The Art Of Adaptation

A DOG’S PURPOSE Based on author W. Bruce Cameron’s beloved best-selling novel, A Dog’s Purpose shares the heartwarming and surprising story of one devoted dog who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.s  It was adapted for the screen by Cameron & Cathryn Michon (Muffin Top: A Love Story) and Audrey Wells (Shall We Dance) and Maya Forbes (Infinitely Polar Bear) & Wally Wolodarsky (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days).

A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING After Tom Hanks gave Dave Eggers’ National Book Award-nominated novel A Hologram for the King a rave review on his Twitter feed in 2012, only one issue remained unresolved for the two-time Oscar-winning actor. “I was already a big fan of Dave Eggers’ work, having read a bunch of his stuff including things he did with McSweeney’s literary review,” Hanks says. “Then I read A Hologram for the King in one sitting and my only question when I finished it was whether or not he wanted a movie made out of his book.” Adapting Eggers’ story for the big screen, writer-director Tom Tykwer took advantage of Hanks’ inherent likeability by building out the comedy elements embedded in Alan Clay’s grim predicament.

A MONSTER CALLS Directed by J.A. Bayona (The ImpossibleThe Orphanage), A Monster Calls is a visually spectacular and stunningly emotional drama based on the award-winning novel. The screenplay adaptation is by the book’s author, Patrick Ness, who wrote the novel from an original idea by the late Siobhan Dowd.

A PERFECT DAY In Spanish director Fernando León De Aranoa’s remarkable  A Perfect Day a group of aid workers tries to resolve a crisis in an armed conflict zone: Sophie is a newcomer, she wants to help; Mambrú has seen it all and wants to go home; Katya once wanted Mambrú; Damir wants the war to end, and B doesn’t know what he wants. The screenplay was written by De Aranoa in collaboration with Diego Farias Based on the novel “Dejarse llover” by Paula Farias.

A UNITED KINGDOM The idea for A United Kingdom first came into being in 2010, when actor David Oyelowo was working on the film 96 Minutes. Its producers, Justin Moore-Lewy and Charlie Mason, had bought the rights to Susan Williams’ s book Colour Bar, which detailed the remarkable story of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams.Oyelowo continued to bring former collaborators on board including producer Brunson Green, with whom he had done The Help, and screenwriter Guy Hibbert with whom he had collaborated on two films:  Blood and Oil, and Complicit.

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS 26-years after Ab Fab became a cultural phenomenon on television, the hedonistic  ‘sweetie darling’ duo invade the big screen with their Absolutely Fabulous larger than life movie.In 1990, Jennifer Saunders and her comedy partner Dawn French were writing the scripts for the third series of their hit TV show, “French and Saunders”, when they came up with a sketch about a mad, ‘modern’ mother, an ex-hippy called Adriana – as played by Saunders – and her sad, straight-laced daughter, as played by French. The screenplay for the film was crafted by Saunders, and directed by Mandie Fletcher.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY A hilarious and endearing tale of acceptance, the animated The Addams Family brings Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons to life and will inspire people of all ages to embrace a new idea of what is normal.

THE ADDERALL DIARIES Adapted from Stephen Elliott’s true crime memoir of the same name The Adderall Diaries by writer-director, it deals with an incredible journey into the twisted mind of a once-successful novelist paralyzed by writer’s block and in the thrall of an Adderall addiction – who becomes fascinated by a high-profile murder case as a way to escape his personal struggles.

ALONE IN BERLIN , a powerfully moving, true-life drama-thriller set in Second World War Berlin, is directed by acclaimed actor turned filmmaker Vincent Perez (La Reine Margot),  who adapted revered German novelist Hans Fallada’s international bestseller Every Man Dies Alone / Alone In Berlin for the big screen with Achim von Borries (Good Bye Lenin!).

AMERICAN PASTORAL It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel that chronicles the profound changes in the last half-century of American life, by Philip Roth.Screenwriter John Romano, who holds a Ph.D. in Literature and has taught English at Columbia University, was drawn to a story that not only spans one of the most dizzying periods of transition in American life—from the postWWII positivity and conformity of the late 1940s through the uncorked turmoil and disruption of the 1970s—but also moves between huge historical events and their entwining with the most private family moments.

AMERICAN ASSASSIN An Espionage Thriller For The New Millennia. Based on the mega-bestselling book series by the late Vince Flynn. After Flynn’s passing, Producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler brought aboard a crack team of writers led by Stephen Schiff, known for his work on television’s multi-layered Soviet spy drama “The Americans,” to translate the story to the screen – Michael Finch (The November Man), Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz (The Last Samurai, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back).

THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN For screenwriter Mark Bomback it was a gift to adapt Garth Stein’s beloved novel The Art Of Racing In The Rain, which features a wise and philosophical dog who longs to be reincarnated as a human.

