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2013 Movie Preview: Book to Screen Adaptations Arriving in Theaters This Year

January 25, 2013
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At Page to Premiere we cover all kinds of book to screen adaptations, and in 2013 there are no less than 25 stories that are being transferred from paper to film.  While you can expect coverage of projects that are in development and slated for 2014 release like “Divergent,” “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay,” and “Captain America: The Winter Solider,” much of our attention will focus on these 2013 adaptations.

YOUNG ADULT

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Warm Bodies (February 1), based on the Issac Marion novel, is the zombie romance story of R and Julie.  Kimmy and I have both seen this quirky film already. Check out Kimmy’s review here.

Beautiful Creatures (February 14) is adapted from the first novel in the series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. In the star studded film (Emma Thompson, Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum, Viola Davis, Thomas Mann and Alice Englert) a young man is drawn to a mysterious young girl who moves to his small town and stumbles on a crypt of her family secrets.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (August 23) is highly anticipated by several of the staff members here at Page to Premiere. Based on the first novel of “The Mortal Instruments” series by Cassandra Clare, a seemingly normal teenaged girl named Clary (Lily Collins), has her world turned upside down when her mother, Jocelyn (Lena Headley) disappears.  Suddenly she finds herself among the creatures of legends as she begins to uncover a buried past that will change her world and her life forever. ‘City of Bones’ also stars Jamie Campbell Bower, Aidan Turner, Jonathan Rhys Meyer, Jared Harris, Kevin Zegers, and Jemima West.  Will “The Mortal Instruments” be the next big thing?

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (November 22) is the second book in the acclaimed series by Suzanne Collins. Having survived the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return home to District 12. Almost immediately they must leave their friends and family to embark on a Victor’s Tour through the other districts where Katniss senses rebellion in the air.  When plans are announced for The Quarter Quell, a special edition of the annual Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in the arena fighting for their lives against those who have survived the game before. Catching Fire also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland.  Joining the cast are Toby Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone and Amanda Plummer.

CLASSIC STORIES

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The Great Gatsby (May 10), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 great American novel, returns to the screen and this time is helmed by the visionary Baz Luhrmann.  Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), a Midwesterner now living on Long Island, finds himself fascinated by the mysterious past and lavish lifestyle of his neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). He is drawn into Gatsby’s circle, becoming a witness to obsession and tragedy. Also starring Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton and Isla Fisher, it is one of the most highly anticipated adaptations this year.

Carrie (October 18 ) is back and this time stars Chloe Grace Moretz as the powerful ill-fated prom queen and Julianne Moore as her crazy mother. This adaptation is said to be sticking closer to Stephen King’s 1974 novel than previous films. It will be arriving just in time to scare you for Halloween.

Ender’s Game (November 1), the ‘80’s science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, is finally making its way to the big screen with Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. Seventy years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Butterfield) is separated from his cherished sister and terrifying brother when he is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise himself as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 13)  is the name of the second film in the trilogy.  At the end of “An Unexpected Journey,” the dwarves, Bilbo (Martin Freeman) and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) have made it through the Misty Mountains and Bilbo is secretly in possession of a certain ring.  In accordance with the book, they should be heading to the black forest of Mirkwood soon where they will encounter an Elvenking named Thranduil (Lee Pace) and possibly his son, Legolas (Orlando Bloom).  We’ll have to wait for an official synopsis to see where they go from there…

Jack Ryan (December 25), the star of so many Tom Clancy novels and their movie adaptations– “Patriot Games,” “The Hunt for Red October,” “Clear and Present Danger,” and “The Sum of All Fears” – is played by Chris Pine in this new film about the title character.  There isn’t a novel titled “Jack Ryan,” but he’s featured in 15 books so there’s a lot of material to pull from to create a new film about this literary character.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (December 25) is a famous short story by James Thurber that first appeared in “The New Yorker” in 1939 and was later included in his book, “My World and Welcome to It,” then later reprinted in “James Thurber: Writings and Drawings.” A movie of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” starring Danny Kaye was released in 1947, but the script took quite a departure from the original story.  No synopsis for the new film yet, but the story is about a mild mannered Connecticut man who daydreams about five different heroic episodes while waiting for his wife while she shops and goes to the beauty parlor.  The movie stars Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt, Adam Scott, and Shirley MacLaine.

FAIRY TALES AND CHILDREN’S STORIES

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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (January 25) starring Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton and Famke Jannsen is being billed as a continuation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale in which the siblings seek to destroy a coven of evil witches. With an R rating, this is not a movie for kids.

Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1) is based on the fairy tale “Jack the Giant Killer” and stars Nicholas Hoult as Jack. A young farmhand accidental opens a gateway to a world of Giants, which leads to the resurrection of an ancient war.  Jack must fight to save his life, his kingdom and, in true fairy tale style, the love of a princess.

Oz the Great and Powerful (March 8) is Disney’s take on how The Wizard from L. Frank Baum’s novel became “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” (It’s not “Wicked!”) James Franco stars as Oscar Diggs a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, who is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz where he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Fame and fortune are his for the taking until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late.

