In case you missed the Academy Awards last night, book adaptations fared well. The Best Picture went to Argo, based in part on The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA by Antonio Mendez; Ang Lee won the Best Director Award for Life of Pi, adapted from Yann Martel's novel; Lincoln, based in part on Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, earned awards for best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis) and production design; Silver Linings Playbook, based on the novel by Matthew Quick, had nods for best actress (Jennifer Lawrence); the adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables saw awards for supporting actress (Anne Hathaway), sound mixing and makeup and hairstyling; and the adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina won for costume design. (Hat tip to Shelf Awareness.)
Sony is developing an updated version of Charles Dickens's classic novel in a new project titled Dodge and Twist. The plot re-imagines pickpocketing rivals Oliver Twist and Artful Dodger twenty years later and puts them on opposite sides of the law as they become embroiled in an affair to steal the Crown Jewels.
Warner Bros beat out other studios in a bidding battle for screen rights to the upcoming yet-to-be-published thriller novel by Patrick Lee, and brought Justin Lin on board to direct and produce with Michael De Luca. The untitled project is the start of a series featuring an ex-special operative named Sam Dryden who encounters a mysterious young girl and embarks on a journey to keep her safe from a powerful government agent intent on hunting her down.
Andy Goddard (who directed the season finale of Downton Abbey) has been hired to direct a film adaptation of the 1954 novel The Blunderer, by Patricia Highsmith, who is best know for her works The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. Susan Boyd, who optioned the novel with her husband, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, has written the adaptation. The Blunderer centers on young, successful, handsome Walter Stackhouse, who seems to have it all until his wife's body is found at the bottom of a cliff and flees when he becomes the chief suspect. (Hat tip to Ominimystery News.)
Magnolia Pictures has picked up two Norwegian crime dramas for U.S. distribution. The first is the thriller Pioneer, set in the early 1980s Norwegian oil boom when a professional diver obessed with reaching the sea floor gets caught up in a web of political intrigue. The second project is Ragnarok, about a sunken Viking ship located between Norway and Russia, a treasure map, and the secrets to Norse mythology's end of days prophecy. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
Marvel President Kevin Feige is describing the upcoming sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as a "political thriller." The film is being directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and penned by the scribes of the original movie, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Warner Bros. has acquired film rights to The Road Home, the soon-to-be-published novel by Michael Armour. The studio has hired Scott Cooper to direct, write, and produce and Leonardo DiCaprio to co-produce and star. The story centers on a man who finds himself in a scandal when he is asked to investigate the brutal murder of a local man, a case that local police have tried to hide.
TNT has guven the go-ahead for a 10-episode order of an untitled private-eye drama based on author David Baldacci's series characters Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. The project will star Jon Tenney (The Closer) and Rebecca Romijn (X-Men), with Michael O'Keefe (Michael Clayton), Chris Butler (The Good Wife) and Ryan Hurst (Sons of Anarchy, Wanted) rounding out the cast. Baldacci is a consultant on the series, scheduled to debut in the summer of 2014.
Criminal Minds' Paget Brewster has joined the ABC comedy pilot, Spy, based on Simeon Gouldon’s British TV series. She’ll play a mother named Erica, "an emotionless person with plenty of personal issues who spends a lot of time at the therapist’s office.
Cinemax is co-developung a crime drama with Søren Sveistrup, creator of the popular Danish series Forbrydelsen, which became the popular US series The Killing. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)
Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu of the CBS hit drama Elementary were interviewed about their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Watson and their hopes for the future of the show.
The Cold War spy thriller The Americans has been renewed for a second season on FX. The show stars Matthew Rhys (formerly of Brothers & Sisters) and Keri Russell (Felicity) as two KGB spies.
Hill Harper has quit his role as Dr Sheldon Hawkes on CSI: NY and moved over to USA's Covert Affairs as a series regular, playing an ambitious CIA agent based in Latin America.
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal will guest star on the April 3 episode of TNT's crime drama Southland, playing Officer Earl Dayton, an old friend of Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz).
Bridget Regan (formerly with Legend of the Seeker and CW's Beauty and the Beast), has been cast in a starring role in the ABC drama pilot Murder in Manhattan playing the daughter in a mother/daughter who work in New York City as amateur sleuths.
Lost star Jorge Garcia has joined the new legal drama The Ordained, which features Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) as a former priest who becomes a lawyer to investigate an assassination plot against his sister. Garcia will play the law firm's staff investigator Carlos.
The pilot for the Beverly Hills Cop TV adaptation has added Argo actress Sheila Vand to the cast, playing the show's female lead Leila, a Beverly Hills detective who comes from a privileged background.
The casting news for the frenetic pilot season continues, with more news about various crime drama shows and more via this TVLine link and this one.
The latest podcast from Suspense Radio features Lisa Gardner, Deborah Ledford, Harrison Demchick and Amy Lignor.
Academy Award winner Robert De Niro is planning to direct a musical version of A Bronx Tale, based on the one-man show by Chazz Palminteri (The Usual Suspects and Bullets Over Broadway) that played on Broadway in 2007. In that version, Palminteri played 18 roles that depict "a rough childhood on Bronx streets populated by a cast of friends and enemies."
The software company Frogwares announced the newest entry in its popular series of "Sherlock Holmes" videogames, titled Crimes & Punishments, in which players will assume the role of Sherlock Holmes and lead their own investigation.