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During the madness of Comic-Con, Hypable sat down with author James Dashner to get his thoughts on the upcoming Maze Runner movie adaptation.

Surprisingly, The Maze Runner did not have a panel inside Comic-Con, but it was present at Nerd HQ. Along with Dashner, star Dylan O’Brien, producer Wyck Godfrey, and director Wes Ball were all in attendance to discuss the upcoming blockbuster.

A film adaptation can often make or break a book series. James Dashner has been closely monitoring the process of adapting his bestselling novel The Maze Runner, so we checked in with him to see how he thinks it is all going. Dashner is also a huge movie fan, and has plenty of ideas about what makes a good adaptation.

Hypable: How did you feel when you found out ‘The Maze Runner’ film was finally going ahead?

James Dashner: It was part ecstatic and part relief. About three years ago, we got really close. We had a director, a screenplay, but it all kind of fell apart – which happens in Hollywood a lot. I was much more level-headed when it started happening again.

I tempered my expectations, but when the ball really got rolling, I knew that was happening when all the producers had a conference call with me. Then Wes Ball, the director, called me, and I was like “Okay, it’s happening.” Since then, I have been on Cloud 9.

Did you visit the set during filming?

I went before the actors arrived and got a tour of the set, and then I went the last week of shooting and met the whole cast and saw a couple of days of filming.

It was amazing. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge movie fan, so just to be on a movie set was incredible, and of course the fact that it’s my book. It’s ridiculous, I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

How did it feel to see the characters that you wrote standing there in real life?

There’s so much relief with it. I don’t know how I would have reacted if I have disagreed with all the choices, or if they were butchering my book or my vision. I agree and support everything about this film.

I love the casting, I love the script, I love Wes’ vision for it. The tone and the spirit of the movie, it’s almost too good to be true. I am extremely satisfied and happy about it.

Were you involved in the casting process?

A little. From the get go, it was a cool relationship. They wanted me involved, they were very good about reaching out to me. By the same token, I understand that that’s not my expertise. So it worked out perfectly – I was involved, and I felt involved, but I never tried to be heavy-handed or enforce anything.

I was involved, but on a small scale. Wes has been really awesome about staying in touch, asking me questions, asking for my feedback. I think he has taken a lot of that feedback when it worked for him.

Was there any casting that was not how you had pictured the character?

maze runner movie teresaYeah. It’s all about matching the spirit of it. Frypan was not how I literally envisioned him, but everyone else pretty much was.

When I think of Minho, and Thomas, and Alby – and especially Chuck. Chuck is like he literally stepped out of the pages of the book, it’s almost eerie.

And with Teresa, I was really surprised. I don’t really describe her in too much detail, the hair colour and maybe the eye colour, and then leave it up to the reader’s imagination, but somehow, I saw her and thought “That’s Teresa.”

You’re a huge movie fan, and there are a lot of adaptations around at the moment. What do you think is the most important factor in making a successful adaptation?

I think to be careful of trying to be literal. A great example is the Harry Potter movies. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, I love the books. The first two movies, I felt were very literal to the book. It was like going through a checklist while I watched the movies, and it bored me to tears.

Then with the third movie, they thought “Well we can’t do that anymore, the books are getting huge,” so instead of trying to be literal they tried to transform the book into a cinematic experience.

It is what Peter Jackson did with The Lord of the Rings, and I think that is the key, to stay away from literal translation, and more about capturing the vision and spirit of the plot and characters.

Do you have a favourite adaptation?

I would have to say Lord of the Rings. I consider them all one movie, and that is my favourite movie.

So they are something to aspire to as they make The Maze Runner trilogy?

Yeah! They’re not going to be as big, and epic, and grand as Lord of the Rings, but if they can follow that pattern of staying true to the spirit, I will be ecstatic.

‘Lord of the Rings’ was an adaptation where a lot of things were changed quite drastically. Can ‘The Maze Runner’ fans expect similar changes in the film adaptation?

maze runner movie thomasThere are changes, and they all make sense. I will spend the next seven months soothing my fans, preparing them. For example, the telepathy between Thomas and Teresa would just not work in the movie. Telepathy never works, it just looks cheesy and stupid.

It works great in the book, it’s a cool way for them to be connected, but that is not in the film. But Wes Ball is a genius, and the way he creates that connection in a different way is very cool.

And small things, like WICKED is just WCKD, and of course there are a lot of fans that went nuts. But it means the exact same thing, it’s pronounced the exact same way, it just looks cooler visually than spelling out the word.

Do you feel any extra pressure because of the level of dedication from your fans?

I feel my own personal extreme pressure. I desperately want the first movie to succeed so they can make the other two, and make the prequel, who knows. I know I can’t take it upon myself for the movie to perform, but I feel it. I am going to fight my hardest.

Look out for part 2 of our interview with James Dashner, in which he discusses the possibility of more ‘Maze Runner’ books, his new series ‘Eye of Minds’, and more.

Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

Read full article

Robbie Reyes met an unexpected fate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×08, and the cast and crew weigh in on what’s next for Ghost Rider.

Robbie’s decision to take out Eli Morrow in an act of self-sacrifice has left fans (and characters) wondering if Ghost Rider still has a future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon were classically noncommittal — but their answer definitely gives fans something to think about.