Epic (May 24) is an animated film based on William Joyce’s children’s book “The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.”  It tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teenaged girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (August 16) is the second story and film in the acclaimed series by Rick Riordan.  Logan Lerman returns as the demigod son of Poseidon, Percy. In this story, Percy and his friends look for the golden fleece, in order to save Camp Half-Blood’s magical borders from monsters.

The Seventh Son (October 18) is based on “The Spook’s Apprentice,” the first book of “The Wardstone Chronicles”, a children’s dark fantasy novel series by British author Joseph Delaney. Starring Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Kitt Harrington and Jeff Bridges, the story is about 14-year-old Tom Ward (played by 31 year-old Barnes), the seventh son of a seventh son, and his adventures as the apprentice of the Spook, a person who fights against the Dark.

Frozen (November 27) is Disney’s latest animated classic with a new interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen.”  When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna (voice of Kristen Bell), a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, an amazing and comedic snowman named Olaf, Everest-like conditions and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

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Safe Haven (February 14) – just in time for Valentine’s Day another Nicholas Sparks book to film adaptation. This time around Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough star in the movie about a mysterious young woman with a dark past who arrives in a small town and starts dating a widower with two small children. Will they learn to love again? It’s Nicholas Sparks.

The Host (March 29) is Stephenie Meyer’s only non-Twilight Saga novel to date and stars Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Jack Abel.  In the future an alien race called the Souls has taken over the Earth and inhabited the human race. One Soul’s human host refuses to let her memories fade away.

World War Z (June 21) is an adaptation of Max Brook’s 2006 post-apocolayptic horror story, “World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.” Watching the trailer, these zombies scare me a lot more than the ones in Warm Bodies.  A U.N. employee (Brad Pitt) is racing against time and fate, as he travels the world trying to stop the outbreak of a deadly Zombie pandemic.

COMICS AND GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Iron Man 3 (May 3) takes place after the events of last year’s “The Avengers.” Robert Downey Jr. returns as genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist Tony Stark who’s latest enemy, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), destroys his personal world.   As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?  Don Cheadle once again takes on Rhodes and Gwyneth Paltrow will be back as Pepper Potts.

Man of Steel (June 14) brings Superman back to the silver screen.  Directed by Zach Snyder and starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman, not much has been revealed about the plot yet. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane play Clark’s adoptive parents, Russell Crowe is his biological father, Jor-El, Amy Adams is love interest Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon takes on villain General Zod.

Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall (June 28)  means  Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) are back.  Kick-Ass has inspired a new wave of self-made masked crusaders  and joins a group led by Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Having lost his father in the first film, Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) seeks revenge the amateur superheroes not as Red Mist, but as his new alter-ego The Mother F%&*^r, and only Hit-Girl can save them.

The Wolverine (July 26) stars Hugh Jackman in his sixth film outing as Logan a.k.a Wolverine.  This film is adapted from the 1982 limited comic series ‘Wolverine.’  Like “Man of Steel” much is being kept under wrap so far, but we know Logan travels to Japan where he engages a mysterious figure from his past.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (October 4) is the sequel to the 2005 Robert Rodriguez film and is based on the second graphic novel in the “Sin City” series by Frank Miller. Like the first movie, there will be multiple stories about the town’s most hard boiled citizens crossing paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants. Returning cast members including Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and Michael Masden will be joined by new comer to the series Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Thor: The Dark World (November 8), like “Iron Man 3,” takes place after the events of “The Avengers.”  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must restore order to the cosmos as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy in the form of an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).  Faced with an enemy that even Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. Returning cast includes Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, and Zachary Levi will be replacing Josh Dallas as Fandrel.

Looking at the list, I’m most excited to see “Frozen,” “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “The Host,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Man of Steel,” “Iron Man 3,”and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”  Which stories on our list are you most excited to see in 2013?

Do you have a favorite book to screen adaptation arriving in theaters in 2013 that we missed? Let us know.


Amy is a lifelong fangirl, who gets most excited over The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter, Disney, Star Trek, superhero movies, and Broadway musicals. She’s Twilight fan fiction writer, Esme Mom Cullen, and her work is (mostly) focused on her favorite ship – Carlisle and Esme. She has the sarcasm and wit of a born and raised Jersey Girl, even though she now makes her home in Southern California. She currently works in the areas of communications and corporate social responsibility.


  • resi

    Hi! I’ve waited so long for someone to post an article like this so thank you!!!
    I found a small mistake in the short description of TMI: City of Bones: Clarys mother is called Jocelyn not Clary.
    But anyway awesome post! :)

  • Amy

    Thanks for the feedback, Resi and the heads up!

  • LaDonte McNeal

    I’m looking forward to TMI, Man of Steel, Beautiful Creatures, The Host (mostly), Iron Man 3, Thor 2 (best superhero ever), and The Wolverine.

  • Stephanie

    My #1 is The Great Gatsby. Baz and Leo together again! I’m also looking forward to The Host, CIty of Bones, The Hobbit, and Frozen. I just finished Warm Bodies and I’m in the middle of Beautiful Creatures so those will be fresh in my mind for those upcoming releases.

  • https://www.facebook.com/staymo?ref=tn_tnmn Staci

    Any word on the Man of Steel premiere yet?