The Jess Lomas Book Club: Sanctuary, The Giver and Born to Run

The Jess Lomas Book Club: Sanctuary, The Giver and Born to Run.

*A monthly feature in which literary connoisseur Jess Lomas examines the upcoming book-to-film adaptations worth keeping an eye on!*

Greetings bookworms! You may have noticed our weekly book-to-film wrap-up is now a monthly feature. We hope this will give us a chance to keep you updated on the many and varied adaptations that are heading to a cinema screen near you!

Hot off the press from Deadline, John Langley – the creator of long-running television series Cops – has recruited screenwriter Roger Avary to adapt William Faulkner’s novel Sanctuary for the silver screen. Roger Avary co-wrote Pulp Fiction with Quentin Tarantino, picking up an Oscar in the process. His resume isn’t too extensive, with recent films including another book-to-film adaptation, Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction. Sanctuary will be an interesting story to translate to film, the novel being Faulkner’s most financially successful and his most controversial. Centering on college girl Temple Drake, who, after being enticed by the alcoholic Gowan Stevens, finds herself at the mercy of some less than desirable characters when Stevens passes out.

From college girls and alcoholics to a young adult adaptation starring a Quickflix favourite, Jeff Bridges. Fox and Walden Media came close to acquiring the rights to Lois Lowry’s 1993 novel The Giver back in 2006 but the project hit more than a few roadblocks along the way. Bridges and producer Nikki Silver have since taken the reigns to adapt this story of Jonas, a 12-year-old boy living in a utopian society free of pain and sadness where emotional depth has been eradicated. Of course, the society is far from utopian, as Jonas discovers when he is assigned to inherit the job of the ‘Receiver of Memory’ (someone who stores all of the memories from before society eliminated emotions). The previous receiver is called the ‘Giver’, and as Jonas begins to acquire memories and knowledge, he’s faced with a tough decision: to continue living a shallow life or to abandon his home and his family to truly live. Bridges revealed in an interview that he “originally thought of the role of the Giver as a vehicle for my father, the late Lloyd Bridges; however, at 61-years-old I feel the time is right for me to do it.” The timing on this project couldn’t be better, with dystopian fiction hotter than ever and the much anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games heading to our screens in 2012.

Now to the downright unusual. While ostensibly doing press for Green Lantern, Peter Sarsgaard took the opportunity to discuss his plans for his directorial debut Born to Run, an adaptation of Christopher McDougall’s nonfiction bestseller. In Born to Run, McDougall immersed himself in the life of a remote Mexican tribe of the Tarahumara. His aim was to learn how the tribe was able to run long distances with no shoes or rest but he emerges with a deeper understanding of their ‘journey not the destination’ philosophy. The novel has been compared to Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, reaching an audience beyond the intended (in Run’s case, fitness enthusiasts). Sarsgaard said of filming the long running sequences, “There’s all sorts of different narratives within the run because there are different races going on. There’s the race within the race, you know? And because these races are very long — you know, they’re 100 miles —there’s all the stuff that happens. So, it’s not just a boring drama about the running.” We’re interested to see how the film pans out over the coming months, with reports Sarsgaard has finished the draft screenplay, and rumours he may be considering casting his brother-in-law, Jake Gyllenhaal, as the lead. Until next month bookworms!

Discuss: Do any of these take your fancy?

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