This Sunday, His Dark Materials will premiere on HBO. Starring James McAvoy (Dark Phoenix), Dafne Keen (Logan), Ruth Wilson (The Affair), and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns), the series is an adaptation of the fantasy series of the same name by Phillip Pullman that follows two children on their adventures through various parallel universes. But this isn’t the first adaptation of Pullman’s work.
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In 2007, New Line Cinema released The Golden Compass, based on the first book in the series, originally titled Northern Lights. It follows a young girl named Lyra who travels across a parallel universe in order to save children from a secret organization under control from a powerful church. With big names like Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig starring in the film, a budget of $180 million, and coming from the same studio that made The Lord of the Rings, it looked like The Golden Compass could be the next big fantasy epic.
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Unfortunately, the film failed to catch on with critics and audiences. Reviews for the film were mixed, praising the visuals but criticizing the story. The film also didn’t make as much money as the studio hoped, with some believing that it was the reason New Line merged with Warner Bros. Quickly forgotten by the public, plans for a film trilogy were scrapped. So what went wrong?
It all came down to studio interference. His Dark Materials was already known for controversy from religious groups for its anti-religious undertones. New Line intervened, with executives ordering the darker elements and atheist themes to be removed and the story to be significantly changed. The director of the film confirmed that New Line interfered so much and ruined the whole experience.
Thankfully, it looks like the television adaptation will fare much better. Positive reviews point to a more faithful adaptation that successfully balances fantasy elements with complex themes.
After a middling film adaptation in 2007, Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy will be hitting the small screen, this time as a television series on HBO.
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Based on the first novel in the series, The Golden Compass, the first season will follow Lyra as her search for her missing friend leads her to uncover a plot involving kidnapped children and she must travel through various parallel worlds to reunite with her uncle and save the world.
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Dafne Keen (Logan) will play Lyra, while James McAvoy (Glass) plays her uncle Asriel. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) plays the main villain, Mrs. Coulter. Lin-Manuel Miranda has also been cast in the series.
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With a stacked cast and HBO money behind it, fans can expect something epic from this new show. Thankfully, they don’t have to wait much longer.
It has been confirmed that the series will premiere on November 4th.
Riddle me this: What is everywhere in your room but doesn’t clutter up any space?
Dust is actually very important, as far as books go. They can set a scene, they can create a mood, they can be an important plot element. So before you go off and clean your room or procrastinate about cleaning your room, you might just want to read through this list about our top 8 books that feature dust as an important element in the story.
Before we get dark, let’s start with a happy children’s book. Starting in 1963, Amelia Bedelia stars, well, Amelia Bedelia, which started this hit children’s series. Funny, brilliant, this stories often follow Amelia Bedelia, a maid in the Rodgers family, who often misunderstands various commands of her employer by always taking figures of speech and various terminology literally.
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Notably, she takes the command “dust the furniture” literally and, well, mayhem ensures.
Lucky, after a series of comic misunderstanding and general mayhem, Amelia Bedelia is usually able to the win the family over with a delicious pie or cake. After a while the Rodgers family becomes astute enough to realize that Amelia Bedelia takes everything they say literally so, instead of firing her, they give her more specific commands such as “undust the furniture”.
So remember: You shouldn’t ‘dust around the house’, you should ‘undust the house’. Or you can dust the house. I don’t care, you do you.
With that out of the way, let’s get dark. Dust can set a scene, set a mood, and you know that things are dark when this story opens with a little girl dusting the house while her step-mother and step-sisters are lounge around the house.
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Since her father’s death, Cinderella’s has been left in the dust, left in the squalor of her step-mother’s tyrannical rule. We all know where the story goes from here, either from the Disney movie or Grimm’s Fairy Tales, with her rising from the dust and into the arms of someone who loves her.
