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Old 12-26-06, 10:36 AM   #1
Hiro11
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Promising upcoming movie: "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" (2008)

There's not a lot of news out there about this film but I'm about halfway through this book and really looking forward to see how it might translate into film.

The book came out two years ago to rave reviews and won a bunch of awards.

Here's a brief synopsis:
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The book is set in an alternate 19th-century Britain, during the Napoleonic Wars. The story is based on the premise of magic returning to England, and the tumultuous relationship between two fictional magicians of the time. The story incorporates historical events and people into its fictional alternate reality.
Basically, if you like Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle or Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, you'll love it. It's complex fantasy written for adults combined with detailed and extremely evocative historical fiction. If the story can be safely compressed (it's 800 pages long and spans a 700 year time period), it's tailor-made for film adaptation.

New Line bought the film rights in 2004 and the project's been in development since.

As I said, not much is seems to be known about the film. Few promising early signs on the film: Christopher Hampton, the screenwriter behind the "Dangerous Liasons" and "The Quiet American" screenplays did the adaptation. A director has not yet started on the project. It's being produced by Mark Ordesky of LOTR and upcoming "His Dark Materials" fame. This has led to the inevitable speculation that Jackson/WETA are involved in the production...we'll see.

Anyway, I know it's early but I thought I'd get a discussion started here about this film. Any other news?
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Last edited by Hiro11; 12-26-06 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 12-26-06, 11:34 AM   #2
The Bus
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The book is sci-fi and fantasy, but it doesn't require a lot of CGI work, so I guess post-production won't take too long. They don't have to have huge orc battles, etc.

This is one of those big books where you really can compress a lot into a little. The book is extremely wordy and elaborate (some footnotes are over a page long) but that's the sort of thing that is most easily cut in a movie.

In the right hands, this could be very good. It does concern me that two years to go and there's no director. Seems unusual in a big film like this.
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Old 12-26-06, 11:36 AM   #3
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got the book last Christmas (2005) - should actually take the time and read it...
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Old 12-26-06, 06:34 PM   #4
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Great book. I actually cheated and "read" this as a book on CD in my car. Very slow though. I'm sure they will punch it up with more action, probably ruining it.
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Old 12-26-06, 10:18 PM   #5
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It's an excellent book, although there's so much charm in the writing style that I fear it will lose something in the adaptation. Still, I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope they can deliver a movie worthy of the novel.
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Old 12-27-06, 08:30 AM   #6
The Bus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeputyDave
Great book. I actually cheated and "read" this as a book on CD in my car. Very slow though. I'm sure they will punch it up with more action, probably ruining it.
As you said this, I was thinking of a director that can deliver action without action: Christopher Nolan. I haven't seen The Following (and the Batman movie is obviously not one) but both The Prestige and Memento really didn't have a ton of action sequences in them, if any. But the trailer for The Prestige certainly sold it as a very thrilling movie, and it was.

There's a couple of sequences in the book that would work well as action: anything having to do with the Napoleonic battles and most of the stuff towards the end.

Now, the more I think of it, the more I think someone like Nolan would be great for this book.
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Old 12-27-06, 02:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bus
As you said this, I was thinking of a director that can deliver action without action: Christopher Nolan. I haven't seen The Following (and the Batman movie is obviously not one) but both The Prestige and Memento really didn't have a ton of action sequences in them, if any. But the trailer for The Prestige certainly sold it as a very thrilling movie, and it was.

There's a couple of sequences in the book that would work well as action: anything having to do with the Napoleonic battles and most of the stuff towards the end.

Now, the more I think of it, the more I think someone like Nolan would be great for this book.
Yeah, I agree. very good choice. He will certainly be able to pull off the bleak darkness in the book, especially the fairy party (wasn't his name Mr. Thissledown?).
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