#5 -The Elfstones of Shannara
The Elfstones of Shannara is the story of two intertwined destinies–that of Wil Ohmsford, grandson of legendary Shea Ohmsford, and Amberle Elessedil, who must go on a quest together to save the Ellcrys, the dying Elvish tree. Ellcrys remains the last stronghold of magic protecting The Four Lands from the onslaught of the Demon World, and only Amberle, last disciple of the Druid Allanon, has the power to save it.
Director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) will bring The Elfstones of Shannara, the second book of The Original Shanarra Trilogy by Terry Brooks, to the big screen in 2009, release date to be announced.
#4 – The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
emporary fantasy that mixes ancient philosophy and renaissance history with a modern-day setting. Twin teens Josh and Sophie Newman work at a San Francisco bookstore/café for a bookkeeper whom they soon discover is actually Nicholas Flemel, the legendary ancient alchemist and keeper of The Codex. Nicholas and his wife Perenelle have been living eternally by drinking the Elixir of Life. When necromancer Dr. John Dee steals The Codex, Josh and Sophie are unexpectedly drawn into a world of magic and mystery to help Nicholas recover The Codex or face the world’s destruction at Dee’s hand.
The first book of the six-part The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Irish author Michael Scott, The Alchemyst will be a major motion picture by New Line Cinema in 2009. The film is currently in pre-production, with no official release date yet.
#3 – Inkheart
Inkheart is the story of a bookish young girl named Meggie and her father Mo, who has an extraordinary ability: when he reads books aloud, he brings them to life. The first book of the widely successful Inkworld trilogy, Inkheart is a charming tale by beloved children’s author Cornelia Funke. Similar to 2008’s The Spiderwick Chronicles, Inkheart is geared toward a younger audience set, and a definite family film.
Although not one of my favorite books (surprising, considering how much I adored The Thief Lord also by Cornelia Funke), the film’s trailer looks promising enough, and full of action, which is something I felt the book sorely lacked. Inkheart stars Brendan Frasier as Mo and child star Eliza Bennett as Meggie, and is set for a January 2009 release.
#2 – Warcraft
What we know: Warcraft will be a live-action movie by Legendary Pictures based on Blizzard’s hugely popular Warcraft series of PC games and World of Warcraft, the massively successful MMO. The PG-13 rated movie will be told from an Alliance perspective, and its storyline will be set one year before the events that unfold in World of Warcraft.
What we don’t know: Anything else. There’s still no images, no trailers. Not even an official web site. Yet Blizzard has confirmed, through a series of cryptic winks and nudges, that this movie is still very much in production. It’s hard to believe this movie will be a reality in 2009, considering how shrouded in mystery it seems to be. Not a word was breathed about the film at BlizzCon 2008, a huge disappointment for thousands of fans anxious for any kind of update they can get.
Update 1/23/2009: Quote from Blizzard:
“We are in fact working on a movie with Legendary Pictures, but we don’t have any new information to share with everyone just yet. At the 2007 BlizzCon, we even had a special panel with a little bit about the plans for the film. I’m sure you can find video on it or reports on it.
Just as an additional informational bit, it will be Live Action.
I’m quite sure there will be plenty of action, but there’s a story to be told too. I couldn’t tell you more though.”
Update 7/22/2009: Sam Raimi confirmed as director!!
#1 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Imagine looking forward to a movie you’re really excited about. Not just any movie, but the sixth and most crucial film adaptation of the bestselling book series of all time. The release date draws near. You start seeing posters, promotions, production stills. Your excitement builds. You watch the trailer, and it looks amazing. You cannot wait to pre-order your tickets. And then you find out it’s getting delayed. By eight months.
That’s exactly what Warner Bros. did to millions of excited Potter fans eagerly awaiting the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Just two months before the film’s originally-scheduled November 2008 release date, Warner Bros. announced it would be moving the release date to July 2009. The backlash was immediate. There were petitions, boycotts, and a flood of strongly-worded emails to Warner Bros. studio execs. Their reasoning—some vague excuse about the writers’ strike impacting their bottom line—was hard to swallow, especially after watching them rake in hundreds of millions from last summer’s box office megahit The Dark Knight. Yet despite our outrage, we all know that come next July we’ll still be pre-ordering our tickets and lining up in droves at the eventual midnight release.
(I’m still bitter, can’t you tell?)