Before the monsters of movies, Infinity War and Endgame, hit theaters, comic readers knew since 1991 that there was a chance our favorite heroes might get dusted. Though we weren’t sure if Disney was going to go through with it, we sat back in awe as our favorite characters, including Spider-Man, bit the dust.
If you want to see where this plot point came from, we’ll buy this comic and listen to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” as you see characters you know and love and characters you don’t know but will love get dusted. Be warned:
Young and Old Sophie Hatter / Image Via Fairlight Books
The importance of dust cannot be understated. After her father dies, Sophie Hatter takes over her family’s hat shop but encounters some trouble when she meets a witch who believes Sophie is doing some magic in her territory. In the book Sophie’s guilty as charged, so the witch curses her into looking like an old woman.
She runs away and, cold alone, sneaks on board a moving castle. But she’s found out!
This is when dust comes into play. See, Sophie’s cover story is that, since the castle is old and dusty, she’s the new house keeper! A quick look around and everyone is satisfied with her story, and Sophie ends up actually cleaning the castle.
The story goes on from here, but the most important moral of the story is this: Dust is helpful.
You might know the film, the play, or Victor Hugo’s magnum opus, this story shines a lighter on the misery and the pain of poverty and finding redemption in a cruel world. From the grimy streets of Paris to the dirt of the taverns, this story is known best for this image:
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There’s a reason for that. A young girl cursed to poverty, to survive and not thrive in a dirty world, she’ll have to work hard and, with a little luck, she might be given a new start and a clean slate.
Three orphans cleaning with toothbrushes because life sucks and then you die / Image Via Fast Company
In this series the Baudelaire orphans can’t catch a break. While they are bounced around to guardian after guardian, they are met with increasingly dire circumstances and squalor beyond repair. From a greedy man who just wants them for this vast fortune to a man engulfed in smoke who keeps them (including the baby!) working in a lumber mill, the orphans are no stranger to dust, grime, filth, and dusty things.
Thankfully, they never seem to catch a case of the sniffles, so I guess they’re lucky in that regard.
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Darkly funny and disturbingly horrific, this series is certainly something that’ll make you thankful because, even though dust seems to follow you everywhere you go, at least you’re not being chased by a villain.
If you are in fact being chased by an evil villain, considering calling 9-1-1.
Does dust follow you everywhere you go? Well, that might be a good thing. In the His Dark Materials trilogy, dust are elementary particles associated with consciousness and are integral to the plot. Everyone is chasing dust.
In the first book, young Lyra is bombarded with adults who claim that dust is evil, a terrible particle that causes all the misery in the world. Even her father, Lord Asriel, tells her that
Somewhere out there is the origin of all the Dust, all the death, the sin, the misery, the destructiveness in the world. Human beings can’t see anything without wanting to destroy it, Lyra. That’s original sin. And I’m going to destroy it. Death is going to die.
In the first book, Lyra believes this wholeheartedly, but at the end of the novel her eyes are opened up to the wonders of dust when her daemon, Pantalaimon, asks her:
We’ve heard them all talk about Dust, and they’re so afraid of it, and you know what? We believed them, even though we could see what they were doing was wicked and evil and wrong…We thought Dust must be bad too, because they were grown up and they said so. But what if it isn’t?
From there, Lyra realizes:
If Dust were a good thing…If it were to be sought and welcomes and cherished..
‘We could look for it too, Pan!’ she said
The moral of the story? Don’t dust your house, because dust is magical.
Adaptations galore is coming this fall season! What are the ones that you should look forward to most? Well, stay tuned!
It Chapter 2
Image Via Vanity Fair
A sequel to the horrifying film It, the ‘Loser’s Club’ is back twenty-seven years later (or two years later). The group returns to Derry, Maine, where the Losers must finish what they started: destroy Pennywise.
Who from our lovely ‘Loser’s Club’ will be lost in the ensuing bloodbath? How will these losers defeat Pennywise? Well, it’s based on a Stephen King novel that was released back in 1986, so the answers are out there and, um, it’s pretty wild. Remember to sing your praises to Maturin this September 6th!
