Vlog: Most Anticipated Adaptations of 2018


Jenn lists the movies coming out in 2018 that our hosts can’t wait to see!
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Classic Alice Lives Classic Lit

When reading a book, do you ever say to yourself, “I would never do what such-and-such character just did!” or “why on earth did they do that?” or “oh, if I were in that situation, I’d do it completely differently!”

In case you couldn’t tell, this was a rhetorical question, because I think I can safely assume that the answer for everyone is yes.

Yes, we’ve all imagined ourselves in the place of characters in the story. We’ve all pictured ourselves in their shoes, and we’ve all considered those ‘what if’ questions about how our presence might change the events of the book. If you ask me, these endless possibilities are a large part of what makes reading so fun.

classic aliceBut what if it were the other way around? What if instead of it being our normal, mundane lives influencing the story, we allowed the events of the story to affect our normal, mundane lives?

Thus is born the premise of Classic Alice, a fictional YouTube webseries chronicling the life of Alice Rackham (played by Kate Hackett) as a documentary film project for her friend (?) Andrew (played by Tony Noto). Alice is a college student and aspiring writer who—after receiving a bad grade on a writing assignment—makes a vow to live her life according to classic literature.

Yes, readers, classic literature—and I’m not talking Jane Austen romance here, where everything turns out mostly okay in the end. Thus far, the protagonist of Classic Alice has chosen a diverse, even eclectic range of stories, starting with Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and most recently covering A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Other literature that has made an appearance in the series includes Pygmalion, The Butterfly, Rip Van Winkle, Macbeth and more. In fact, the only real commonality in Alice’s story choices is that they all contain some pretty bleak plot points—criminal activity, betrayal, corruption and…let’s see…what was that last one again?

Oh yeah. Death.

I’m looking at you, Shakespeare.

In short, none of these books are what you would really want to base your life around—yet that is exactly what Alice does. Voluntarily.

Cue the dramatic irony.

While the conflicts that Alice faces pale in comparison to what actually happens in the literary works, there are nevertheless plenty of twists—not to mention humor!—that will leave you wanting more from this series. The different plotlines are woven seamlessly together, and the characters are all excellently portrayed. I guarantee that you’ll love the banter between Alice and Andrew, and I’ll eat my hat if you don’t absolutely adore Alice’s best friend and roommate, Cara (played by Elise Cantu). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll sigh, you’ll gasp, you’ll run the whole gambit of emotions…and then you’ll move on to episode 2. This series is such fun that it’s almost enough to make me want to take Alice’s vow myself.


If you’ve been enjoying Classic Alice from the beginning or you’ve just started watching and think it’s pretty cool, be sure to check out their IndieGogo campaign to extend the series. It ends March 6th and they are only half way to their goal! If you can’t afford to donate, just take the time to share it!

A Jane Austen Fan’s Dream Comes True on the Big Screen!

austenland-poster01It is a truth universally acknowledged that any post referencing Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice—no matter how minute the reference—should include some adaptation of said novel’s opening sentence.

There.  Obligation fulfilled.  On to the news, sure to please Janeites everywhere!

Those of us who are still basking in the happy glow that was The Lizzie Bennet Diaries might be happy to hear that yet another Austen-related film is looming on the horizon.  This film, titled Austenland, is sure to hit home among Jane Austen fans, as it centers on the fans themselves for a change.  Based on the book written by award-winning author Shannon Hale, Austenland tells the story of Jane Hayes, a self-proclaimed Janeite who is completely and utterly obsessed with the 1995 Colin Firth version of Mr. Darcy.

Sound familiar to some of you?  Yeah, I’m guilty of the same, too.

To come to grips with her fantastic, albeit unrealistic expectations about love, Jane is sent to—get this—a Jane Austen-themed getaway vacation where women can live out their fantasies of being in a Jane Austen novel, complete with their own fabricated love story.

In other words, my dream come true…or is it?  I won’t give away any spoilers, in case readers choose to search out the book for themselves, which I recommend.  Enough to say that Austenland is a highly enjoyable read and, in my opinion, has the potential to be a great film as well—especially in light of reactions after the movie’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

Though purposed to be a romantic-comedy—a genre not normally seen among the films displayed—Austenland has been picked up by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Sony Pictures Classics for distribution in the UK in September and the United States in August.  Starring such familiar faces as Keri Russell, Jane Seymour and Jennifer Coolidge, Austenland will also mark the directorial debut of Jerusha Hess (co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite) and the first producing project of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer.

