The Oscars and Books: a love-hate relationship

2:15 pm EDT, February 27, 2012

Last night at the Oscars six out of the nine films nominated were movies adapted from books.  In total there were eleven adaptations nominated.  So while last night may have been a big night for movies, it is safe to say that it was also a big night for books.

In all the major categories at least two actors were nominated from a book to film adaptation.  Octavia Spencer won for her role in The Help based on the Kathryn Stockett novel.  She was the only one to win in a role based on an adaptation out of the nine possibilities.

Hugo, based on Brain Selznick’s beautiful book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, took home 5 awards for the evening.  All of them were for technical aspects of the film.  Not even Martin Scorsese could win for best director, and for those who have seen the film it is amazingly well done.  I understand that the Oscars are about film but it seems odd that so many adaptations were nominated and so few won.

The other adaptation that has been completely snubbed by the Oscars is Harry Potter.  8 films filled with exceptional actors, visual effects and make-up and not a single Oscar to show for it.  While none of the actors were nominated, Harry Potter was nominated in three categories: art direction, visual effects, and make-up.  In two of the categories, art direction and visual effects, Hugo took the award and in make-up, The Iron Lady won.  To be honest making Meryl Streep look like Margaret Thatcher isn’t a huge stretch. But to make Ralph Fiennes look nose-less and terrifying is.  This isn’t to slight anyone’s work but it just doesn’t make sense to me, the average movie goer.

It’s no secret that Hollywood loves to adapt books to film.  In recent years Harry Potter and Twilight have made the studios massive amounts of money, money that is used to finance smaller films that may not otherwise see the light of day. It is inevitable that The Hunger Games will do the same.  These adaptations come with a key factor: ravenous fan bases.  Granted not all of these adaptations are Oscar caliber but many of them have elements that deserve recognition.  It should also be noted that while Hugo was recognized it is also a much more artsy film, about film making, directed by a legendary film maker.

Lastly, let’s take a moment to thank the authors who created the books that were made into movies because that didn’t happen once last night.  I understand that the authors don’t create the film but they create the entire world, plot line and characters that are essential to any good story. In the case of Brian Selznick, he actually had a lot to do with the creative side of Hugo because the book contains illustrations, and those illustrations were used for the set design and art direction.

So what do you think: Does Hollywood love the book to film adaption because they bring in the money and fervent fan bases, but aren’t willing to acknowledge them when it comes to award season in the major categories?

Fox has moved the third and final Maze Runner movie to 2018.

The cast and crew were only a few days into filming The Death Cure in March when Dylan O’Brien suffered serious injuries on set, prompting the production to be put on a break so he could recover. When his recovery ended up taking longer than expected, the production was put on an indefinite hold.

Now, a plan to resume the shoot seems to be in place. Fox announced Friday The Death Cure will be hitting theaters January 12, 2018, which is nearly a year later than the original February 2017 date. The last Maze Runner movie, The Scorch Trials, opened last September.

Production on The Maze Runner: The Death Cure likely won’t resume until late this year or early next. Dylan O’Brien has already committed to another movie which is expected to shoot this summer.

Getting the rest of the cast and crew back together to shoot The Maze Runner finale may be a bit of a challenge since they may’ve committed to other projects that were supposed to be shooting after they finished The Maze Runner. However, the new Death Cure release date suggests Fox has found a time that’ll work for everyone.

Tom Cavanagh will return to The Flash in season 3 as a series regular, though which character he’ll be playing remains to be seen.

Cavanagh has had a unique acting challenge on The Flash, playing a different version of his character in each of the first two seasons — and now it looks like he’ll be doing it for a third season in a row, as EW confirms that he will be a series regular in season 3.

In season 1, Cavanagh played Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse Flash, in Harrison Wells’ body. Thawne, after traveling back in time, killed the original Wells and took his form to expedite the development of the particle accelerator so he could return to his own time. Thawne was written out of existence in the season 1 finale, though, leaving fans curious about who Cavanagh would be playing in season 2.

This past season, Cavanagh played the Earth-2 version of Harrison Wells, nicknamed Harry, who was a significantly different character from the man we thought was Wells in season 1. However, in the season 2 finale, Harry and his daughter, Jesse, returned to Earth-2.

The Flash season 2, episode 6 recap Wells

So, who does that leave for Cavanagh to play in the third season?

My guess would be the Earth-1 version of Harrison Wells, who we only briefly met in a flashback in season 1. Why the original Wells? Because in the final moments of the season 2 finale, Barry traveled back in time and stopped Thawne from killing his mother. This means the timeline in which Thawne killed Wells and took his form no longer exists, so Earth-1 Wells would be the version left alive.

Assuming he does play the original version of the character, the one who was killed and had his identity stolen, it will be interesting to see Cavanagh inhabit yet another version of the character. While we already met Wells briefly in the flashback to his death, that was a small sample size. I look forward to seeing him differentiate another Wells from those he’s already played for entire seasons.

Are you excited to see more Tom Cavanagh on ‘The Flash’?

‘Glee’ alum Mark Salling indicted on child pornography charges

The actor is facing a lot of jail time.

4:55 pm EDT, May 27, 2016

Following an arrest in December, Glee star Mark Salling (who played Puck on the Fox series) is now facing child pornography charges.

A federal grand jury has charged the 33-year-old actor with two counts of child pornography after a search of his home turned up “thousands” of images and videos involving children, TMZ reports. He will be arraigned in early June.

Salling’s charges potentially come with big sentences: 5 to 20 years in prison for receiving child porn, and another 20 years for possessing it.

After Glee went off air last year, Salling has worked on only one project: The action movie Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets which is slated to hit theaters later this year.

The actor has been in trouble with the law before — he was sued for sexual battery in 2013.