“We get the sense that some of these otherworldly elements might be coming from this other place, wherever that may be,” Whedon says, citing Doctor Strange’s Dark Dimension.

“We do get the sense that things can come from there, things live there. [Robbie has] been dragged to that place, wherever that is. What happens to him there or where that goes is a ‘wait and see.'”

agents of shield 4x08

Tancharoen adds that, though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will move into a new “pod” of story when the show returns in January, “That doesn’t mean that [Robbie] is gone.”

“Or that he will not be involved at some point,” Whedon says. “But it will definitely have a different feel.”

As for Gabriel Luna, the actor who brought Robbie and Ghost Rider to blazing life is optimistic about his character’s future.

“I’m not too worried about it being finite at this point,” he tells EW.

After all, he and Robbie still have a few loose ends to tie up. “My car is still parked on the cargo bay on the Zephyr, so I have to come back for that,” Luna says. “I’m not going to leave her in the hands of these jokers.”

And though his character was left on an emphatic question mark, Luna appreciates the culmination of Robbie’s story.

“He makes a really great heroic choice, and he makes it while in a form that usually has all the power,” he says. “So that’s really, really cool. I’m really excited to see how that plays out. It’s a first for us, in terms of story, actually seeing a decision being made while Robbie isn’t Robbie. That is pretty special.”

agents of shield 4x08

Luna is also looking forward to seeing the impact of Robbie’s apparent disappearance on Daisy Johnson.

“She seems to lose a lot of people,” he observes. “Even though we just met, we built this understanding between each other because of similarities in our lives, and we leave her in a moment of questioning and of hoping that this isn’t the end for Robbie.”

And the actor, like Daisy, and like all good constituents of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has faith in a certain former Director.

“Agent Phil Coulson comes in and drops knowledge like a clumsy librarian, as he tends to do, and lifts her spirits and says to her, ‘I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of him,'” Luna says. “So that’s a good sign for everyone who loves the Ghost Rider.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Jan. 10, 2017.

What do you think of Ghost Rider’s fate on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’?

The biggest online retailer in the world has revealed the best-selling books of 2016, showing what Americans dived into most over the past year.

Can you guess? Can you guess the #1 best-selling book of 2016?

We’ll give you another second to think about it.

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The biggest online retailer in the world has revealed the best-selling books of 2016, showing what Americans dived into most over the past year.

Can you guess? Can you guess the #1 best-selling book of 2016?

We’ll give you another second to think about it.

Yes, duh, it’s Harry Potter eight (or at least the book marketed to be the “eighth story”), The Cursed Child. The script book that some people want to burn at the stake is the top selling book of 2016. Amazon says Cursed Child is the first script book to make one of their year-end Top 20 lists.

harry-potter-cursed-child-script

Adult novels mostly eat up the list’s top 20 spots, with the exception being the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel. Take a look:

Best-selling books of 2016

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
3. The Whistler by John Grisham
4. The Last Mile (Amos Decker series) by David Baldacci
5. Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
6. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
7. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
8. Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
9. The Black Widow: Book 16 of Gabriel Allon Series by Daniel Silva
10. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
11. 15th Affair (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
12. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
13. Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
14. Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate by Gary J. Byrne
15. The Wrong Side of Goodbye: A Harry Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly
16. The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines
17. The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
18. One with You: Book 5 of A Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day
19. The Obsession by Nora Roberts
20. Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale

Purchase any of the books on Amazon!

Meanwhile, the kids and teens best-selling books list shows a variety of favorites we’ve loved here on Hypable this year, including new entries from Rick Riordan, Kiera Cass, and Cassandra Clare. In addition, two more Harry Potter books (the Fantastic Beasts script book and the Chamber of Secrets Illustrated Edition) join Cursed Child.

Best-selling kids books of 2016

hidden-oracle-book-cover

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2, Special Rehearsal Edition Script by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11: Double Down by Jeff Kinney
3. The Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
4. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling
5. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
6. The Last Star: The Final Book of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 2) by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
8. The Crown (The Selection) by Kiera Cass
9. Empire of Storms: Book 5 of Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
10. Lady Midnight: Book 1 of The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
11. Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream by Ainsley Earhardt and Kathryn Cristaldi
12. Glass Sword (Red Queen) by Victoria Aveyard
13. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
14. A Court of Mist and Fury: Book 2 of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
15. Gravity Falls: Journal 3 by Alex Hirsch and Rob Renzetti
16. Calamity (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
17. Give Please a Chance by Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson
18. Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen
19. The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems
20. Broken Prince: Book 2 of The Royals Series by Erin Watt

Cursed Child was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, the top-selling Kids & Teens book, the most wished for book, and the most gifted book. Damn.

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Read full article

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Dakota Johnson continues to bring a fun vibe to Ana Steele, playing the awkward lines with self awareness better than Kristen Stewart ever did as Bella in Twilight. “Have dinner with me,” Christian begs. “Okay fine, I will have dinner with you, because I’m… hungry,” Ana replies. The line could come off corny if executed poorly, but Dakota has a strong hold on playing this character for fun.

Tickets for Fifty Shades Darker are now on sale. Check out a new poster for the movie below:

fifty-shades-darker-poster-2

The Fifty Shades Darker synopsis reads, “When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.”

The movie hits theaters this Valentine’s Day. It stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Harden, and is directed by James Foley.