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Everyone likes an adaptation, and sometimes the best adaptations are underground. Here are seven picks from YouTube, perfect for marathoning, all based on classic novels and set in the modern era. No matter whether you’re a fan of Jane Austin, William Shakespeare, or Charlotte Bronte, there’s something for every classic book lover. Watch away!
Image via YouTube
If you like Much Ado About Nothing, get ready for Nothing Much to Do, an adaptation from New Zealand in vlog format, this time set at Messina High. All the accusations, the threats, and a few serenades on ukulele, this modern adaptation has all the humor and hatred you love, while also featuring a plastic flamingo. A must watch.
Based on Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
Image via Miss Daydreamer’s Place
Fans of Jane Eyre will appreciate the tragedy and measured pace of Autobiography of Jane Eyre. Filmed as a video diary, this series follows nursing student Jane as she leaves school, becomes a governess, and falls for the master of the house. Covering all the original beats of the story with inventiveness and heart, it has all the Gothic appeal of the original. Plus Adele is cute.
Based on Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Image via The Hollywood Reporter
A classic, and for good reason. Thorough plotting, well paced character development, and silly costumes make this series compulsively watchable. Elizabeth is very much herself, lovable, judgmental, caring—Jane is sweet and decisive, Kitty is an actual cat, and Lydia is gleeful and wild. Set in California, Lizzie is a grad student with no interest in marriage—much to her mother’s chagrin.
Based on Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austin
4. In Earnest
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Seriously, this web series is good. I’m not joking. You might say I’m Earnest, but honestly, who isn’t? Oscar Wilde’s classic is reimagined probably exactly as he would have wanted it—with everyone confused and overdressed. At just fifty episodes, it’s an excellent binge watch, and relatable, at least if you’ve ever wondered how to propose to someone you’ve given a false name.
Based on The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Image via Hollywood.com
In this adaptation, Emma runs a PR firm with her brother-in-law, George Knightly. Some great parties, some terrible decisions, and outrageous confidence make this a fun and lighthearted series, despite any low moments. Fans of Austin will be thrilled, and if you’re not yet obsessed, you will be.
Based on Emma by Jane Austin
Image via Kickstarter
If you can’t wait to return to Green Gables—or visit for the first time—Green Gables Fables is a delightful and heartwarming take on the classic story. Never discouraged, Anne’s passion and creativity make this series sing, and even at one-hundred-fifty episodes (the longest on this list), it seems too short.
Based on Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Image via YouTube
This adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy may have slightly less murder, but it has just as much tragedy as the original. The clash between two warring fraternities reaches new heights. Even with a lower mortality rate, this is still a tear jerker, so be warned. It’s also the shortest series on this list, with only twenty-one episodes.
Based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Featured image via NegativeSpace
Exciting news for fans of science fiction literature! China’s biggest science fiction novel, The Three-Body Problem, is being adapted for television according to The Verge! The science fiction epic novel has become a phenomenon in China and received international acclaim. Written by Liu Cixin, who has won the Galaxy Award nine times, the 2017 Locus Award, and the 2015 Huge Award. He has written numerous acclaimed science fiction books, including The Wandering Earth, Ball Lightning, and also two sequels to The Three-Body Problem. A film adaptation of The Wandering Earth, released in February 2019, became the second highest grossing film in China in only two weeks!
The Three-Body Problem was published in 2006 and begins in the backdrop of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. A dissident exile is sent to a remote research facility and makes first contact there with a hostile alien species known as Trisolarans. She learns the aliens are planning to take over Earth. The novel skips ahead to the modern day afterward, following a team of scientists preparing for the aliens arrival. The novels themes not only deal with the alien invasion but the nature of the universe itself.
The novel has been attempted to be adapted before, first as a short film by director Fanfan Zhang but was shelved due to quality issues. However, interest in Cixin’s work picked up again with the release of The Wandering Earth, especially after it was picked up and began streaming on Netflix. Chinese production company YooZoo Entertainment holds the rights to the series and is reportedly developing it for television. The series is planned to run as a 24 part series and is slated (unofficially) to begin shooting this September. While no further information is available at this time, it’s not hard to imagine that Netflix might stream the series as it did for The Wandering Earth.
We’ll keep you updated as further information comes out. But are you excited to see this Chinese science fiction epic adapted for the television screen? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Via The Verge
Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch is a story about loss. The main character, Theodore “Theo” Decker loses his mother when a bomb explodes while the pair are visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art; one of the reasons they were there was to see one of her favorite paintings, The Goldfinch. Theo is able to escape the rubble, with the pricelessDutch painting in hand. It becomes the single most important object in Tartt’s narrative. Her whirlwind coming-of-age tale navigates themes like fate, survival, confusion and what it means to let go.
In 2013 Tartt’s novel took the world by storm—spending over thirty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list even with a handful of mixed reviews at its back. Now (if you didn’t already know) the 2013 bestseller has been made into a film starring Ansel Elgort as its protagonist. Yesterday, USA Today displayed various first look images from the production and today they premiered its first trailer, featured below:
With a theatrical release date of September 13th, Elgort predicts that audiences will engage that film in much the same way as its source material—he had this to say to USA Today:
“It’s a very powerful and emotional coming-of-age story told from a personal point of view,” Elgort says. “It touches on the themes we all experience at one time or another – everything from loss, guilt, deception and betrayal to love, hope, friendship, and redemption.”
The film has been directed by John Crowley and also stars Nicole Kidman (Theo’s surrogate mother, Mrs. Barbour), Oakes Fegley (young Theo), Jeffery Wright (the antique collector Hobie), Luke Wilson (Theo’s deadbeat dad Larry) and Sarah Paulson (as his dad’s new girlfriend Xandra). In preparation for her role, Nicole Kidman had this to say of her initial reading experience:
“really an experience of letting go, giving in to the storytelling current as it unfolds like bends in a river. It was a rare and immersive pleasure and partly what made the Odyssey, both the book and the film, so extraordinary.”
The adaptation will take a nonlinear storytelling approach; it will focus on two time periods in Theo’s life:
“We move around a lot more impressionistically to suggest that the man that you meet at the start of the story is not in a very good place,” Director John Crowley says. “It’s a very interesting study in how an individual’s relationship to his own past and his sense of his past can shift.”
Warner Bros. Pictures and Amazon Studios have also released a first look at the poster for the film which you can see below.
Featured Image Via Usatoday.com
A father-son King project is now in development for television! The Stephen King renaissance continues with the adaptation of Sleeping Beauties.
Image via Entertainment Weekly
The original novel, a collaboration between Stephen King and his son, Owen King, asks ‘What would happen if women disappeared from the world?’
Image via Amazon
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare.
One woman, the mysterious “Eve Black,” is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Eve a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill Eve, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.
Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously dramatic father-son collaboration that feels particularly urgent and relevant today.
This suspense filled, horror, mystery, is now in development to being adapted into a pilot episode for its own television series. AMC is the TV network behind the newly anticipated pilot episode.
The writer for the script will be none other than Owen King himself, bringing his and his father’s work to life, and this is not his first time adapting his father’s work for television.
Thankfully, unlike CBS and their “All Access” content that’s watchable only if you pay monthly, AMC comes with your cable, so long as you have the channel that is. Hopefully Owen and the rest of the AMC crew won’t rest until Sleeping Beauties is finished for our haunting entertainment.
Featured Image via TV Movie Fix