The Jelly List: Book adaptations to stream on Amazon Prime Video

Adapting books to the screen has always been very challenging. Video is a vastly different medium from books, wherein the directive is to “show, not tell.” Scenes and internal dialogues painstakingly detailed in novels will be hard to interpret on the screen. Also, some novels, even though widely successful, might not have enough of a following to justify the expense in producing and marketing a feature film or a series on network television.

Fortunately, the massive popularity of over-the-top (OTT) services gave rise to book adaptations specifically for online and on-demand video streaming. Freed from the constraints of content and length for film and scheduling constraints of network TV, and taking advantage of the data gained through subscriptions and online transactions, multi-episode series covering increasingly edgy and conplex topics are being produced. These result to more freedom in storytelling and to more expansive and lived-in worlds for book lovers to reaquaint themselves with and for non-readers of the books to discover and grow to love.

Amazon Prime Video, the video-on-demand service operated by online retailer Amazon.com, has joined the fray in producing book adaptations that are sure to capture new audiences as well as further endear the works to their existing fans. Novels being adapted into Amazon Original Series include:

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchet

Two of fantasy literature’s rock stars – Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett – collaborated on Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. The novel was a hilarious ride through the adventures of an angel and a demon who became friends and their efforts to stop Armageddon as heralded by the birth of an unwitting AntiChrist.

Its adaptation stars Michael Sheen as Aziraphale the Angel and David Tennant as Crowley the Demon. The miniseries premiered on May 31, 2019 and has received rave reviews on Rotten Tomatoes owing to Sheen and Tennant’s “very nearly holy (or maybe unholy?) chemistry.” Despite a petition – erroneously addressed to Netflix at that – to cancel the series, the production has received a slew of nominations in the Saturn Awards and the Primetime Emmys.

Jack Ryan based on the Jack Ryan Novels by Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character has had quite a good run in cinemas with winning portrayals from some of Hollywood’s top actors: from Alec Baldwin in Hunt for Red October, Harrison Ford in Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger, Ben Affleck in The Sum of All Fears, and Chris Pine in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.

John Krasinski now portrays Jack Ryan in the Amazon series as a former Marine and financial analyst wrenched from the security of his desk job after discovering a string of dubious bank transfers and sets about matching his wits against rising a extremist named Suleiman. The series premiered on August 31, 2018 and has already been renewed for its second and third seasons.

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle depicts an alternate reality wherein the Axis powers win World War II. Here, the United States was divided among Japan and Germany as the spoils of war: the Greater Nazi Reich in the East and the Japanese Pacific States to the West. Set in 1962, several years after the war, characters are tantalized by the writings of “the man in the high castle,” which hint at the truth that the Axis actually lost the war.

The series incorporates fantastical elements such as having “multiple Earths,” as can be seen in films collected by the titular “man in the high castle,” a mysterious leader of the resistance. The show’s pilot has been said to be “Amazon’s most watched” and has gained praise on Rotten Tomatoes as “unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by fully developed characters in a fully-realized post-WWII dystopia.” The series premiered on November 20, 2015 with three seasons already released. It has also already been renewed for its fourth and final season.

Really, it’s a great time to be alive for book lovers who want to see their favorite tomes come alive on-screen.

What book do you want to see adapted to a series? Let me know in the comments.

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TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s “Good Omens” to be released in 2019

The creatively twisted minds of two of Britain’s greatest modern fantasy writers produced Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (or more commonly known as just Good Omens). The fruit of a very successful collaboration between Neil Gaiman (“American Gods,” “The Graveyard Book,” and “Stardust“) and Sir Terry Prachett (“Discworld“) published in 1990, Good Omens is a quirky and entertaining novel that tells of the coming of the Apocalypse. The book is chock-full of humorous situations: from a witch’s super-accurate predictions of her execution, the birth and childhood of the AntiChrist in the English suburbs, the coming together of the Four Horsemen, and the mad antics of the legions of Heaven led by Aziraphale the Angel and Hell led by Crowley the Demon (both of whom happen to treat each other as friends) as they prepare for the endtimes.

I first read the book in the late 90’s and I did think the story would translate well onscreen.

A film adaptation was in fact planned in 2002 in which Robin Williams and Johnny Depp were set to star as Aziraphale and Crowley respectively but financing fell through.

A radio dramatization was aired in BBC Radio 4 in 2015, wherein Gaiman and Pratchett had cameo appearances.

