Books to Film, Coming Attractions

It cannot escape notice that there's a bounteous crop of literary-inspired films coming to theaters this fall. Get out your popcorn--here's a preview.  

Anonymous is a film that proclaims that Shakespeare didn't write anything, and Edward deVere is the true author of what we've come to know as the Shakespearean canon. This idea is, of course, not without controversy. In the New York Times earlier this week, James Shapiro, author of Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?, wrote of the film: "The most troubling thing about "Anonymous" is not that it turns Shakespeare into an illiterate money-grubber. It's not even that England's virgin Queen Elizabeth is turned into a wantonly promiscuous woman who is revealed to be both the lover and mother of de Vere. Rather, it's that in making the case for de Vere, the film turns great plays into propaganda."

The Rum Diary, Hunter S. Thompson's semi-autobiographical novel, will come to screens later this month. (It premiered last week at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) Johnny Depp plays American journalist Paul Kemp, who moves to Puerto Rico and drinks too much ... rum. Depp also starred in the 1998 adaptation of Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

The new film version of The Three Musketeers has been called "a steampunk-influenced reinterpretation of the novel of the same title by Alexandre Dumas." This one has already released in other parts of the work, but is hitting U.S. theaters this week.

The Raven is a literary thriller that re-casts Edgar Allan Poe as a detective who must figure out who is using his dark tales as a guide for brutal murders about town. The film's official trailer was just released, the buzz about John Cusack as Poe has been loud and clear, and people seem to be looking forward to this one. Alas, its release date is March 9, 2012.