From Paperback to Big Screen
BY CHRIS WILSON // OCT. 1, 2012 //
We all know about “The Hunger Games” book series that has been turned into movies. From “Harry Potter” to “Lord of the Rings,” teen- and young adult-oriented books have led to big box office business. Make no mistake, more are on the horizon.
One series of popular books is the Millennium series by the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson. This is better known by the name of the first book, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and its sequels, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” The primary character in these three crime novels is Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant hacker with a photographic memory and a deeply troubled past.
Larsson, who incorporated his hate of violence against women as a theme in the books, had written the series with the intention of it having 10 books to it. Unfortunately, his sudden death of a heart attack only allowed the first three to be published posthumously.
A Swedish film company, Yellow Bird, has already turned all three books into films. MGM and Columbia Pictures recently released an English-language film version of the first novel. Featuring Rooney Mara as Salander, the film has grossed $232.6 million and received numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Film versions of the other books are currently in the works.
Another notable series is Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” series. Originally a novelette, Card expanded it into a full novel and followed with several sequels, side stories, and prequels. Its main character, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, is a child prodigy chosen and trained by a future Earth’s military to lead against an upcoming alien invasion. After he unknowingly wipes out the entire alien race, Ender travels the universe in exile, struggling to maintain the balance between the human colonists and the native inhabitants.
Currently, Lionsgate Entertainment is working on a film based on the first book, “Ender’s Game.” The plot is to be a combination of the book and its parallel counterpart, “Ender’s Shadow.” Staring Asa Butterfield as Ender, the film is expected to come out in November 2013.
These films, along with other movies based on books, stand as a testament to the popularity of their original sources. As more written works continue to capture the interest and imagination of readers, more will attempt to recreate the words into color and sound. The telling of these stories in both mediums demonstrates the versatility and power of the human imagination.