Posted on by Scott Delahunt

Um, surprise?

This summer is starting to shape up to be the Summer of Adaptations*. Several movies based on old TV shows and even board games are heading to theatres already, plus sequels and even adaptation of novels.

A quick preview
First, Battleship, based on Hasbro’s game of fleet destruction. One of the trailers even points the connection out in the first words used. Aliens arrive on Earth to turn two fleets into personal weapons of war. Either the scriptwriter got meta or desperate. Sadly, the trailer didn’t include the classic line, “You sank my battleship!” The movie could be a fun popcorn outing held back by the connection to the existing property.

Next, John Carter, which is already out. Disney’s adaptation of Edgar R. Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars was released at a bizarre time for what would normally be and should have been a summer release. A shake up at Disney may have doomed John Carter, with a new exec doing everything possible to tank an out-going exec’s project. The movie deserves better, though a full review and analysis is forthcoming.

The 21 Jump Street movie continues a disturbing trend of taking a popular-in-its-day TV series and turning it into a comedy. The original 21 Jump Street starred Johnny Depp as a cop going undercover at a high school. The movie adaptation has Tatum Channing and Jonah Hill going undercover, with the movie aiming for laughs. That worked oh so well for Starsky & Hutch and Land of the Lost.

Season two of A Song of Ice and Fire is due out in April. HBO signed for a second season after one episode. The first season showed the strength of the team adapting A Game of Thrones and the difficulties that traditional broadcasters face when competing with cable stations.

The Dark Shadows adaptation by Tim Burton is being filmed. The original series was a supernatural soap opera, featuring the trials and tribulations of vampire Barnabas Collins. Tim Burton’s version, though, will turn it into a comedy. Given Burton’s past work, most likely a dark comedy. I expect the movie to be successful at the box office, even if it isn’t faithful to the original.

Wrath of the Titans is the sequel to 2010’s remake of Clash of the Titans. Both movies can be thought of remakes of Ray Harryhausen’s Clash of the Titans, which was a showcase for the best stop-motion animation. The 2010 version** turned the stop-motion into CGI, then had 3-D technology retrofitted, and was a decent action movie. Wrath will follow the heroics of Perseus and is being filmed for a 3-D presentation. I expect the movie to have a decent success, though not record setting at the box office.

The Three Stooges is probably the oddest adaptation to hit the screens this year. The original Stooges made their name through a series of shorts before getting full-length films. The adaptation will have Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, and Chris Diamantopoulos as Larry, Moe, and Curly with the setting moved to the current year. This… yeah, hard to tell how the movie will do. It will have to walk a fine line; it has to keep fans of the Three Stooges happy with the portrayal while still bringing in a modern audience. It’s a movie to keep an eye on.***

Again, I’ll toss it out to you. What adaptations are you looking forward to seeing? What ones are making you cringe?

Next week, something will be here.

* Add reverberation as needed.
** A full analysis is planned.
*** Before it starts poking.

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