ASSASSIN’S CREED This worlds-spanning tale of one man who finds himself at the center of an ancient battle between two powerful sects—only by harnessing the memories of his ancestor, is based on the blockbuster video game series from Ubisoft, the film is directed by Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel (Snowtown, Macbeth) from a screenplay Michael Lesslie and Adam Cooper & Bill Collage.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Working with co-screenwriters Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Hercules) and Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Rent), director Bill Condon set out to expand upon the story’s timeless themes and add more depth and dimension to the familiar characters while still celebrating the animated film and its legacy.

BELFAST – In the summer of 1969, nine-year-old Buddy knows exactly who he is and where he belongs.  He’s working-class, North Belfast, happy, loved and safe. His world is a fast and funny street-life, lived large in the heart of a community that laughs together and sticks together. But as the 1960s stagger to a close, even as man stands on the moon itself, the dog days of August turn Buddy’s childhood dreams into a nightmare. Simmering social discontent suddenly explodes in Buddy’s own street and escalates, fast. First a masked attack, then a riot and finally a city-wide conflict, with religion fanning the flames further afield. Catholics vs Protestants, loving neighbours just a heartbeat ago, set on to be deadly foes now. Buddy must make sense of the chaos and hysteria and of this new physical landscape of lockdown, peopled by heroes and villains, once only glimpsed on the cinema screen but now threatening to upturn everything he knows and loves as an epic struggle plays out in his own backyard. A humorous, tender and intensely personal story

THE BFG The talents of two of the world’s greatest storytellers – Roald Dahl and Steven Spielberg – unite for the first time to bring Dahl’s beloved classic The BFG to life on screen. But first, the producers needed a screenwriter to spin Dahl’s delightfully simple book into a full-length screenplay—someone with a special skill and instinct for children’s stories, and for that they turned to friend and colleague Melissa Mathison (“The Black Stallion,” “The Indian in the Cupboard”). “Melissa was the first and only writer we thought of,” says Kennedy. “Her gifts as a writer and her particular sensibility were essential to bringing Dahl’s visionary tale to life.”

THE BIG SHORT When four outsiders see what the big banks, media and government regulators refuse to — the impending collapse of the global economy — they have an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of the modern banking industry where they must question everyone and everything.Based on the book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis (Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game), the screenplay was written by Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs, The Interpreter) and director Adam McKay .

BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK While its development and use of technical breakthroughs may secure Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’s place in film history, it’s important to recognize that its achievements are securely driven by the drama of a human and compelling narrative. Based on the acclaimed bestselling novel by Ben Fountain, the screenplay adaptation was written by Jean-Christophe CastellI.

BRIDGE OF SPIES Producer Marc Platt, whose credits include “Into the Woods,” “Drive” and the upcoming “The Girl on the Train,” was familiar with Donovan’s story and was also aware of director Steven Spielberg’s interest in the Cold War—and history in general—and felt it was ideally suited for the director’s sensibilities. “As a filmmaker, Steven has studied some great iconic characters and can re-create history in an extraordinarily cinematic way. He’s the perfect filmmaker to tell a story like this.” The screenplay was crafted by  Matt Charman, Ethan and Joel Coen.BLOOD FATHER A man must use his connections from his past life and his skills as an ex-criminal to keep him and his daughter alive.Based on the book of the same title by Peter Craig, who adapted it into the script.

BROOKLYN The purity of love and the beguiling innocence of young lovers blossom in John Crowley’s profoundly moving  Brooklyn, a film that makes one believe in love again.Adapted from Colm Tóibín’s New York Times Bestseller by Nick Hornby ( An Education) and directed by John Crowley (Intermission, Boy A)

CAROL Love is larger than life in Todd Haynes’ masterful poetic ode to passion, a sumptuous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt  by Phyllis Nagy , following two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York.

THE CHOICE  With his latest film, The Choice, internationally best-selling author and literary superstar Nicholas Sparks returns to his beloved North Carolina roots for an inspiring love story about the unexpected choices, large and small, that come to define a lifetime. The screenplay was written by Bryan Sipe.

C’MON, C’MON When writer-director Mike Mills had a child in 2014 it was, for him, an instantly disorienting, then slowly revealing, transition. Mills knew he wanted to explore what was happening. But, in his typical way, his screenplay for C’mon C’mon became a kind of cinematic auto-fiction: a candid, highly subjective self-accounting, one that takes place inside an imagined family and pulls from myriad influences around him—the movies, music, books, and people that inspire him, as well as the rhythms and textures of the culture we all live in right now.

CONCUSSION A dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who made an important medical discovery.  Dr. Omalu’s emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world.Written and directed by Peter Landesman, Cocussion is based on the GQ article “Game Brain” by Jeanne Marie Laskas.

CUT-OUT-GIRLS Cut-Out Girls tells the story of how six young women’s lives are altered by the actions of two aspiring sportsmen and marks the feature film debut of celebrated writer-director Nicola Hanekom. The film was adapted by Hanekom from her acclaimed stage play.

