Summer is often associated with a boom in big-budget film releases -- plenty of movie choices to satisfy those lazy, hot days. When school's out, the superhero, action-heavy flicks come out swinging. And when the wind starts to cool, the movies with a little more heft and brains graze the silver screens.
In short, fall is when the good stuff hits theaters.
One trend we've seen is the rise of books being turned into movies. If the book has an existing and solid fan base, the movie version is bound to do just as well if not better. Even though this mentality could be seen as less risky than taking a chance on an original screenplay by a young screenwriter, it's still a risk either way (Beautiful Creatures or Immortal Instruments, anyone?).
In the coming months, we'll see over ten films that have been adapted from the page to fit the wide theater screens. Here are seven to keep on your radar:
Ben Rothstein TM and 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
The Maze Runner, September 19
Like any typical young adult fiction book these days, The Maze Runner is set in a dystopian future where the entire world has undergone something horribly horrific and it's up to a group of young teens to save humanity. Based on the books by James Dashner, the story follows a group of boys who are trapped in the center of an ever-changing maze. It isn't until one unique boy, Thomas, gets dropped into the greenery that things start to change. The two most refreshing things about this movie are how it is carried by a cast of actual young adults (no super-famous-A-list actors here), and it was directed by first time feature director, Wes Ball. We got a chance to sit down and chat with stars Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Will Poulter, so look out for our interview in the coming weeks.
A Walk Among the Tombstones, September 19
Liam Neeson with a handgun and kicking ass. Do you really need more reasons to see the movie? Okay, how about adding to the mix Downton Abbey-alum Dan Stevens as the brooding man who lost his wife and now seeks revenge? We thought so. In this crime-thriller based on Lawrence Block's 1992 bestselling novel by the same name, a private investigator gets hired to find the men who kidnapped and tortured another man's wife. It's almost like Taken, but, like, the person taken isn't Neeson's kin.
Merrick Morton and 2014 Twentieth Century Fox and Regency
Gone Girl, October 3
Oftentimes, authors who have their books get picked up for a movie deal or television show adaptation leave the adapted screenwriting to another chum. But not Gillian Flynn. Gurl has officially expanded her resume to include both novelist and screenwriter. Utterly impressive; especially since the film stars Ben Affleck (we smell an Oscar nod) and Rosamund Pike as the husband and wife duo who experience some marital issues and one ends up six feet under. With Flynn on board, the film should certainly please fans of the book and also pull in a new wave of readers.
The Best of Me, October 17
Okay, okay, this is probably not going to be as good as The Notebook or A Walk to Remember, but because this movie originated as a Nicholas Sparks novel, we have to give it a shot. The trailer alone makes it clear it's a Sparks' love story. There are the two young lovers from opposite sides of the tracks, the controlling and disapproving father, and then the flash-forwards to the pair meeting again as adults. Hell, there's even a scene where the couple is making-out in the rain. Normally, a film like this one would reek of stinky cheese, but the fact that James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan are a part of it is intriguing due to their successful careers. If they saw something worthwhile, maybe The Best of Me will be more like The Notebook and less like Dear John.
Horns, October 31
It seems as if Daniel Radcliffe will do just about anything to get away from his PG Harry Potter past -- or, he could also be itching to show his magical acting range. In the last year alone, the young actor went from playing Allen Ginsberg to a lovesick guy in a rom-com and now he's practically the devil incarnate in Horns. Adapted from the novel of the same name by Joe Hill, the film deals with lost love and supernatural happenings when Ig (Radcliffe) wakes up one day with unexplainable horns on his head after losing his girlfriend in a freak accident. There's a bit of dark humor throughout the movie and judging from the trailer, Radcliffe gives a hell of a performance. Who knew Harry could be so witty and dark -- and all with an American accent? (We did; we always knew.)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, November 21
In this first part of the final installment of The Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen goes from being a total badass (remember that final scene in Catching Fire where the camera closes in on her face and Jennifer Lawrence beautifully conveys her emotions changing from fear to anger?) to a total wuss. At least that's what happens to the character in the novel by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games series has so far been able to surpass everyone's expectations of a YA novel- turned-movie by both satisfying critics and young fans of the books, so this third installment will likely follow the trend. Mockingjay Part 1 was also one of the last films Philip Seymour Hoffman filmed before his passing in February.
Warner Bros. Pictures
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, December 17
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This one is bound to be a tearjerker. Why? Because it's the final installment in director Peter Jackson's self-made trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's prelude to The Lord of the Rings. It all comes down to this. "You have peace or war!" screams Bard trying to reason with Thorin. "I will have war," he replies. (We will have more movies based on Tolkien books directed by Jackson! Please and thank you.) Prepare for an epic Middle Earth style final battle scene.
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