee from a screenplay written by James McBride, the author of the acclaimed novel of the same name, the film explores a deeply inspiring, powerful story drawn from true history, that transcends national boundaries, race, and class to touch the goodness within us all. (More . . . )
ABC presents the Premiere Event of A Raisin in the Sun on Monday, February 25 (8-11PM E) on the ABC Television Network.
A Raisin in the Sun tells the story of a family living and struggling in Chickago’s South Side in the 1950s. A fiercely moving portrait of people whose hopes and dreams are constantly deferred, “A Raisin in the Sun” was the first play written by an African American woman to be produced on Broadway. The highly anticipated special three-hour television movie adaptation of A Raisin in the Sun is based on the play that inspired a generation.
Sean Combs, who reprises the role of Walter Lee, Jr. which brought him acclaim, stars in the television movie adaptation from Sony Pictures Television, along with the cast of the award-winning Broadway revival who recreate their roles for the new film, including Emmy and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad, four-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, Tony Award nominee Sanaa Lathan, plus “ER” star John Stamos. (More . . . )
Variety says Foxx has just signed up for the movie ‘Blood on the Leaves’, an adaptation of a same named novel written by Jeff Stetson (the author, not the guy who invented the hat). It’s being produced by Jamie Foxx’s own production house for Paramount.
The script is being adapted by Stetson himself, and will tell the story of a DA (Foxx) grappling with feelings of revenge while prosecuting a black history professor on trial for the murders of three white men. The three white men were themselves accused of crimes against blacks in the past during the civil rights movement.
The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon who’s murdered but continues to observe her family on Earth after her death. Although she is detached from the world she once knew, Susie witnesses the impact of her loss on her loved ones, whilst her killer skillfully covers his tracks and prepares to murder again. In a tone that is both emotionally truthful, and darkly humorous, Susie tries to balance her desire for vengeance against the love she feels for her family and her need to see them heal; and ultimately comes to understand that the concept of family can encompass both the living and the dead. (Watch news clip . . .)
Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo have signed on to Fox Searchlight’s “The Secret Life of Bees,” based on the Sue Monk Kidd novel. Dakota Fanning is in negotiations to star as the 14-year-old girl who flees her home and is taken in by an eccentric trio of beekeeping sisters.
Alicia Keys is also in negotiations to join the film, helmed by “Love & Basketball” director Gina Prince-Bythewood from a screenplay she wrote.
Set in South Carolina in 1964, story centers on Lily Owens (Fanning), who escapes her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father by running away with her caregiver and only friend (Hudson) to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Latifah, Okonedo and Keys would play the three sisters.
Shooting is scheduled to begin Jan. 9 in North Carolina, and the pic will be released by Fox Searchlight in 2008. (More . . .)
Lauren Goodman will helm from a screenplay she based loosely on Steven Turner’s book “Trouble Man.” Story covers the life of Gaye (Martin) from his parting with Motown to his self-imposed exile in Europe and will include his relationship with Freddy Cousaert (Gandolfini), the promoter who guided the singer through the recording of his biggest-selling album, “Midnight Love.”
Addicted by Zane
In a press release announcing the acquisition Lionsgate President of Production Mike Paseornek said, “Zane is a cultural icon with a devoted legion of fans, and we are very excited about elevating her tremendous reach to include moviegoers nationwide. We believe that we can translate the success of her book into a film that brings her fiery passion and timeless, universal themes to an even larger audience not yet familiar with her work. Zane has written nine bestselling novels, and we hope that ‘Addicted’ is just the beginning of a long and productive partnership that brings her body of work to the filmed entertainment audience it deserves.”
Zane added, “My novels have allowed me to encourage cultural conversation about the taboo topic of women’s sexual desire, and by turning ‘Addicted’ into a feature film with Lionsgate, that conversation will be expanded. (More . . . )
Sex Chronicles by Zane
Zane’s Sex Chronicles will premiere on Cinemax during May 2008. The show portrays Zane as the main character and centers around the love lives of her and her friends, as well as features erotic vignettes.