CYRANO – Film director Joe Wright felt that the time had come to make a celebration of life and love. For, he had a meaningful story that he wanted to tell — and a classic story to re-tell, in an invigorating new way. If he could unite a cast and crew, then the process of making a movie would in and of itself be life-affirming; the finished film would be a gift to moviegoers receiving it together with the world in a stronger state. For the past couple of years, Wright had remained intent on making his next movie a new film version of Cyrano de Bergerac, the timeless tale of wit, courage, and love.

THE DANISH GIRL is the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener, based on the book by David Ebershoff with a screenplay by Lucinda Coxon and directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Misérables).

THE DARK TOWER 40 years ago the journey of the eight-novel epic began when Stephen King wrote the words: “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”When it came to the screenplay adaptation, because King’s approach is, in his words, so “instinctive” (“I’m not somebody who plans things out in advance,” he says), the filmmakers faced an unusual challenge in bringing The Dark Tower to the screen.Not only did King himself bless the screenplay adaptation, which is by Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner and Anders Thomas Jensen & Nikolaj Arcel; the author was intimately involved in every step of the creative process of the film and an invaluable creative partner throughout the entire process.

DOCTOR SLEEP Directed and edited by Mike Flanagan from his own screenplay based upon the novel by Stephen King, Doctor Sleep continues the story of Danny Torrance, 40 years after his terrifying stay at the Overlook Hotel in The Shining.

DOG – Channing Tatum co-directed Dog with producing partner Reid Carolin, who wrote the script. It’s a movie about the uncanny ability of road trips to go awry in the craziest possible ways and how animals can be healing, even when relationships with them aren’t unconditionally effortless.

THE DRESSMAKER  If there is one film that is divinely unique in every possible way, it’s this quirky Australian charmer,  a film that transform you in many ways.This enchanting creation was written by husband-and-wife team Jocelyn Moorhouse and P.J. Hogan, based on the novel “The Dressmaker” by Rosalie Ham, with Moorhouse in the director’s seat

EIFFEL – A fictionalized romance between Eiffel and Adrienne Bourgès, his childhood sweetheart, was directed by Martin Bourboulon, from a screenplay crafted by Caroline Bongrand. When the idea for the sumptuous romance Eiffel dawned on director Martin Bourboulon over 20 years ago, it sparked a journey that resulted in a film that is not a biopic or a documentary, but a faithful and endearing reimagining of Gustave Eiffel’ fervent passion, which grounded the creation and building of the Eiffel Tower.

FALLEN The much anticipated feature film adaptation of Lauren Kate’s worldwide bestselling young adult novel comes to the big screen with a cast of exciting young stars and directed by award-winning Australian director Scott Hicks (Shine) from a screenplay by Michael Ross, Kathryn Price and Nicole Millard.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose seven beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time.  Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.

FENCES Theatre buffs will delight in the potent big screen adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, driven by crackling dialogue and strong characters, allowing us to take an emotional journey into the lives of bruised souls seeking ultimate redemption.

THE FINEST HOURS is an exquisitely well-crafted film about love and heroism, based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, filled with nostalgia and adventure that immerses you emotionally and physically. Transporting you to the heart of the action and creating a fully immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale, the film is directed by Australian filmmaker Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl and the highly acclaimed Showtime series The United States of Tara), and written by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias.

THE 5TH WAVE Four waves of increasingly deadly attacks have left most of Earth decimated.  Directed by J Blakeson, with a screenplay by Susannah Grant and Akiva Goldsman & Jeff Pinkner, the film is based on the novel by Rick Yancey.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel riveted millions, and now makes its way to the big screen. Award-winning and internationally produced screenwriter and playwright Erin Cressida Wilson (who won the Independent Spirit Award for her first screenplay Secretary in 2003), wrote the screenplay, with Tate Taylor (The Help, Get on Up) in the director’s chair.

THE GOLDFINCH For Brad Simpson, who produced The Goldfinch with his Color Force partner, Nina Jacobson, Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and spent more than 30 weeks on The New York Times Best Sellers list, it had everything producers look for in a book: “A page-turner with a deeply emotional narrative,” but that would be a challenge to condense more than 700 pages of storytelling into an approximately two-hour movie. 

THE GOOD LIAR Adapting the widely acclaimed novel by Nicholas Searle’sfor the screen meant bringing a greater portion of the action into present-day, where technology plays an integral role and where the past remains a dark shadow.  “The book reveals things earlier and the suspense is about when the characters will discover what the reader already knows,” screenwriter Jeffrey  Hatcher explains, “whereas the film takes more of an objective approach, allowing the audience to take on the point of view of first one character and then the other.”