Though we have yet to be blessed with a full trailer for this film, an insider’s interview and two 30-second clips have been released to whet the appetites of fans such as me.  With the monikers “Janie’s Got a Gun” and “Unmentionables”, these short clips display a subtle humor that I sincerely hope will be continued throughout the entire film.  Enjoy them here, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Be sure to check out our podcast episode #42 where we discuss The Lizzie Bennet Diaries!

Merlin All Grown Up: A Sneak Peek at “Merlin” Season 5

Trailers—both a blessing and a curse for fans everywhere.  They display tantalizing images to hype up our excitement, and yet explain absolutely nothing.  The new trailer for the upcoming fifth season of our beloved Merlin is a prime example of this frustrating phenomenon.

Giddy with excitement?  So am I.

Jumping in your seat?  Me too.

In agony because of all your questions?  I know the feeling all too well.

Fortunately for us, we also have the oh-so-generous creators/writers of Merlin to fill in a few of the blanks left behind in round table discussions that preceded the much-anticipated Merlin panel at Comic-Con.  Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy spilled the beans on a few aspects of Season 5 that we can be sure to look forward to—including a Camelot that has aged three years since the end of Season 4.

And what has changed in these 3 years?  Character-wise, we can expect an even more hardened Morgana, as well as a brand-new Mordred—literally.  The part of the Druid boy—excuse me, man—will now be played by Alexander Vlahos.


Well, he’s certainly not a boy anymore.  Though I have to say, I think Asa Butterfield was somehow creepier.

To match the darkening of Merlin’s antagonists, Season 5 is reputed to be gaining a more mature tone as well—not surprising, considering that the main villain of the legend has finally passed puberty.  In fact, all of our favorite characters are finally growing up, and the writers have promised multi-stranded episodes to explore their development.

So which characters are you most looking forward to seeing more of?  The royal couple?  A favorite knight?  Or a delightfully evil antagonist?  Leave your comments below!

Once Upon a Time at ComicCon…

Once upon a time there was a magical festival, where people could gather and celebrate their love of TV shows, movies and series.  This annual event allows fans to meet royalty and hear them prophesize the future.

What is this festival, you ask?

ComicCon: imparting joy to every fangirl and fanboy since 1970.  And fans of ABC’s Once Upon a Time should be particularly joyous, as the related panel unleashed a slew of enticing tidbits about the upcoming second season.

In the last few weeks, we have posted quite a few updates about our favorite fairy tale show: we’ve heard about casting for Mulan and Sleeping Beauty, ties with the show Lost, and even been graced with Regina’s origin story—and a sneak peek of a certain hooked villain.  So what possible news could come out at ComicCon’s Once Upon a Time panel?

Answer?  A whole heck of a lot.  Allow me to recap:

First off, I think we all need to give a rousing round of applause for this absolutely amazing video, advertising the Singlebrooke Dating Service.  I laughed; I chuckled, and then finished it off with a nice round of chortles.

Secondly, the producers and actors of Once Upon a Time gave us quite a few revelations to look forward to, such as:

1.)  The identity of Henry’s father,

2.)  Who the heck Dr. Whale actually is (in the fairy tales),

3.)  Whatever happened to Baelfire


4.)  Who Henry’s father is.

Oh wait, did I just repeat myself?  Maybe that’s because I am completely stoked about what this information might mean for the plotline of Season 2.  And the rumors are already flying: is it Baelfire?  Or a character yet to be introduced?  Will he be villainous, as Emma has already intimated?  Or is he another eager member of Operation Cobra?

UPDATE (07/14): Watch the OUAT Comic Con panel on YouTube, Part 1 and Part 2

Apparently, these are all questions for us to discover in season two, as the only ones already in the loop are the producers and Emma Swan herself.  But what do you think?  Give us your guesses below!

Click here for more Once Upon a Time news!

OUAT Fans Strike Gold With Regina’s Origin Story

Since the finale of the first season of ABC’s hit show Once Upon a Time, a multitude of rumors have been flying around as to what the future holds for our favorite fairy tale characters.  Some of these questions were addressed in a recent TVGuide interview with executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis.  The producers talked about such topics as the significance of the curse breaking, the role that magic will play and how it will affect the relationship between Emma and Mary in the highly anticipated second season.

However, the real twist in this interview was not an answer to questions about the future, but rather the revelation of a detail from a past episode that had gone largely unnoticed—the true tie between Regina and Rumpelstilskin.  When asked about the possible return of Barbara Hershey, the actress who played Regina’s mother, Kitsis stated:

In the episode “Stable Boy,” she talked about how she was the miller’s daughter and she had to do a lot to keep Regina. If I remember correctly, the miller’s daughter was given to a prince because she could spin straw into gold. Therefore, she owed Rumpelstiltskin a baby. The question is, is that baby Regina? … When you get that Regina is the baby that’s promised to Rumpel, then you’re like, what did Cora do to get out of a deal with a man who usually kills people?

