Last week, I reviewed, briefly, adaptations up to the end of the year. This week, I look forward to what we can expect.
As I mentioned last week, adapations are popular with studios, in part becase most of the heavy creative work is already done, but also because there's a built-in fanbase. People enjoy watching more of their favourite characters. This desire to see more drives TV ratings, results in the creation of fanfiction after a series is off the air, and pulls in people when a movie is made based on the series.
What can we expect in 2012? Already in the works is a District 9 sequel with Matt Damon. Tom Cruise is allegedly in talks for a possible new Top Gun movie. JJ Abrams will be bringing a new Star Trek movies in 2013, with news of it being made available even now. The Hobbit is being filmed. A new Batman movie and Marvel's Avengers are due in the new year. Can they succeed?
To be fair, Abrams has already has a successful Star Trek reboot movie under his belt. The Hobbit is being worked on by people who love the book and want to keep the movie faithful. Disney's acquisition of Marvel has kept the quality of movies based on the comic company's properties high. These movies should be successful.
On the television front, a second season of A Game of Thrones is coming. HBO inked the contract after two episodes. This, plus the success of Dexter and True Blood, hopefully, heralds a new trend in adapting geek-friendly novels. And, in an odd case, a TV series has spawned a novel series that isn't, technically, a tie-in.
Adaptations will continue to happen. In the current economy, studios are loathe to risk money on unknown properties, especially for big budget productions. The studios want guarenteed seats in seats and using existing properties and adapting them or remaking them will at least get people in during the opening weekend. Smaller films, those with lower production costs, will still come out; but the blockbusters are where the studios get the money these days.
My hope for 2012 is that studios realize that just throwing together a movie using an existing name doesn't fly anymore. Fans do have certain expectations about characters; changes have to be justified. Word of mouth has become more critical with the advent of social networking. Bad reviews travel fast. Good reviews are slower, but travel just as far. It's easier to write "It stunk" then to write a thoughtful review.*
Lost in Translation will continue into the new year, looking at adaptations, remakes, and reboots. The sucesses, the failures, and the almosts; sometimes, we can learn more from a failure than a success. There will be lots of each to work from.
Next time, a fake author writes a real book.
* And, after twenty entries, I know what I'm talking about.