HARDCORE HENRY began with Russian-born filmmaker Ilya Naishuller’s  ground-breaking, irreverent video BadMotherf*cker. The video, done as part of his other job as frontman for the punkband Biting Elbows,was an operatic, uncompromising story told entirely from the point of view of the protagonist. Fiercely mesmerizing, it became a viral sensation attracting over 120million views around the world. ‘’Action cinema has always thrived when it captured the sensation of participating in dangerous situations that most people would much rather avoid in real life. The goal with Hardcore Henry was to push it a step further, to put the audience right into the body of the protagonist, to have them experience the primal, exhilarating feeling that we usually view from a much safer distance,’’says Naishuller.

HEIDI  Screenwriter Petra Volpe was involved in the project right from the start and had a big influence on the vision of the film.

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS After a lifetime of being overlooked and ignored, a woman of a certain age finds her world turned upside down by a handsome new co-worker and a self-help seminar that inspires her to take a chance on love in this witty and compassionate late-life coming-of-age-story. Based on a short film by Laura Terruso, the screenplay was written by Terruso and Michael Showalter and directed by Showalter.

HOW TO BE SINGLE is an all-out comedy that shows how they’re all out there making the most of the single lifestyle, in the most outrageous ways imaginable. Christian Ditter (Love, Rosie,The Crocodiles) directed the comedy from a screenplay by Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein (The Vow, He’s Just Not That Into You) and Dana Fox (Couples Retreat, What Happens in Vegas), screen story by Kohn & Silverstein, based on the book by Liz Tucillo (TV’s “Sex & the City,” He’s Just Not That Into You).

THE HUNGER GAMES The blockbuster Hunger Games franchise has taken audiences by storm around the world, grossing more than $2.2 billion at the global box office.

I SAW THE LIGHT tells the inspirational story of Hank Williams, the iconic, influential country singer and songwriter of the 1940’s and early 50’s whose meteoric rise and fall has become part of American folklore. Writer-director Marc Abraham has created a compelling, historically accurate narrative of Hank’s career that examines his tormented creative genius and the turbulent domestic life that inspired him to write some of his best-known songs.

INDIGNATION For the last 25 years, James Schamus’ name has been synonymous with smart, groundbreaking and successful films. As co-founder of Good Machine, CEO of Focus Features, and an independent producer and screenwriter, Schamus has been creatively involved in dozens of the most critically acclaimed films of recent time. Schamus worked on the screenplay adaptation of  Philip Roth’s late novel, Indignation during his last years at Focus Features, but hadn’t seriously considered directing it. “You write a screenplay, and you have a choice,” explains Schamus, “You could direct it, or Ang Lee could direct it. That’s not much of a choice.”

INFERNO Following up on the worldwide successes of The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009) is Inferno, the third highly anticipated adaptation in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series of novels.The film re-teams director Ron Howard with Tom Hanks, who returns in one of his signature roles playing the quick-thinking and resourceful Langdon, with a screenplay by David Koepp.

THE INFILTRATOR is the thrilling true-life story of Special Agent Robert ‘Bob’ Mazur, responsible for bringing down the drug cartels and their bankers alike, in one of history’s most audacious stings.This incredible story is now explored on the big screen in The Infiltrator by acclaimed American filmmaker Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), who directs from a screenplay written by his mother Ellen Brown Furman, based on Bob Mazur’s autobiography of the same name.

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA It is one of the greatest seafaring tales of all time: the Nantucket whaling ship Essex was attacked by a leviathan—a white whale of singular size and intent—leaving only a few of its crew to overcome near-impossible odds and live to recount their experience. But in the almost 200 years since that harrowing voyage, the truth faded into history, eclipsed by the celebrated novel it inspired, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The extraordinary journey of the Essex and her crew was chronicled by Nathaniel Philbrick in his book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex. Screenplay by Charles Leavitt, who also shares story credit with Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver

JULIETA Based on stories from Alice Munro’s 2004 collection Runaway, Julieta charts the biography of one woman played by two newcomers to writer-director Pedro Almodóvar’s cinema

THE JUNGLE BOOK returns to the big screen in magical, larger-than-live, live-action epic adventure. Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Chef) directed The Jungle Book from a screenplay by Justin Marks (Top Gun 2, TV’s Rewind) that was based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and was inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, with an approach all its own.

THE LADY IN THE VAN It has taken another 15 years for Bennett to feel ready to revisit the material as a feature film. In 2006, he and Hytner had transformed their hit play The History Boys into a two-time BAFTA nominated feature, as they had with The Madness Of King George, which  garnered 14 BAFTA nominations, including a win for the Alexander Korda Award for  Best British Film, and four Academy Award nominations and one win.  So happy had been the collaboration on The History Boys that Bennett and Hytner were keen to work again with the film’s established British producers, Kevin Loader of Free Range Films and Damian Jones of DJ Films.

THE LEGEND OF TARZAN The legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs is back in The Legend of Tarzan, directed by David Yates (the final four Harry Potter films) from a screenplay by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Brewer and Cozad based on the Tarzan stories created by Burroughs.

