April and May will bring a variety of movies and TV series based on books…including the latest Nicholas Sparks flick–The Lucky One–and movies and TV series based on classics by Dickens, Poe, and Hemingway. Here’s what to check out and read before heading to the theater or turning on the TV…after checking our local showtimes to confirm what’s playing at the theaters.
Starts April 1st
Great Expectations will be the next classic adapted by PBS’s Masterpiece. Follow the adventures of Pip as he meets an escaped convict, a mentally unhinged rich woman, and a bewitching girl, and is bestowed great expectations of wealth from a mysterious patron. The show will air in two parts, April 1st and April 8th (click here for local listings) and stars Gillian Anderson, David Suchet, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, and Vanessa Kirby; adapted by Sarah Phelps.
Based on: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Game of Thrones season 2 begins on HBO. This fantasy series features tale of court intrigues in the land of Seven Kingdoms, a country “blessed by golden summers that go on for years, and cursed by cruel winters that can last a generation.” Treachery, murder, and incest abound as the characters vie for power using swords, sorcery, and their wits.
Based on: A Clash of Kings, book 2 in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. If you need to get caught up on the events of season 1, you can check it out and/or read the first book in the series A Game of Thrones
Premiers April 15th
The Mystery of Edwin Drood is another PBS Masterpiece airing of an adaptation of a Dicken’s novel–the one he left unfinished at his death. It is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster’s obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud. The cast includes Matthew Rhys and Julia MacKenzie.
Based on The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
Opens April 20th
The Lucky One is a romance about a man whose brushes with death lead him to the love of his life. It stars Zac Efron, Blythe Danner, Taylor Schilling, Jay R. Ferguson, and Riley Thomas Stewart; directed by Scott Hicks
Based on: The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
Think Like a Man is a movie about four friends who conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey’s relationship advice against them. It stars Chris Brown, Arielle Kebbel, Meagan Good, Micheal Early, Romany Malco, J.B. Smoove, Tika Sumpter, and La La Anthony; directed by Tim Story
Based on: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
Starts April 22nd
Birdsong This is another PBS Masterpiece showing, this time featuring lovers who are torn apart by World War I. Stars Eddie Redmayne and Clemence Poesy and airs in two parts, April 22nd and April 29th–check here for local airtimes.
Based on: Birdsong by Stephen Faulks
Opening April 27th
The Pirates! Band of Misfits This is an animated adventure flick aimed at children and starring the voices of Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven; directed by Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt
Based on: The Pirates! series by Gideon Defoe
The Raven is a thriller about a serial killer who bases his methods of killing on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe. It stars John Cusak, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, and Brendan Gleesan; directed by James McTeigue
Inspired by: The terror filled tales of Edgar Allan Poe
Opens May 4th
The Avengers is an adventure film about Nick Fury and the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. which brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers. Their mission: to help save the Earth from Loki & his various membered army. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Jeremy Renner, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mark Ruffalo; directed by Joss Whedon
Based on: The Avengers, a comic book series created by Stan Lee and published by Marvel Comics
Opens May 14th
Trishna takes a British classic and sets in contemporary India. It is the story of the tragic relationship between the son of a property developer and the daughter of an auto rickshaw owner. It stars Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed; directed by Michael Winterbottom
Based on: Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy
Opens May 18th
What to Expect When You are Expecting is a look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby. It stars Elizabeth Banks, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Dennis Quaid and Chris Rock; directed by Kirk Jones
Based on: What to Expect When Your Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
Premiers May 28th
Hemingway and Gellhorn This HBO movie dramatizes the romance between Ernest Hemingway and WWII correspondent Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway’s inspiration for For Whom the Bell Tolls. It stars Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman; directed by Philip Kaufman
Based on: While not based on a particular book, viewers might want to read For Whom the Bell Tolls and/or one of our biographies about Ernest Hemingway. We recommend: Hemingway: The 1930′s by Michael Reynolds.