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An original standalone origin story for a character who infamously doesn’t have a definitive origin, this movie starring Joaquin Phoenix has clearly taken cues from Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke by making Arthur Fleck, a mentally ill man disregarded by society, into an up-and-coming comedian. In the iconic comic book, the unnamed man’s career in comedy ends in a chemical bath, but Arthur Fleck’s story might end on a different note entirely.
Is that scene, where Arthur Fleck, in full-fledged Joker makeup, goes on stage with Robert Di Niro a callback to The Dark Knight Returns scene when the Joker poisons the audience and the talk show host alike in a scene of ‘hilarious’ death?
We’ll find out this October 4th.
Having been around since 1930, Nancy Drew has been around longer than your parents (not judging) and she’s spent her time well: solving mysteries even when people told her she couldn’t.
This series has been around forever and if you haven’t read it, you’ve definitely heard of it. Well, we’re getting an adaptation of this series that’s set to debut on October 9, 2019 on the CW.
Miles Halter is our man and through his eyes we are introduced to Alaska Young. A new student meets a timid young girl? Sounds like a love story made in heaven, until Miles soon learns that her life isn’t as perfect as he originally thought.
We’ll get a chance for our spirits to rise and our hearts to grow and break and grow again this October 14th.
Another (sort of) Alan Moore adaptation, this version of Watchmen will be, in the words of showrunner Damon Lindelof, “a remix.”
For those of you who need to be brought up to speed, an alien invasion took place which ended the Cold War, but it was all a fake-out. Rorschach, before his untimely demise, sent his journal to the press where he laid a bread crumb trail to the truth.
What is known about this HBO series is that it takes place thirty-four years after the original comic left off. Taking place in an alternative reality in 2019 where this is no internet or smartphones, we are introduced to a United States where Robert Redford is now the longest-serving president, having been elected in 1992, a feat accomplished thanks to President Nixon abolishing the two-term limit back before the original comic book. Things are in disarray. A white supremacist group calling itself “The Seventh Cavalry,” with members who all wear homemade Rorschach masks, commits simultaneous attacks on the houses of police officers. Because of this, the police start wearing masks themselves.
What is this leading up to? Where are the original characters? Tune in to HBO October 20th find out.
Another Stephen King adaptation, this one is an adaptation ofDoctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining. While the movie won’t be based on the Stanley Kubrick version, since the movie departs too much from the source material, this standalone is clearly drawing on the imagery set forth by Kubrick. Will it be any good? What’s going to happen?
The film arrives in theaters this November 8th.
The Good Liar
Catherine McKenzie brought us The Good Liar, and Warner Bros is bringing us the film adaptation. Ian McKellen is going to grace the screens as seasoned conman Roy Courtnay.
After he meets Betty McLeish online, he decides to steal a glorious amount of cash from her. But Betty McLeish, played by Helen Mirren, is too much for the conman and he finds herself falling for him. How will this sinister love affair turn out? See it in threaten this November 15th.
First, T.S. Eliot brought us Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. From there we got a play, and now we’re getting a movie. The plot is hard to describe, but it basically follows a tribe of cats known as the ‘Jellicles’ who gather together to make the ‘Jellicle choice.’ Those who get the ‘Jellicle choice’ mean they can now be killed so they can go to heaven and come back because, you know, cats have nine lives.
Don’t get it? Doesn’t matter! There’s singing and there’s dancing and there’s this purr-fect trailer! It comes out December 20th.
His Dark Materials
Image via Amazon
This series has never been adapted before (we don’t talk about that other thing) and so THIS will be the first adaptation of Phil Pullman’s epic book series, His Dark Materials, in our books. The first season will draw upon the first book in the trilogy, following the life of a young Lyra (Dafne Keen) who is an orphan living with the tutors at Jordan College, Oxford. It’s not the Oxford you and I know, however, it’s an Oxford in an alternative world where all humans have animal companions called dæmons, which are the manifestations of their souls.