LET HIM GO From writer-director Thomas Bezucha comes Let Him Go, an intense character-based thriller about the bonds of family, the power of love and the necessity of sacrifice, set in the American West. Bezucha, already a fan of acclaimed author Larry Watson’s work, found himself captivated by the slow-burn tale in the unforgettable 2013 novel Let Him Go , and the filmmaker, whose previous credits include 2011’s Monte Carlo, 2005’s The Family Stone and the 2000 indie Big Eden, knew immediately he wanted to adapt the book for the screen.

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS The best-selling novel that swept readers away with its transporting story of fate, love, moral dilemmas and the lengths one couple will go to see their hard-fought dreams realized, comes to the screen as a lush, classically star-crossed romance starring written for the screen and directed by Derek Cianfrance.

LEOPOLDSTADT – An epic family drama telling the story of an Austrian-Jewish families experience over 50 years from the turn of the century to World War II. Written by Britain’s greatest living playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) inspired by his own family history. Regarded as ‘Britain’s greatest living playwright’ (Times), Tom Stoppard’s critically acclaimed new play Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance. At the beginning of the 20th century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, Austria. But Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised Jew now married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world. We follow his family’s story across half a century, passing through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A company of 40 actors represent each generation of the family in this epic, but intimate play.

LIVE BY NIGHT Oscar winner Ben Affleck (Argo), who directed, produced and stars in the dramatic crime thriller Live by Night, also wrote the screenplay, based on the award-winning bestseller by Dennis Lehane, marking the second collaboration for the Boston natives, following the acclaimed drama Gone Baby Gone – the film was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson under the Appian Way banner; and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Todd for Pearl Street Films.

MACBETH Australian filmmaker Justin Kurzel’s thrilling interpretation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a visceral and dynamic re-imagining of what wartime must have been like for one of Shakespeare’s most famous and compelling characters.  Set in war torn Scottish landscape, it’s a hard-core journey into the world of a fearless warrior and inspiring leader brought low by ambition and desire and all-consuming passion.

THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY The journey of self-taught mathematical prodigy Srinivasa Ramanujan and the journey of bringing his story to life on the page and screen both began with a letter. Some five or six years after the publication of The Man Who Knew Infinity, writer/director Matthew Brown and executive producer Tristine Skyler were visiting Brown’s aunt in Big Sur when Skylar noticed the book in Brown’s aunt’s library.

MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle, ” said Albert Einstein and in the uplifting Miracles from Heaven we experience  the rousing portrait of a family suddenly discovering joy and promise in the most tumultuous moment of their lives.Based on Texas mom Christy Beam’s inspirational memoir, this astonishing true story of the girl rescued by an out-of-the-blue accident is directed by Patricia Riggen (who recently directed the superb The 33), from a screenplay by Randy Brown (Trouble with the Curve).

MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN Rich with fantastical and immersive imagery, memorable characters, epic battles, and unique time travel manipulations—all brought to life by visionary storymaker Tim Burton, in the grand style of his films Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is based upon the debut novel by Ransom Riggs, published in 2011.Burton and the producers turned to noted screenwriter Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class, Woman in Black) to adapt Riggs’s novel for the screen.   Again, it was the perfect marriage of artist and material.

MOFFIE South African born film director, writer and photographer Oliver Hermanus’ Moffie, is an adaptation of André-Carl van der Merwe’s celebrated memoir, and depicts a gay man’s journey through the South African Detence Force, it also the journey of an entire generation of white men, gay and straight. The film rests its attention on all them all. 

MOONLIGHT is a consummate masterwork from writer-director Barry Jenkins that takes you on an emotional journey into the heart and soul of humanity and will live in your heart forever. It won 3 Oscars in 2017 for Best Film, the screenplay adaptation by Jenkins and Taryn Alvin McCraney, based on McCraney’s play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,  and supporting actor for Mahershala Ali.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN The beating heart of writer-director Edward Norton’s meticulously crafted private-eye mystery Motherless Brooklyn is a highly original and poignant riff on the noir detective—a man driven into the darkest shadows of 1957 New York City by a need to understand a world that has left him a misjudged outcast.  The film’s 20-year journey to the screen began in 1999 when Norton saw the cinematic potential in Jonathan Lethem’s novel Motherless Brooklyn and its unforgettable central character. 

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US With his novel The Mountain Between Us, author Charles Martin fashioned a suspenseful, affecting tale that examines how two strangers with distinctive personalities compromise and adapt to one another under extreme duress. That story—the unfolding tale of how two compelling protagonists make their way across a brutal landscape toward salvation, and ultimately, love—spoke to Oscar-nominated producer Peter Chernin (Hidden Figures) and is now brought to life on the Big Screen by director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar) from a screenplay adaptation by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and J. Mills Goodloe (The Age of Adaline).

