You Should Be Reading: December Book Adaptations You Should Be Reading: December Book Adaptations
In our new feature, Charlie Derry highlights the key books you should be reading ahead of the movie adaptation. This month: Sully and Snowden! You Should Be Reading: December Book Adaptations

This month sees the introduction of my new monthly feature for Filmoria, You Should Be Reading, which looks at what book adaptations are being released as films over the following month.

If you love reading just as much as you do watching, then this feature will tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming films that are based on books, giving you ideas on what you should be reading in anticipation for the release of their adaptations.

To start things off, December will see the adaptation of two real-life memoirs, firstly with Clint Eastwood’s nerve-wrenching drama, Sully, and secondly with Oliver Stone’s political thriller, Snowden.

From the heroic antics of a pilot to save a plane full of terrified passengers to the brave acts of another in an attempt to reveal shocking government truths to the general public, this month’s book adaptations tell two unbelievably true stories.

Focusing on themes of courage and integrity, these adaptations explore the lengths that people go to in aid of others, whether they have the option to or not, and how it only takes one person to make a difference.

Here’s more about the film adaptations that are set to be released this month:

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson (in UK cinemas from Friday, 2nd December)

Directed by screen veteran Clint Eastwood, Sully is based on the New York Times bestselling autobiography titled Highest Duty, written by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow and published in 2009.

Set to star Tom Hanks in the lead role as American pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger, the story describes the events of US Airways Flight 1549, following Sully’s efforts to land a damaged plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of the 155 passengers and crew members, and the aftermath of questions that followed.

With the book seeing Sullenberger discuss his own leadership skills, responsibilities, and time in service as a pilot, and with such a life-threatening situation at the heart of the story, Sully is bound to be an excellent and intimate character study.

With Eastwood directing, too, we can expect that the director will really delve into the harrowing nature of Sully’s mind process and actions in his adaptation. His most recent film, American Sniper, was also a true story based on a memoir, this time of US Navy SEAL veteran and sniper Chris Kyle. Eastwood’s film really brought Kyle’s story to the audiences’ attention and made many people empathise with his life due to Eastwood’s ever-impressive directorial and storytelling efforts.

Led by a gripping central performance from Bradley Cooper, as well, it’s time for Tom Hanks to take the spotlight, and there’s no doubt that he will put his all into telling this story in the right way.

Released on 2nd December, the film will also star Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Anna Gunn, Autumn Reeser, Holt McCallany, Jamey Sheridan, and Jerry Ferrara.

You can read more about Sully and see the latest poster for the film’s release here, and watch the trailer below:

Snowden (in UK cinemas from Friday, 9th December)

Directed by Oliver Stone and with Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role, Snowden follows NSA employee Edward Snowden’s efforts to leak thousands of classified documents exposing the NSA’s illegal surveillance techniques to the public through the press.

Based on two books – The Snowden Files (2014) by Luke Harding, an account of Snowden’s actions by a journalist, and Time of the Octopus (2016) by Anatoly Kucherena, a novel based on the Russian lawyer’s interviews with Snowden – there’s a lot of informative, first-hand sourced material made available to be able to tell this story, so the adaptation is sure to rattle our brains.

With Stone having films including Platoon (1986), JFK (1991), and Natural Born Killers (1994) under his belt too, he’s not likely to shy away from any controversies, either, so it’s going to be intriguing to see what shocking truths the upcoming film will reveal.

After seeing Gordon-Levitt play the role of Philippe Petit in the biographical drama, The Walk, last year, it’s exciting to see him in the lead of another real-life story. Voicing yet another convincing accent, as well, the role of Snowden looks made for him, which you can see in the trailer below.

Also set to star Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans and Nicolas Cage, the film will be released on 9th December.

We also think that Woodley’s performance is one of the best this year, which you can read more about in our feature ‘Amazing 2016 Performances That’ll Almost Certainly Gain No Awards‘.

Make sure that you check back next month to see what book adaptations will be kicking off the new year. Happy reading!

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Charlie Derry Film critic and feature writer

A journalism graduate and freelance proofreader, I’m a massive fan of both books and literature, and love to read books that are about to be adapted.