Read the book, see the movie: there's certainly something for everyone on the season's screens. Loved the Sex and the City movie? Don't miss the fab fashions and swish settings of Sex2. Prefer Stravinsky over Sarah Jessica? Check out Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, the provocative tale of a rare pairing. And what's a summer movie roster without the customary blockbusters? Look for such luminaries as Robert Downey Jr., Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Mickey Rourke, Susan Sarandon, et al. A listing of movies for the younger set will run in PW on May 3.
| MAY |
Starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Amanda Peet
Directed by Nicole Holofcener
Release date April 30 (Sony Pictures Classics, limited)
Tie-in from Newmarket Press:Please Give: The Shooting Script (May, trade, 5,000)
Please Give marks the fourth time that indie darling Catherine Keener has starred in a movie by acclaimed writer/director Nicole Holofcener, following Lovely & Amazing, Walking and Talking, and Friends with Money. Keener was twice nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar—in 2000 for Being John Malkovich, and in 2006 for Capote, in which she portrayed author Harper Lee.
Iron Man 2
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Mickey Rourke
Directed by Jon Favreau
Release date May 7 (Marvel Studios/Paramount, wide)
Tie-in from Grand Central:Iron Man 2 (novelization, mass market, 94,000)
The season's first blockbuster looks like the one to beat: 2008's Iron Man grossed $585 million worldwide and established Downey as the action hero du jour. Mickey Rourke's presence might add BO moxie—not that it'll need any—following his widely publicized comeback appearance (and Oscar nomination).
Sex and the City 2
Starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth
Directed by Michael Patrick King
Release date May 14 (Warner Bros., wide)
Tie-in from Running Press:Sex and the City 2: The Stories, the Fashion, the Adventure (May, trade, 150,000)
Hail, hail, the gang's all here; the familiar faces from the TV series and the first film are all on board—as are Liza Minnelli and Miley Cyrus as themselves. So will heat lightning strike twice? Despite mixed reviews, the first Sex and the City movie grossed a healthy $153 million—that's a lotta Sex.
Starring Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, William Hurt
Directed by Ridley Scott
Release date May 14 (Universal, wide)
Tie-in from Tor:Robin Hood (May, mass market, 175,000)
But will it hold up to the 1938 classic, which famously starred Errol Flynn (accompanied by Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone)? Or the 1922 silent version, in which the great Douglas Fairbanks donned Robin's tights? We suspect this current starry trio will make the grade, ably abetted by the three-time Oscar-nominated Ridley Scott.
| JUNE |
COCO CHANEL AND IGOR STRAVINSKY
Starring Anna Mouglalis, Mads Mikkelsen, Yelena Morozova
Directed by Jan Kounen
Release date June 11 (Sony Pictures Classics, limited)
Based on the novel by Chris Greenhalgh (Riverhead, trade, 35,000 in print)
Last year's film saw Coco Chanel's early life and her modernist clothing. Now we have her later relationship with modernist composer Stravinsky. Targeting fashionistas and classical music devotees, Greenhalgh's screen adaptation had the honor of closing the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
The Killer Inside Me
Starring Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Casey Affleck
Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Release date June 18 (IFC Films, limited)
Tie-in from Vintage Crime/Black Lizard:The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (trade).
Previous Jim Thompson movie adaptations have included The Grifters and The Getaway—a 1972 version with Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw was followed in 1994 with an Alec Baldwin/Kim Basinger remake. And Ben Affleck's kid brother is making quite a name for himself, with glowing notices for Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, among others.
| JULY |
Directed by Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington
Release date July 2 (National Geographic Entertainment in association with National Geographic Channel, limited)
Hardcover from Twelve:War by Sebastian Junger (May, 165,000)
Restrepo is a feature-length documentary by Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley—considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military, which has just closed its outpost there—just as Junger's book chronicles the platoon's deployment in War. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, Restrepo, named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 94-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to the audience.
The Girl Who Played with Fire
Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Peter Haber
Release date July 2 (Music Box Films, limited)
Tie-ins from Vintage Crime/Black Lizard:The Girl Who Played with Fire (trade, mass market)
Look for lots of interest and hefty grosses. The Swedish version of the Stieg Larsson bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the first title in his Millennium Trilogy) opened in the States last month; it's grossed more than $100 million overseas. An American version is in the works, reportedly being helmed by novelist/director David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). According to EurOut.org, this version of the middle title in the series boasts “more action, more intrigue, more lesbianism.” Vintage reports 605,544 copies of the trade paper edition and 676,288 of the recently published mass market.
Leaves of Grass
Starring Edward Norton, Susan Sarandon, Tim Blake Nelson
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson
Release date July 30 (Telepathic Studios, wide)
Tie-in from Newmarket Press:Leaves of Grass: The Shooting Script (trade, 5,000)
Originally scheduled for release April 2, Nelson's film (which is not about Walt Whitman or his classic poetry collection) got such a phenomenal response following its March showing at SXSW (South by Southwest) that it was picked up by a new distributor, who scheduled the later release date. Roger Ebert calls the film “one of the year's best... some kind of sweet, wacky masterpiece [that] takes all sorts of risks and pulls them off.”
Starring Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Terence Stamp
Directed by George Nolfi
Release date July 30 (Universal, wide)
Tie-in from Citadel Press:We Can Remember It for You Wholesale: And Other Classic Stories by Philip K. Dick (June, trade paper)
“Adjustment Team” is a story from this collection, which was first published in 1990. For trivia buffs: We Can Remember It... was originally a novelette that appeared in the April 1966 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction; the title is a takeoff on a 1962 Broadway musical, which marked the debut of one Barbra Streisand.
| AUGUST |
Mao's Last Dancer
Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Amanda Schull, Bruce Greenwood
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Release date August 6 (Samuel Goldwyn, limited)
Tie-in from Berkley:Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin (July, trade paper)
Cunxin's work tells the true story of a boy's journey from poverty to international stardom. The author, who lives in Australia, is something of a star himself—his book has reached the top of bestseller lists down under. And here's a teaser for those film fanatics who search for bloopers. According to IMDB.com, when a character in the film uses an ATM, the money dispensed features the newly designed $20 bill, introduced in 2006. The scene, however, takes place in the early '80s.
Eat, Pray, Love
Starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco
Directed by Ryan Murphy
Release date August 13 (Columbia Tristar, wide)
Tie-in from Penguin:Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, June trade paper, 750,000)
Originally published in February 2006, the 2007 paperback edition of Gilbert's memoir has been on PW's bestseller list for 104 weeks—15 at #1. The combination of the book's enormous popularity plus this seriously starry cast should spell boffo box office. The supporting cast as well includes two Oscar nominees: Richard Jenkins, a Best Actor nominee for 2007's The Visitor, and Viola Davis, nominated in the supporting actress category for her brief but memorable turn in Doubt.