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS As a huge admirer of Agatha Christie and long-time collaborator with producer Ridley Scott, screenwriter Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner: 2049) was thrilled when he was asked to bring Murder On The Orient Express to the screen. Producer Scott, a Christie fan himself, and an admirer of Sidney Lumet’s 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, had leapt at the chance to re-explore the book, seeing it a wonderful opportunity to present the author’s work to a modern-day audience. Green agrees.

MY COUSIN RACHEL My Cousin Rachel was written in 1951 by Daphne du Maurier, whose outstanding work often combines suspense, passion and shockingly modern psychological portraits of men and women in intriguing and sometimes obsessive relationships.  So cinematic was her writing that Alfred Hitchcock made films from three of her novels:  JAMAICA INN, THE BIRDS and REBECCA.  Nicolas Roeg’s psychological horror masterpiece DON’T LOOK NOW is also based on a story by du Maurier. On publication My Cousin Rachel instantly became one of du Maurier’s most popular books and 20th Century Fox snapped up the film rights; released in 1952 the film garnered four Oscar® nominations and a Golden Globe Award for the young Burton as “New Star of the Year.” The 2017 film was written for the screen and directed by Roger Michell.

NERVE The bigger the risk, the bigger the payoff in Nerve, an exhilarating thriller set on the streets of New York City, where amateur daredevils compete in an all-or-nothing game that mines their online information to exploit their wildest dreams—and their deepest fears. It is directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman (Catfish, Paranormal Activity 3) from a screenplay by Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story, Turn the Beat Around). Based on the popular young-adult novel by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve is both an edge-of-your-seat thriller and a razor-sharp examination of the seductive power of social media.

THE 9TH LIFE OF LOUIS DRAX When best-selling author Liz Jensen completed her fifth novel, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, she was certain the book — a thriller centered around a boy in a coma — would never be made into a movie. Fortunately, one of her agents saw the story’s filmic potential, as did Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella (Best Director, The English Patient, 1996), who optioned it with his producing partner, Oscar winner Sydney Pollack (Best Picture, Out of Africa, 1985). Minghella died in 2008, before he had a chance to make the film. But when producer and longtime Minghella associate Timothy Bricknell joined forces with Minghella’s son, actor Max Minghella, to form production company Blank Tape, they decided to make The 9th Life of Louis Drax their first project.

OUR KIND OF TRAITOR From the writer of Drive (Hossein Amini) adapting the hit John le Carré novel  – the mind behind Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and directed by acclaimed Susanna White – the taut thriller Our Kind Of Traitor twists and turns its way around the world with dramatic consequences. “One of the strengths of John le Carré’s work is that he incorporates very important themes into a rollercoaster ride of a thriller,” says screenwriter Hossein Amini of le Carré’s  novel Our Kind Of Traitor, which he has adapted into a major new feature film of the same name.

OPERATION MINCEMEAT – Uncover a most extraordinary true story Operation Mincemeat. It’s 1943. This compelling new film by the acclaimed director John Madden celebrates storytelling. Many of the characters working in the Twenty Committee are busily writing novels in their spare time. “At a fundamental level, it’s quite consciously a film about storytelling,” says Madden. “The whole community that the film is dealing with is riddled with writers. Everybody’s writing, including one that we all know very well. Ian Fleming is right at the centre of it all.”

PAN With author J.M. Barrie’s classic tale as the primary inspiration behind the story, director Joe Wright says he embraced the author’s “sense of strangeness. It’s a very odd book. It doesn’t underestimate children’s intelligence; there are no ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies,’ everyone is flawed, even Peter. I loved the duplicity of all the characters.”

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD Director and co-writer Armando Iannucci (In the Loop, The Death of Stalin, HBO’s Veep) and Simon Blackwell (In the Loop, HBO’s Succession) lend their wry, yet heart-filled storytelling style to revisiting Dickens’ iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES Written and directed by Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down, Charlie St Cloud), and based on the best-selling novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a fresh twist on Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice.

THE PROPHET Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet’s journey to the big screen began more than a decade ago when executive producer Steve Hanson embarked on an eight-year quest to license the rights to the Lebanese author’s timeless bestseller.The beloved book, which has been translated into 40 languages, has sold over 100 million copies and has never been out of print since it was first published in 1923.

QUEEN OF KATWE  A young girl’s incredible journey from the streets of Uganda to a world-class chess player embodies the strength of the human spirit in the inspiring Queen of Katwe. It was an article by Tim Crothers in ESPN Magazine where John Carls (Rango, Where the Wild Things Are) first learned about the work of Sports Outreach, a faith-based organization that uses sports to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth in the poorest areas of the world. Based on a remarkable true story, Queen of Katwe is directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler.

RACE Based on the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy. Race is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend. Written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse and directed by Stephen Hopkins.

THE REVENANT Inspired by true events, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s masterful The Revenant is an epic story of survival and transformation on the American frontier, with Leonardo DiCaprio as legendary explorer Hugh Glass who  undertakes a 200-mile odyssey through the vast and untamed West on the trail of the man who betrayed him: What begins as a relentless quest for revenge becomes a heroic saga against all. Based on Michael Punke’s The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, screenplay by Mark L. Smith

RISE – Based on the triumphant real-life story about the remarkable family that produced the first trio of brothers to become NBA champions in the history of the league—Giannis and Thanasis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kostas Antetokounmpo.