Gasp.  Jaw drop.  Reread.  Repeat.

That was my exact reaction when reading this Q&A, along with the incessant, deafening thought of “HOW ON EARTH DID I MISS THAT?”

Yeah, I admit it.  The whole Regina/Rumpelstilskin backstory passed completely over my head.  I was amazed, shocked and absolutely thrilled about this new information—or is it old information?  It adds a whole new dimension to the plotline, and though I’m slightly disappointed that I missed it the first time around, I can’t deny that the subtlety of how it was originally presented was masterful.

So now I’m even more excited to see what the producers of Once Upon a Time have up their sleeves.  And if this news didn’t shock you into the same excitement I feel, maybe this tidbit will: the very first promo for OUAT’s second season has been released!  Just short of a minute and a half, this video is short, intense and sure to keep you hooked!

Tell us in the comments if you had already caught the Rumpelstiltskin and Regina connection and what you think of the new promo!

Click here for more Once Upon a Time news!

Hollywood Goes Musical-Crazy with Adaptations of The Jersey Boys and Wicked!

As everyone has most likely heard by now, Hollywood will be trying their hands at bringing even more dearly loved musicals to the big screen.  Les Miserables, starring the talents of Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, is due to be released in theaters in the US this coming December, and will premiere in November for you lucky UKers.

But Les Miz will not be the only musical brought to life in movie-form.  In the light of 2012 Comic-Con revelations, it has been announced that not one, but two more musical adaptations are in the works for the near future.

The first of the illustrious shows to make the leap from Broadway to Hollywood is the popular Jersey Boys, which is based on the story of the rock n’ roll group The Four Seasons.  The recipient of four Tony Awards and a Grammy, Jersey Boys is likely to be directed by Jon Favreau, known for his work on the two Iron Man films.

As for the second upcoming musical-turned-movie, Universal is currently in negotiations to acquire Stephen Daldry as director for the highly anticipated movie of Wicked.

A Wizard of Oz prequel, Wicked tells the true story behind the two witches of Oz—Elphaba the supposedly Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda (formerly known as GA-linda) the Good Witch.  With compelling twists to the old story and powerful musical numbers, it should be no surprise that this musical is among the most high-selling Broadway shows from week to week.

Now the question is, will the film be able to measure up to the hype?

My answer?  I hope so.  But they will definitely have a lot to live up to.  Since it’s premiere, Wicked has won three Tonys, six Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy, in addition to record-breaking ticket sales.

But the biggest shoes to fill, in my opinion?  Kristen Chenoweth as Glinda.  Her perfect comedic timing and unforgettable voice are always a tough act to follow for anyone.  And while casting the roles is still a ways away, I can only hope that whomever they cast as Glinda—and Elphaba—is up to the task of making the movie as magical as the musical.  Still, with the Broadway show casting such a big shadow, the Wicked movie may need Glinda’s expertise to become as popular as its Broadway component.

Simon Says ‘I’m Here’ in the cast of The Mortal Instruments

In a twist that surprised even Cassandra Clare herself, the casting for Simon Lewis has been determined for the upcoming Mortal Instruments film!  Though originally this news was not supposed to be released until July, our favorite author/blogger posted the whole story just yesterday—and made no secret of the fact that she is absolutely thrilled with the casting (no sarcasm whatsoever).

For those of you who haven’t read the books (yet), Simon serves as the ever-loyal Duckie to Clary’s Andie.  He’s the endearing best friend, sidekick—and happens to hold an unrequited love for the main character.  And, per usual, Clary is completely blind to it all.  To top it all off, Simon also spends a good portion of the first book as a rat—and I’m not speaking figuratively.

Can I get a sympathetic ‘aw’?

So who’s the lucky guy playing the unlucky-in-love Simon?  None other than Robert Sheehan from Cassandra Clare’s beloved TV show, Misfits.


Isn’t he cute?  And while I haven’t really seen him act in anything, he looks like he might be able to pull off the requisite endearing qualities, but what do you think?  Are you as happy about this casting as Cassandra Clare seems to be?

Oh, and as an added bonus…check out the sneak peek movie posters for City of Bones!  They have a certain minimalist appeal, don’t you think?

The Secrets of Nicholas Flamel to be Revealed on the Big Screen!

