Film adaptations of children’s literature, or #kidlit, make up a healthy bulk of the current movies for young people. The well of published, beloved children’s books is deep and ever-plentiful, and it has been dipped into time and time again. In recent years, the trend seems to have accelerated. The success of the Harry Potter and Hunger Games franchises led Hollywood straight to kidlit’s doors. Librarians have been blessed with over a decade of high-quality movies based on high-circulating books, and there’s no sign of the rush of adaptations slowing down. In fact, in the next few months, new iterations of successful past adaptations are due to hit the screens.
New Wimpy Kid Movie
Next Friday, May 19th, sees the premier of the latest Wimpy Kid movie from Jeff Kinney. But Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Long Haul differs from its cinematic predecessors in that the entire main cast has been replaced. The original Greg Heffley has grown too old to convincingly play a tweenager. Some fans were upset about the change, however. There were two different hashtags on twitter after the trailer for this latest installment dropped, proclaiming #notmyrodrick and #notmyheffleys. In an interesting note for adults who work with children, Alicia Silverstone is playing Greg’s mother in the film. You can catch the trailer for the new movie, based on the book of the same name, here.
New Narnia Movie
After being stuck in development and plagued with producing issues, the fourth C.S. Lewis-inspired movie is coming to the big screen sometime in late 2017 or early 2018. A dispute between Lewis’ estate and the production company responsible for the first three live-action Narnia movies, Walden Pond, helped extend the time between movie 3 and movie 4. The estate wanted The Silver Chair, the fourth book Lewis published but the sixth book chronologically, to be the next movie. Walden Pond wanted to produce the prequel novel The Magician’s Nephew. With Walden Pond out of the producing picture, work has gone ahead on The Silver Chair. Luckily, the book doesn’t concern any of the original Pevensie children, who premiered in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe twelve years ago and look much less like children these days. Instead, it focuses on a character first seen in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace Scrubb, and his mission to rescue Prince Caspian’s son. A new movie should draw attention to both the series and the original three live-action films, so librarians should be prepared with copies of both!