Nearly two decades after first reading the book, I’m thrilled to find out that a TV adaptation is finally in the works, starring no less than Michael Sheen (“Underwold: Rise of the Lycans,” “Midnight in Paris“) as Aziraphale and David Tennant (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Broadchurch“) as Crowley.

This TV series couldn’t have come at a better time, being the new Golden Age of Television, and judging from the recent success of the TV series based on another Neil Gaiman novel, American Gods.

The 6-episode series will be released on Amazon Prime in 2019, followed by a conventional broadcast on BBC Two.

This post contains affiliate links.

Love books and reading? Try Kindle Unlimited on Amazon and read from thousands of books available in the Kindle Unlimited catalog. Get your first month FREE.

No Kindle device? Download the Kindle App for FREE to read your favorite books anytime and anywhere.

No time to read? Listen to your favorite books instead while you drive, run, shop, and more.  Try Audible for free for 30 days and get two free audiobooks.

Not yet an Amazon Prime member?

Sign up for a 30-day free trial today and get access to all the perks for members such as:

  • Free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime
  • Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows
  • On-demand, ad-free music listening
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Free same-day delivery in eligible areas

Sign up to Amazon Prime to enjoy these Amazon Prime Day Sale deals on July 16

From July 16, 12pm PT/ 3pm ET through July 17 (that’s July 17, 3am through July 18 to us here in the Philippines), online shoppers can hunt for and get the best deals as the largest online retailer Amazon.com holds its yearly Amazon Prime Day Sale.

Expected to last an epic day and a half, this year’s sale brings huge discounts on various items, from electronics, houseware, furniture, appliances, and more to Amazon Prime members plus first dibs on new products to be launched during Amazon Prime Day.

Check out all the deals available on Amazon Prime Day here.

Amazon Prime members also enjoy exclusive and limited-time deals on other Amazon services, such as:

Kindle Unlimited for 3 months now at USD0.99 (regularly at USD29.97)

Are you book lover? Get ready to read as much you want, with over a million ebook titles and thousands of audiobooks with Kindle Unlimited for 3 months, all for less than a dollar. That’s 97% savings from Kindle Unlimited’s regular price of USD9.99/mo.

Audible Gold now at 66% off (USD30 savings)

No time to read? Discover your new favorite titles as you listen to them when you drive, shop, jog and more. By signing up to an Audible Gold subscription, you enjoy credits that can be exchanged for Audible titles, 30% off on title purchases, and access to premium podcasts.

Amazon Music Unlimited for 4 months now at USD0.99 (regularly at USD7.99/mo for Prime members and USD9.99/mo for non-Prime members)

Get access to millions of songs with new releases from today’s top artists, ad-free with unlimited skips. You can even download the titles for offline listening.

Here’s how you can shop like a pro during Amazon Prime Day:

  • Download the Amazon app and add the items you want on your list. Set the app to alert you once these items go on sale.
  • Watch out for previews of deals before they become available and get notified when they go live.
  • Share the savings; invite a teen or an adult to enjoy your Amazon Prime benefits at no additional cost.

Not yet an Amazon Prime member? Remember, you need to be one to take part in the Amazon Prime Day Sale.

The good news is, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial today, giving you access to all the exclusive deals available during the Amazon Prime Day Sale and all the other perks for members such as:

  • Free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime
  • Unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows
  • On-demand, ad-free music listening
  • Unlimited photo storage
  • Free same-day delivery in eligible areas

Amazon Prime membership is regularly priced at USD12.99/mo.

So… can we now talk about “Fight Club?”

In 1999, a movie based on Chuck Palahniuk’s (“Adjustment Day,” “Invisible Monsters,” “Choke,” “Damned,” “Haunted“) 1996 novel became the definitive movie of a generation, almost like a rite of passage, turning boys who used to scoff at Brad Pitt’s leading man roles prior to the movie into avid believers. (I seem to recall someone claiming he “ain’t gonna watch no Brad Pitt movie,” then two years later was raving about this film.)

It’s been almost two decades since Fight Club’s release, and as it will headline Cinemax’s July offerings, I thought I’d talk about the movie, just some random stuff I found interesting. (First and second rule be damned.)

Fight Club tells of an unlikely partnership between a depressed and insomniac office worker dubbed The Narrator (played by Edward Norton) and a charismatic and nihilistic soap salesman named Tyler Durden (played by the scene-stealing Brad Pitt).