Lyra’s search for her missing friend will lead to uncovering a massive conspiracy linked to a mysterious substance called Dust and secrets from these two mysterious people, Lord Asriel (James McAvoy) and Marisa Coulter (Ruth Wilson).
If the first season is good (please let it be good), then we’ll be getting at least two more seasons! BBC One and HBO are teaming up, so hopefully they won’t disappoint us… In the meantime, however, I just want them to give a release date that’s more specific than “autumn.”
The stories follow Geralt of Rivia, played by Henry Cavil, a solitary monster hunter who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. What will become of Geralt?
Check out the series on Netflix this sometime “late 2019”.
We’re in an age where a lot of book properties like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO are grabbing books by the truckload to adapt them for television and film. With even more book adaptations arriving this fall, but some might end up flying under your radar, owing to the source material being more obscure than Stephen King or George R.R. Martin.
Thus, here are 7 books being adapted for the fall and winter that you might want to read before they get their onscreen counterparts do.
Image via Amazon
Watchmen is a seminal graphic novel by famed writer Alan Moore, telling the story of a supremely screwed-up batch of superheroes against the backdrop of an alternate history of America, where Richard Nixon is still President and the world is on the brink of nuclear annihilation.
Image Via 5Forty
Although it already had a Hollywood adaptation by Zack Snyder in 2009, HBO is adapting the book as a series that is set to premiere in October 2019. Well, kind of. Instead of adapting the book straight, its a sequel to the graphic novel, set 30 years in the future and showcasing the fallout of the book’s mind blowing ending. Although Alan Moore is NOT a fan of his work’s adaptations, hopefully this one can win fans over with its new take on the classic material.
4. ‘The Good Liar’
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The Good Liartells the story of a conman who meets a wealthy widow online and intends to swindle her out of as much money as he can, confident she’ll easily fall for his charms. But the widow proves a harder mark than expected and the conman finds himself falling for her for real, despite himself.
Image Via IMDB
This novel will see its big screen debut in November, starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. You’ll have to read it or watch it to see the outcome of the con, one last scam that reveals the inner most hearts of people.
3. ‘The Earthquake Bird’
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The Earthquake Birdis set in Tokyo in 1989, where an English woman called Lucy with a dark past flees to Japan for a new lease on life. But her dark past haunts her, as her best friend is murdered and she begins an affair, with an ominous cloud growing darker on her each day.
Image Via Deadline
Details on its film adaptation are scarce but its going to be a mystery film starring Alicia Vikander with a release sometime in 2019.
2. ‘His Dark Materials’
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His Dark Materialsis a trilogy of fantasy novels set in a world called the North, where witch-clans rule and armored polar bears are used as weapons of war. The series centers on a young girl called Lyra, who finds herself in conflict with her fearsome uncle and dark forces conspiring against her, all to save her friend who was kidnapped.
Image Via Radio Times
Probably one of the more high profile adaptations on the list, the fantasy series is being adapted by HBO and the BBC, where the first season will debut in late 2019. It will focus on the events of the first book, with more seasons doubtlessly to come after to focus on the rest of the series.
This is one you shouldn’t miss and the original books are classics, making them well recommended to check out.
1. ‘how to build a girl’
How To Build A Girl is a semi-autobiographical novel by Caitlin Moran, published in 2015. The book follows a 90s teen who reinvents herself as a fast talking, gothic writer and critic. By age sixteen, she’s become a fully fledged hard rocking, chain smoking woman who writes for high profile magazines. At once funny and horrifying, the book is a coming of age novel that showcases how the world can fail you and how making yourself into something else isn’t an escape.
Image Via Variety
The film adaptation is coming sometime this year, starring Beanie Feldstein, Jameela Jamil, Chris O’ Dowd, and Alfie Allen. Its set to be a hard look at growing up we all need to see and read.