THE ROAD WITHIN A coming of age road comedy in the vein of Little Miss Sunshine, first time director Gren Wells adapts an honest script based on the original German feature, Vincent Wants to Sea. The result, The Road Within, brings humor and poignancy to the story of three young adults searching for their own version of life. Robert Sheehan (Vincent), Dev Patel (Alex) and Zoë Kravitz (Marie) star alongside Kyra Sedgwick (Dr. Rose) and Robert Patrick (Robert) in the film which hits close to home for Wells.

ROOM At once a taut narrative of captivity and freedom, an imaginative trip into the wonders of childhood, and a profound portrait of a family’s bonds and fortitude, Room is a beautifully transcendent experience based on the award-winning global bestseller by Emma Donoghue, who wrote the screenplay, based on her original novel. Director Lenny Abrahamson remains faithful to the novel while bringing Jack, Ma and their entirely singular world to heart-pounding and intensely cinematic life.

THE SECRET: DARE TO DREAM in 2006 Rhonda Byrne’s bestseller The Secret took the world by storm and was adapted for film by playwright, TV and feature writer Bekah Brunstetter, who used the book as source material for her screenplay The Secret: Dare to Dream.

THE SECRET GARDEN The story of The Secret Garden clearly has an enduring power which attracts us back to it, again and again, and has been adapted into numerous plays, a Broadway musical, four television series, and four films. But why another adaptation of The Secret Garden now? 27 years since the last film version, a whole new generation of children are already largely unaware of The Secret Garden, missing out on the pleasures of this mysterious, uncanny and profound story.

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING  Long buried secrets from the past forces a recluse to face the flawed recollections of his younger self, the truth about his first love and the devastating consequences of decisions made a lifetime ago. Julian Barnes’s beautiful and beguiling novel was brought to life on film from a screenplay adaptation by playwright Nick Payne (Constellations) .

SHOT CALLER In order to get a real-world grasp of prison and the gangs that run these institutions,  Austin-based director/writer/producer Ric Roman Waugh went undercover as a volunteer parole agent in California. ”What started out as a simple research assignment became a two-year odyssey as doors kept opening, allowing me more and more access into this violent world,” says Waugh, whose film Shot Caller takes us into the hardcore culture of prison gangsters.

SILENCE The screen adaptation of Martin Scorsese’s Silence, the Academy Award winning director’s long anticipated film about faith and religion, began in the late 1980’s with his writing collaborator Jay Cocks, and filming began in January 31, 2015 in Taipei, Taiwan at the city’s CMPC film studio. it is based Shusaku Endo’s historical novel

THE SNOW QUEEN A fairy tale like “The Snow Queen” is a fictional story that may feature folkloric characters (such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, and talking animals) and enchantments, often involving a far-fetched sequence of events.“When I started writing the script for “The Snow Queen” I never imagined that I would direct the film,” says writer director Maxim Sveshnikov, who began his career in animation features as a writer on Alyosha Popovich & Tugarin Zmey (CTB Film Company, Melnitsa Animation Studio) and later he established himself as a successful filmmaker, writing numerous scripts for feature and animated films

SODIUM DAY – Written and directed by the award-winning Riaz Solker, Sodium Day is a South African comedy-drama with tragic undertones that features uncanny humour and absurd, but often true-to-life scenarios, telling the story of a neglected Matric class in a dilapidated school on the Cape Flats as they navigate their way through absent teachers, racial tensions, and the threat of local gangsters.

SULLY ‘On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain “Sully” Sullenberger glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard.  However, even as Sully was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career. Now Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood brings the story to the big screen,  from a screenplay by Todd Komarnicki, based on the book Highest Duty by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow, with Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.

THE 33 “Family is all we have,” is what keeps the flame of hope burning in the tense and taut untold true story of The 33, directed by Patricia Riggen from a screenplay by Mikko Alanne, Oscar nominee Craig Borten (Dallas Buyers Club) and Michael Thomas, based on the screen story by Oscar nominee José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries) and the book Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar.

TESTAMENT OF YOUTH The film Testament of Youth is an unforgettable and profound story of love, war and remembrance, based on the First World War memoir by Vera Brittain, which has become the classic testimony of that war from a woman’s point of view. A searing journey from youthful hopes and dreams to the edge of despair and back again, it’s a film about young love, the futility of war and how to make sense of the darkest times. Directed by James Kent, the screenplay was crafted by Juliette Towhidi.

THEIR FINEST Though long-listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2009, Lissa Evans’ novel Their Finest Hour and a Half went under the radar somewhat, it inspired powerhouse producers Amanda Posey and Stephen Woolley to bring it to the Big Screen seven years later.

