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Wednesday September 19, 2007 8:23 pm

Bestselling Novels Moving to the Big Screen

Bestsellers headed for the boxofficeWe’ve come to accept the following as fact - if we enjoy a book, sooner or later, Hollywood will ruin it for us.  Not even chick lit is safe anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, I will be there on opening night for The Jane Austen Book Club, even though that inner librarian impulse is puckering her lips and telling me to reject adaptations outright always.  And we’ll suck it up when we recommend the read to a friend and she says, “Oh, I saw that one!  It was great.” 

However, lately, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by adaptations like The Devil Wears Prada and the most recent Harry Potter film, which, rather than raping the material and leaving it for dead, actually did it justice, and were good films in the same go.  So, maybe Hollywood is shaping up, maybe Jane Austen will smile down on Friday’s theatrical release instead of completing the roll into the next grave that started when Mansfield Park opened.

Regardless, if you want to picture your own characters before their faces become replaced by Evan Rachel Wood and Zac Effron, you’d better get on the following titles, because they’ve been optioned:

The Historian - That’s that giant, beige book you saw on display racks in Barnes and Noble all last summer with the photo of an eye on it.  This one is about Dracula/Vlad the Impaler.  I honestly have no idea how they’re going to adapt it, since the entire thing is told from letters within letters, etc., but it could be fun.  Real life vampire lore is always fun, right?

My Sister’s Keeper - Jodi Picoult’s godzilla of a best seller, about a girl born for the purpose of being a donor to her cancer-inflicted older sister, and the legal battle she pursues to say no to giving up her organs.  This one could go a little lifetime-y if they’re not careful.  If done right, there won’t be a dry eye in the house - trust me (I read the book).

A Great and Terrible Beauty - this one is a favorite of mine, the first in a young adult trilogy about Victorian-era schoolgirls who mess around with magic.  Before the Harry-Femme comparisons start coming in, let me be the first to say, AGATB is a breed of it’s own.  No news on casting yet, but considering the girls are all about 16, newcomers may be on the menu.  Check out the author’s website (http://libbabray.com) for updates, and prepare yourself for some Victorian flavored girlpower.

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