ImageTo be perfectly honest, I wonder how many people immediately think of Harry Potter when they hear the name ‘Nicholas Flamel’.  A month ago, that would have been my first response.

But now?  My mind immediately jumps to the bestselling series by Irish author Michael Scott, featuring the famed alchemist and his wife, Perenelle, as the mentors of 15-year-old twins who are prophesied to be the keys to the fate of the world.  With ancient mythologies meeting the modern world over an ancient prophecy, the first book, The Alchemyst, reminded me more of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series than Harry Potter.

And I absolutely loved it.

Even better, this great read is now set to become a major motion picture!  Film rights to the first book have been granted to the Australian studio, AMPCO Films.  Production is due to begin in February, with Michael Scott himself in charge of providing the script for the movie.  So hopefully, fans of this New York Times bestselling series can rest easy with the thought that the script is safe in the hands of the author.  After all, who better to make sure that the film stays faithful to the book?

In the meantime, I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with Scott’s writing by reading The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, if you haven’t already.  Trust me when I tell you that the elixir of eternal life is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the secrets of Nicholas Flamel.

Cinderella Gets a Character Makeover of YOUR Own Making

There’s no doubt that fairy tales are getting modern twists nowadays—particularly in the form of the heroines.  From TV shows (Once Upon a Time), to books (Cinder, The Stepsister Scheme), to movies (Snow White and the Huntsman), the heroines who were once so familiarly—and annoyingly—docile have been completely revamped.  They have shown us that Snow White can kick butt just as thoroughly as Prince Charming.

Simply put, being a “fairy tale princess” doesn’t mean what it used to.

The visual novel Cinders reportedly puts the changing heroine archetype to the test—no easy feat, considering the popularity of the story.  In my experience, Cinderella is probably the most retold tale of them all.  Sure, we’ve seen an influx of Snow White this past year, what with the two new movies that have come out just in the last few months.  But in general?  Cinderella seems to be the popular tale to tell—and I think I’ve seen every possible take on her character.  She was docile in the 1950 Disney version, feisty in Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, and even a mixture of both in The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines—not to mention slightly OCD.

However, what sounds particularly interesting about this newest take on the Cinderella tale is that the player is given the choice to make the character into what they want her to be.   Created by indie developer MoaCube, this ‘game’ turns the often-told Cinderella story into a virtual version of a Choose Your Own Adventure book, giving all of us fairy tale fans the opportunity to write the story our own way.  Whether you want to follow the original fairy tale or you prefer to stage an intense Cinderella-rebellion, this game offers options for everyone and anyone.

And after you’ve written your ‘happily ever after’, you could reboot your own character and explore the path(s) left untraveled.  The options seem endless, and I can’t wait to test them all!

As for you, what would you choose?  Leave your thoughts below!

Update: Check out this awesome promo video for the game!

A New Moon Star is Reborn!

My prayers have been answered.  My dreams are coming true.  How many different ways can I express my utter delight at this information?

There is going to be a reboot of the much-beloved Sailor Moon anime, which originally aired in the early 1990s.  (Insert high-pitched girly scream here).


Sailor Moon-creator Naomi Takeuchi made the official announcement at a 20th anniversary celebration of the show on July 6th, and I’m pretty sure my inner child has been fangirling about it ever since.  Due to release the summer of 2013 in a simultaneous worldwide premiere, this new series will again be featuring the amazing songs of the hit group Modoiro Clover Z, who provided the theme music for the original anime.

Excuse me for a moment while I hyperventilate…Okay…I’m good now.

This news, while obviously bringing undeniable pleasure to Sailor Moon fans everywhere, also raises scores of questions.  For example: When they say ‘reboot’, are they essentially modernizing the show?  Will it have the same plotlines, the same characters?  Will it start from the beginning, where Sailor Moon finds out who she is, or will it pick up after the Stars season?  Will they use the English or Japanese names?  The anime or manga plotlines?

The questions are endless.

And I don’t think I’m the only one who feels that next summer can’t come fast enough.  Until then, I will be scouring the rumor mills for every additional nugget of information on the subject, and I invite you to join me in my obsessive venture.  Or better yet, catch up on the original anime in preparation—I know I will!

The Mortals of The Mortal Instruments

It has begun.

That’s right…the official cast announcements for the upcoming Mortal Instruments film, based on the ever-popular series by Cassandra Clare!

And in an unexpected—but not unwelcome—twist on Hollywood protocol, the author herself has been given the go-ahead to break the news of who’s playing whom, posting her impressions of new casting decisions on her blog for all her devoted followers to read.

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