TOORBOS After a 6-year’s journey from page to screen, René van Rooyen’s insightful adaptation of Dalene Matthee’s novel Toorbos as a screenwriter, and her astute visual sensibility as a director, delivers an inspirational journey of the heart that showcases the best of South African filmmakingand is officially this year’s South African entry for the highly coveted Best International Feature Film Award for the 2021 Academy Awards.

TRUTH is a classic newsroom drama, a suspenseful behind-the-scenes procedural, a multi-character study—and also something more: In the words of former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, “This film is about what has happened to the reporting of news, how and why it’s happened, and why you should care.” For Writer-Director James Vanderbilt, a fascination with journalism initially drew him to the project.

THE WALK Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), is aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, who overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan. Robert Zemeckis, the master director of such marvels as Forrest Gump, Cast Away, Back to the Future, Polar Express and Flight, again uses cutting edge technology in the service of an emotional, character-driven story. The Screenplay is by Robert Zemeckis & Christopher Browne, based on the book “To Reach the Clouds” by Philippe Petit.

WARCRAFT Since its inception, more than 100 million players have experienced the dazzling and compelling mythology that is the global phenomenon known as World of Warcraft. Now, Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon hits the big screen under direction of Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) and Jones.

WAR DOGS From director Todd Phillips (The Hangover” trilogy) comes War Dogs, a comedic drama based on true events, following two friends in their early 20s living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows smaller businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. The screenplay is by Stephen Chin and Todd Phillips & Jason Smilovic, based on the Rolling Stone article titled “Arms and the Dudes,” by Guy Lawson.

WAR HORSE From modest beginnings War Horse has become a part of contemporary culture, a story from a century past that speaks to that which matters to the world right now.

WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT  Based on the true adventures of war-reporter-in-the-making Kim Barker — and her acclaimed autobiography The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan – comes Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a hilarious and heartfelt portrait of a woman getting her life together in a global hot spot where everything else seems to be falling apart.“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (military code for the letters WTF), is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, from a screenplay by Robert Carlock based on Kim Barker’s book The Taliban Shuffle.

THE WITCHES “Roald Dahl’s The Witches” is at once a wickedly funny and heart-warming tale about a young boy who stumbles upon a secret society of witches and must try to stop their evil plan to turn all the world’s children into mice.  In the hands of Oscar-winning director and master storyteller Robert Zemeckis, it’s an exciting and elaborate visual experience. Based on the book by Roald Dahl, the screenplay was crafted by Robert Zemeckis & Kenya Barris (TV’s “black-ish,” “Shaft”) and Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”).

WOLF TOTEM Jiang Rong’s best-selling novel Wolf Totem received wide acclaim since it was published in 2004. Although rights to the novel adaptation were acquired by film corporations ten years ago, the film version of Wolf Totem is finally brought to the Big Screen by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Z FOR ZACHARIAH When the world is devastated by a catastrophic nuclear event in the rousing Independent Australian film Z for Zachariah, a solitary young woman (Margot Robbie), thrives on the farm she once shared with her family in a single idyllic valley spared from the radioactive fallout.Inspired by the posthumously published 1974 novel, “Z for Zachariah”, by award-winning author, Robert C. O’Brien, the film is written by Nissar Modi (Breaking at the Edge) and directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance).

Comic Book Adaptations

ATOMIC BLONDE When screenwriter Kurt Johnstad was approached to pen the script for Atomic Blonde as an adaptation of the initial graphic novel in the series, his interest stemmed from his personal connections to Berlin. It was also a personal mission for Antony Johnston, who embarked on the graphic novel series The Coldest City in 2008, on a creative impulse to explore his long-held interest in Cold War espionage.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR From Marvel Studios comes the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War, the third film in the Captain America franchise and the first film in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Based on the beloved Marvel comic book series, first published in 1941, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is directed by Emmy Award-winning directors Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

DEADPOOL Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, the explosive and mind-blowing Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Ryan Reynolds had long championed a film version of the iconic comics character.  His deep involvement in the film’s development continued throughout production, in brainstorming sessions with director Tim Miller and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (Zombieland).

MAX STEEL is the highly anticipated live action origin story of Max Steel, based on the popular Mattel franchise property of the same name, was written by Marvel vet Christopher L. Yost (Thor: the Dark World, Thor 3) and was directed by award-winning director Stewart Hendler (Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, H+).This live action feature-length origin story combines identifiable characters, familiar terrestrial settings and innovative use of technology to create a realistic re-interpretation of the traditional superhero film.

WONDER WOMAN Allan Heinberg, who wrote the Wonder Woman comic for DC in 2006 and 2007,  was thrilled to make his screenwriting debut in director Patty Jenkins’ (Monster, AMC’s The Killing) larger-than-life hero’s journey Wonder Woman, marking the DC Super Hero’s first-ever stand alone feature film.

Back to The Art Of Screenwriting And Filmmaking