Next to remakes and reimaginings, movie adaptations of popular books or plays can draw quite a bit of controversy and debate. They’re often compared to the original sources, and unreasonably rejected for not being “faithful” enough. In the coming months and through the early part of next year, we have a slew of film adaptations to ridicule and scorn, one of which is an interesting revision of history based entirely on a conspiracy theory.
I admit to knowing next to nothing about this seemingly intense film, based on the bestselling novel by Jo Nesbø, which I also have not read. Coming from the same Scandinavian company that also brought us the ‘Millennium Trilogy‘ series, the crime thriller sounds highly intriguing. It follows successful corporate headhunter Roger Brown’s journey from society’s wealthy elite to the seedy underworld of crime and murder. Despite having it all, Brown has a very dangerous hobby to escape his mundane life — he’s a cat burglar with a penchant for ultra-rare art. If the trailer is any indication, ‘Hodejegerne’ looks like great deal of fun. As per usual, a Hollywood remake is already in the works.
‘The Rum Diary’
Seemingly part sequel and part prequel to Terry Gilliam’s ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas‘, ‘The Rum Diary is based on an earlier novel by Hunter S. Thompson that wasn’t published until 1998, the film looks like an entertaining watch from Bruce Robinson (‘Withnail and I‘). In reality, neither the books nor the movies are related, and they were never meant to have a connection other than they’re both fictionalized retellings of Thompson’s experiences as a journalist. Nevertheless, it seems that the director is making a thin correlation between the two by having Johnny Depp resume his portrayal seen in Gilliam’s cult movie. Still, the preview for Robinson’s adaptation looks to be pretty darn funny.
Roland Emmerich is taking a break from his usual apocalyptic disaster flicks for a wholly different kind of preposterously grand disaster feature — a historical revision of the world’s greatest writer. Anyone who’s ever taken a college course on Shakespeare or has had a general interest in the history of the Elizabethan stage will know the controversy surrounding this film’s plot. It’s based on what is known as the Oxfordian theory, which concerns the highly radical hypothesis developed in the 1920s that the Bard of Avon was not the true author of the plays and poems that he has been credited with for the last four centuries. As a devoted admirer and collector of Shakespeare’s works, I think that the conspiracy is absolute absurdity. The movie has reignited heated debate among scholars, but I’ll watch it simply out of curiosity.
Now, let move on to a more serious pursuit with this adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known tragedies, ‘Coriolanus’. The heightened and energetic drama not only marks the play’s first silver-screen telling, but also welcomes Ralph Fiennes to the director’s chair for the first time. I’m not too sure of Gerard Butler’s ability to deliver poetic verse, but the rest of the cast makes the film appear quite promising. As a strong believer that Shakespeare’s works are universal tales which speak to and easily translate to different cultures and to different mediums, I’m thrilled to see this. It’s how Shakespeare should be displayed on the screen, for all to enjoy. The trailer only intensifies my desire to watch this as soon as it’s released.
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