Author Chuck Palahniuk got the idea for the novel when he was beaten up during a camping trip and upon his return to the office, his coworkers would not mention or acknowledge his injuries. Instead, he encountered inane pleasantries such as “How was your weekend?” He attributed this bizarre behavior to his coworkers’ reluctance to interact with him in a personal level, not really caring much about him personally. His interest in this “societal blocking” became the foundation for his novel. (Now we know why we should at least show – and feel – some concern for the people we encounter.)

Palahniuk also claimed to have coined a term in the novel the we commonly use today: snowflake, which refers to a generation that is so fragile as to be easily damaged or offended by opposing views. This stems from the line “You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.” (Well, decades later, snowflakes abound.)

Helena Bonham Carter’s character, Marla Singer, reveals that she frequents support group meetings because they are “cheaper than a movie and there’s free coffee.” (Apparently, someone likes to get her kicks from the suffering of others.)

Actress Rosie O’Donnell saw the movie prior to its release, and, in her TV show, revealed the movie’s plot twist ending and enjoined her viewers to avoid the film. (Guess who broke the first – and second – rule of Fight Club!)

Fight Club will air on Cinemax (ch 36 on SKYcable in the Philippines) on July 6, 10pm and July 16, 12mn.

Cinemax not available in your area?Rent Fight Club on Amazon Prime or watch it for free when you sign-up for your free Amazon Prime 30-day trial.

Check out the book on Amazon.com.

Love books and reading? Try Kindle Unlimited on Amazon. Get your first month FREE.

No Kindle device? Download the Kindle App for FREE to read your favorite books anytime and anywhere.

No time to read? Listen to your favorite books instead while you drive, run, shop, and more.  Try Audible for free for 30 days and get two free audiobooks.

Image credit: Fight Club | 20th Century Fox

Movie details were taken from Fight Club’s IMDB page.

Disclosure: I work for SKY and part of my job is promoting its products and services, especially the content it provides to its subscribers. I consider being able to share my love for TV shows and movies and the experience of watching and talking about them with like-minded people some of the biggest perks of my job.

Westworld Season 2 ends with a 90-minute episode on June 25

After leaving its viewers reeling with the events of its penultimate episode “Vanishing Point” last Monday, Westworld Season 2 will conclude on June 25, 9am with its longest episode, “The Passenger.”  Clocking in at an hour and 30 minutes, the episode promises to lay questions and conspiracy theories regarding the show to rest as well as give rise to new ones.

  • Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) has emerged from being Season 1’s sweet damsel in distress to being Season 2’s big bad.  As she nears her goal of reaching “The Valley Beyond,” will she also succeed in avenging herself and her fellow hosts against humanity?
  • William aka The Man in Black (Ed Harris) seemed to be on a redemptive arc for a while but his prolonged stay in the park has messed with his mind that he kills his daughter after suspecting she is a host.  How will he move on after causing the deaths of both his wife and daughter?
  • Maeve (Thandie Newton), revealed to be Robert Ford’s (Anthony Hopkins) favorite among the hosts, unknowingly rebelled against his plan to allow her to escape the park and now is badly injured and held captive in headquarters.  With the transfer of Ford’s consciousness into her, will she escape her confines and deal with Dolores?

Winner of five 2017 Primetime Emmy® Awards and nominated for a total of 22 Emmys®, Westworld is a sophisticated, highly imaginative drama series that elevates the concept of adventure and thrill-seeking to a new and ultimately dangerous level. In the futuristic fantasy park known as Westworld, a group of android “hosts” deviate from their programmers’ carefully planned scripts in a disturbing pattern of aberrant behavior that culminates in a violent wholesale rebellion by the end of Season 1.

In Season 2, the fruits of that uprising, and a series of questions about many of the hosts and humans who co-exist and clash in Westworld and beyond, will be revealed. With returning cast members including Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright and James Marsden, Westworld was inspired by the 1973 motion picture written and directed by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park), and was created for television by Executive Producers, Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies, Burn Notice). Season 2’s Executive Producers also include J.J. Abrams, Roberto Patino, AthenaWickham, Richard J. Lewis, and Ben Stephenson.

This episode will air on HBO (SKYcable ch 54 SD and 168 HD in Mega Manila) at 9am with a same-day encore at 10pm.  It will also be available for streaming within the same day on HBO Go, HBO’s online streaming service exclusively available in the Philippines to SKY subscribers.

HBO Go not available in your area?  Watch Season 1 and Season 2 on HBO on Amazon Prime.

Not yet on Amazon Prime?  Start your free trial today!

Check out my other posts on Westworld: