Wattpad Adaptations Are Going To Take Over Your Screen And Probably Your Life

The invasion is already here!

Production companies are scrambling over themselves to sign deals with books that first appeared on social-publishing site Wattpad. Teenagers and young women are now scoring multi-million-pound development deals because of novels they posted online, and we’re all going to be obsessed pretty soon.

What the F is Wattpad

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For those unfamiliar with the website Wattpad it describes itself as “a community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres.” Writers can basically publish their work and receive comments, likes and follows; it’s basically if twitter and a kindle had a baby and all the books are free.

The website is especially popular with teenage girls and is known for fan fiction with some of the most popular stories being about boybands. And because we tend to dismiss anything adolescent girls like the site and its literal millions of active readers, writers and creatives went mostly unnoticed by the general public.

Kissing Booth

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The Kissing Booth was one of the first Wattpad novels to get noticed by the general public, and you’ve probably seen the movie version pop up in your Netflix trending bar. Kissing Booth first came about in 2011 and was posted on the site by Beth Reekles and by 2012 it’d won onsite awards and garnered over 19 million reads.

To give you a quick comparison, you need roughly 5,000 to be considered an Amazon bestseller. It was published as an actual novel in 2013, and the original movie came out in 2018. Despite criticisms of the original film Netflix stated it was hugely popular which made others sit up and take notice.

Kissing Booth is the story of Ellie Evans who was currently enjoying her life with her best friend, finds herself face to face with her crush at the spring carnivals kissing booth- said crush being her best friends brother who she’s not allowed to date. It’s a simple, fluffy romantic comedy, not necessarily the thing that gets made anymore but you can’t argue with 19 mil.

Despite criticisms of the original movie Netflix stated it was hugely popular which made others sit up and take notice.

The Philippines Did It First

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Although a lot of Wattpad stories have only recently signed deals to get Western publishing deals, there’s been a lot of adaptations of Wattpad stories in the Philliphines. The Bet, She’s Dating the Gangster, and Diary of an Ugly Person have all been adapted into respectfully successful films within the country, and the trend looks set to continue.

Watts Next To Come

Wattpad is coming for your TV whether you like it or not and here are just a few projects already in the works

Light As A Feather

A simple game of Light As A Feather Stiff As A Board goes very wrong when a group of girls start dying in the way the game predicted. This ten-part series began life as a Wattpad book which currently has over 3 million views and counting, kind of a cross-between Pretty Little Liars and American Horror Story it’s set to premiere on Hulu in a matter of weeks, check out the trailer here…

Death is my BFF

Sony Pictures recently required the rights to humour/romance/supernatural story Death is My BFF a story about a girl’s meeting with the personification of Death who happens to be a bit of a playboy. It’s a biting take on the supernatural boyfriend trope although Death is My BFF is an original story. What’s more, it currently has 92 million reads and counting.

Under Glass

Set under a glass-domed Mars Colony, a young girl leads a rebellion against a dictatorship. Under Glass has been optioned for film, said novel has been taken down from Wattpad but according to Deadline Stampede Ventures has acquired the rights to books, formats, graphic novels and video games to adapt for film and TV.

After

This is the one you might have heard of…

After was originally a fan fiction AU about Harry Styles and One Direction about Harry Styles as a college student in America and his relationship with a young freshman girl who’s super innocent and what not. I admit I haven’t read it may be the plot has more to it, but that’s what I got. It’s epic love; it’s a saga, it’s romantic, it’s two straight white people.

But After started getting attention when it reached 1.5 billion reads.

1.5 billion that’s 1/7 of the world’s population, I’m so tired. Anyway, the book was a runaway hit, it was published with Simon & Schuster, and according to wiki, there are currently 19 million copies in circulation. So there’s an audience for it which is why a film starring Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Harry (now Hardin) is currently being shot and is scheduled for release in 2019.

 

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Hero played young Voldermort in the 6th Harry Potter film he’s now an adult which quite frankly is very rude of him 

 

Wattpad does have its flaws with problematic storylines being chief among them, but it’s also Hollywood’s teenage dream. In this little corner of the internet story trends live and die so instead of having to predict teen interests, popular stories are picked democratically by your audience, and when something gets popular it’s super popular, and you pretty much have a guaranteed audience.

What’s more, the data element is amazing when it comes to adaptation, readers have already made themselves known about aspects of the story they do like and bits they don’t. As a production company, you can iron out plot details and get rid of problems with a focus-group of literally millions within your demographic.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of all the books the site produces but there are some shitty ass books out there categorises as real literature so you can’t argue. Plus it does have a few gems, and it fosters a love of reading amongst a new generation, who can hate that? You can’t help but admire it for the power of teen girls and young women who’ve found a way to get their stories heard and forced men sitting in boardrooms to sit up and listen.

Expect to see a lot more Wattpad stories produced as movies in the future.

Just please…please no Kissing Booth part 2.

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Searching Movie Review

4/5
Short and smart thriller for the online age

David Kim (John Cho) desperately traces the digital footstep of his missing teenage daughter.

Like Taken but with social media right?

However, this is all filmed from the perspective of Cho’s character surfing the internet with calls, facetime and his activity as he searches his daughter’s hidden social media accounts. The found footage element of this film feels very of the time, and nothing feels particularly jarring, it’s all just a natural use of social media, and there’s an excellent use of direction (would you call it that, editing maybe?)

I didn’t necessarily dislike the “filmed through screens” motif throughout the movie I just felt the movie was simultaneously defined and confined by its concept. (I never said this review was going to make any sense!)

The story and the background story, especially in the beginning with the story of Margot’s mother Pam, playing out beautifully through pictures, calendar and other online devices. I think for a relatively short film we don’t usually get this level of backstory and it’s executed beautifully.

However, as the film progresses and we realise Margot Kim is missing we’re stuck with this one perspective, and sometimes this becomes frustrating as an audience member as we have plot points explained to us- usually by newscasters. I think this is probably my main frustration with films like this such as Unfriended and Megan is Missing where we’re delivered plot points secondhand.

Unlike Megan is Missing, of which this film shares similarities (girl goes missing, and it’s all filmed found footage computer style.) However, maybe it’s because we live in a more technological infused society then we did seven years ago, or perhaps it’s because Searching spends a lot of time getting to us to invest in these characters and the internet sites are all real and well-defined places we know from going there ourselves.

I think the use of social media profiles to define the characters. It’s all natural, from the way characters act when they know they are on camera to the way people  react to events such as a disappearance on social media (there’s even a Reddit shoutout which I thought was clever.) The most substantial element of the through a screen element in the definition of the missing daughter- Margot-  thoughts and feelings are unfurled as her dad investigates what was going on with her.

John Cho is also fantastic in this movie, and as he’s driving the full force of the story and as a lot of the story relies on his natural reactions he plays the missing dad perfectly. Stoic and intelligent but also irrational and desperate you were complete with him for every response.

And the guy who plays his brother is a bright light within the film as well. I was kind of disappointed with Debra Messing’s character as I don’t feel like she was as complex as the rest of the cast.

Storywise this is a psychological thriller, if you like a well-executed plot with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing then this is for you. If you’re here for a complicated thriller with action and gore, then look somewhere else.

This is an unquestionable tight story and enjoyable hour and a half (I think if it’d come out on Netflix it would have received a lot more attention), but this isn’t a wasted trip

 

 

Must Be The TV Season Of The Witch (again)

TV has a new obsession, and it’s magical, with the Charmed reboot, the Sabrina adaptation and the latest series of American Horror Story, everyone is getting a little witchy.

-First of all hey!- For anyone particularly interested in the lack of posts I just seriously haven’t had the time, I love this blog, and I love TV, and I have every intention of updating- anyway on with the show.

Supernatural TV shows have a tendency to appear in waves, Vampires, Werewolves or Wizarding Schools. They can go both highbrow and lowbrow with a certain historical element to appeal to the intellectual and the leniency of ‘a wizard did it’ to cover plot points. Plus, the sexiness factor and all that jazz…

But witches have always had an enduring appeal and are seemingly cyclical in pop culture and always have an impact but why do we (more specifically me!) love them so much.

Witches through the ages

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So as I mentioned witches had been part of pop culture and TV with the most notable first example being Bewitched, The Wizard of Oz and pretty much every female Disney villain.

I’m not going back to the influence of the Salem trials on TV (well not yet)

The witch is kind of the perfect archetypal villain in terms of gender stereotypes, she’s mean, she’s ugly- if not ugly then terribly seductive=, and she often subverts traditionally maternal roles. She was the opposite of everything a woman should want to be

90s witches

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In my head, the 90s and early 2000s really cultivated the “modern-day witch” women who lived in the real world, pursued relationships, made mistakes and did it all with great power.

Of course, there are examples before this- Witches of Eastwick being the one that springs to mind

Although similar premises for witches in modern-day settings had happened before the 90s really defined it, with technology, Gen Xers attitudes and the rise of feminism juxtaposed against the ancient rituals and prejudices of witchcraft the whole thing just sort of worked.

Hocus Pocus

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1993

Ask literally any millennial ever about Hocus Pocus, and they’ll profess an eternal love and an annual viewing. A teenage boy accidentally frees a coven of witches on Halloween in Salem; they race against time to stop the witches from becoming immortal. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, they were a send-up of every witch stereotype ever to exist. Starting off the decade with such an overt caricature of witches gave room for a lot of reimagining of tropes.

Charmed

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1998-2006

Charmed told the story of three sisters, the Halliwells who discover they are the proverbial chosen ones and the most powerful witches ever to exist. However, it’s also a show about sisters, immense pressure and romance. Charmed balanced the traditional femininity, ideas about children and jobs with ideas of glorious purpose. It was Clark Kent and Superman with a hella lot more nuance.

Practical Magic

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1999

Again a story of sisters, Practical Magic might be the best thing to watch on an autumnal afternoon while dressed in a warm cardigan and with a pumpkin spice latte. Okay, I’m a basic white girl shoot me. Two sisters with a family curse and a hell of a lot of magic, any man who falls in love with them will die, they know Practical Magic but not much else. Again Practical Magic is about discovering the power and the unmistakable power of sisterhood.

The teen witch

Of course, the above movies and shows represent one aspect of the modern witch mythology on TV its the teenage witch. Magic and female teenage puberty are two things that go hand in hand (again, one day I will go further into this whole deal and how far it stretches back.) But the idea of changing bodies, periods and hormones can make the average teenage girl feel like she’s becoming a witch and subsequently she’ll find herself identifying with the protagonist.

Again the 90s had teenage girls at the forefront of pop culture, Britney Spears was gyrating in her school uniform while talking about staying a virgin until she was married. You were supposed to have everything figured out even if you didn’t. It’s a confusing time, and there seemed to be a witch for every type of teenager in the 90s.

Furthermore ancient magic perfectly contrasted against the fluffy problems of high school is super fun…

The Craft

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1996

Peak 90s teen witch, The Craft is the story of four outcast girls who form a coven and start using witchcraft to rule the school. The film is perfectly complete with 90s teen slang and fashions for a while the magic helps they get what they want whether that’s beauty, love or money. However absolute power corrupts absolutely, and things slowly start to crumble. The Craft is definitely a unique take on witchcraft, the concept of female power and when it can turn.

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

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1996-2003

A personal fave of mine (I was a 90s child shoot me) half witch Sabrina Spellman navigates high school while coming into her powers. Everything from the humour to the acting was broad, to say the least, the magic here represented the ‘secret’ side of a teenager, something we all have. Sabrina herself as portrayed by 90s staple Melissa Joan Hart and flowed with the trends of the time. It lasted for so long as it embraced the dichotomy of girlhood with the magic and had fun at the same time.

So what comes next

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The next generation of these programs will soon hit our screen, and I’m willing to bet they aren’t as concerned with balancing their love lives.

American Horror Story Coven and the subsequent Apocolyse series shows us the mean, evil witch that we’re now officially rooting for. Whether Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Legacies or Charmed 2.0 find themselves tapping into that remains to be seen but a Witch show needs to understand the women it’s reflecting/

Teenage girls today are educated, commitment to social issues and the world at large tend to define them.

More than anything witch stories are defined by female power and the confrontation of said power.

A new generation of women didn’t see their gender as a detriment; there was no wish to have it all- they were never told they couldn’t. A generation that believed they were going to elect the first woman president, who believed in equal pay, women’s rights and assault against them deserved punishment. A generation of women who’d been betrayed.

The women seeing their lives reflected back are from a generation that believed they were going to elect the first woman president, who believe in equal pay, women’s rights and assault against them deserved punishment.

A generation of women who’d been betrayed.

In recent days and weeks, women across the country have summoned rage they’ve discovered a new part of themselves.

And maybe, just maybe there’s power in that.

 

Captain Marvel Movie Is Going To Be Her Own Kind Of Superhero…

Lots of talk or speculation about Captain Marvel below…

The excitement about the upcoming Captain Marvel movie can’t be stopped and will probably only snowball before it’s March 8th release in 2019.

The first stand alone female superhero movie from Marvel will tell the story of Carol Danvers an officer in the United States Airforce who either develops alien abilities (depending on your origin story) and was one of the founding members of the Avengers in the comic book universe. Around since the 60s she’s been cited as one of the ‘mightiest avengers.’

Played by oscar winner, Brie Larson it was always going to be massively important that Captain Marvel struck that right tone between seriousness and humour if she was going to stand the test of time.

In a recent interview with EW Captain Marvel screenwriter Geneva Robertson-Dworet had this to say about working out the right tone to such an iconic character, Carol Danvers is one of the funniest comic book characters. She’s so sassy, she’s such a smarts, she won’t take sh— from anyone, and the comic books do an amazing job at capturing that voice, and it was important that the entire Captain Marvel creative team [kept to that].” Geneva also wrote the screenplay for the recent reboot of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and according to IMDB is slated to write on the 3rd Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes flick and a Dungeons and Dragons film (please guys we’ve tried this before it doesn’t work as a film.)

Captain Marvel will be the first Marvel movie set in the 90s meaning that there won’t be such an established set of Avengers for the story to awkwardly insert her into. It’s not the first Marvel piece set in the past with Captain America the First Solider set during World War 2 and the subsequent Peggy Carter spin off being set a little bit later. Samuel Jackson will be reprising his role as Nick Fury although it’s unknown what role he will play in the overarching story (whether cameo or key character) or what role he will position he has in Shield. But we will apparently finally learn just how he lost his eye.

Jude Law will be playing the male lead ‘Dr. Walter Lawson’ a mentor of sorts to Carol Danvers with a connection to the alien abilities she develops and Gemma Chan has recently been cast asDoctor Minnerva, a.k.a. Minn-Erva who features heavily in the Captain Marvel comics.

Although not much is known about the plot it’s been said to feature a lot of aliens that have links to the origin of the Captain Marvel character including Skrull and Kree if you fancy searching that and spoiling yourself.

It’s rumoured that Carol Danvers was initially supposed to make her screen debut in Jessica Jones with whom she features with in some of the comics but after the move to Netflix she was supplemented with Trish Walker. It’ll be interesting to see how these changes affected the overall story of Carol Danvers and if the origin story will be well received from the audiences.

 

Netflix ‘Death Note’ Review

Overview-

A troubled boy named Light Turner stumbles upon an ancient notebook that bestows him with the ability to kill anyone he writes in the book.

★★ ☆☆☆

In a sentence….

Deathnote US appeals to anyone that has never seen the original anime and manages to ignore plot holes it reveals in…

Good points

  • With its use of colour, imagery and the occasional throwback to the original anime, the film itself is well shot and dynamic in it’s framing
  • Lakeith Stanfield is a fantastic co-lead as enigmatic detective L, he has the mannerism and cadence down that felt familiar almost instantly. His energy was a welcome addition.
  • Ryuk was fantastically portrayed by William Defoe, creepy and subtly played in a film that tried heavily to stay in the real world

Bad points

  • The tragic misunderstanding of Light Turner was the downfall of this movie. The dichotomy between  Kira the serial killer and Light the pretty boy/academic student was more of a shock than the pink-eyed Nat Wolf serial killer style that happened in this movie.
  • This was a looong move, even at 1:40, it dragged unbearably for the first half an hour. Things weren’t explained or stated explicitly, the rules of the Death Note felt annoying
  • Fridging of Mrs Turner and sister Turner said a lot about the attitude of this story
  • And/all backstory felt weird and clunky, an add-on that felt rushed after the fact
  • Mia Sutton was a dividing figure, interestingly played with her persona being more on the edge than in the anime, her initial introduction and lack of backstory

Overview-

Sexist and one dimensional, there could have been an interesting interpretation of  Light’s justice in modern-day America but still felt like the fantasy of a certain demographic

Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer creep us out in new mother! trailer

In a house in the middle of nowhere, an in love couple are visited by a peculiar and sinister group of strangers that maybe there are to tear them apart….

The new film from Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) stars (Oscar winners) Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer along with Javier Bardem and Ed Harris.

The trailer shows a stylish, Rosemary’s Baby horror movie with an A-list cast, released on September 15

Robert Pattinson almost got fired from Twilight

The landscape of teen-vampire-romance cinema could have looked wildly different as Robert Pattinson was almost fired from the role that made him famous for being to brooding!

In a recent interview wit Howard Stern Pattinson let rip on Twilight bts…

“I was very serious. I thought at the time – I was 21 – if you were going into a relationship with someone, the way you could make it really intense was if you could barely talk to each other, you could barely touch each other, incredibly serious all the time.., “Everyone was like it ‘No, it should be happy and having fun! That’s what people want!’…Now the whole series is known as a brooding thing, but I remember the producers giving me the book and every singe instance where my character smiled, they’d highlight.”

So even though Pattinson’s withering stares launched a thousand teen crushes it could have looked completely different.

Although it seems like they were fine with him dissing the whole franchise as that was Robert Pattinson’ fave interview topic…

Wonder Woman sequel to take place in the 80s

Wonder Woman is hitting the 80s in the sequel to the smash DC hit.

Although nothing has officially been confirmed it looks like the second Diana Prince will take place at the tail end of the cold war.

Chris Pine is also slated to be in the sequel despite the 40-year time jump and what happened to Steve in the original movie.

An 80s period movie will definitely give the characters lots to work with (imagine Diana with crimped hair!) And as the original series ended in 1979 it will give the filmmakers plenty of homage material.

Wonder Woman has become a box office sensation for 2017 and the most critically acclaimed film for this phase of DC movies, there is also the Justice League movie in between the sequels so it will be interesting to see how that works into it.

Emily Ratajkowski isn’t just the ‘hot girl’

With a face/life made for instagram it’s hard not to feel envy for the British-born actress + model Emily Ratajkowski but in a recent interview with Glamour UK the Gone Girl actress stuck two fingers up to the box she’s put in

I’m so grateful I have modelling and so many other things that I’m doing – because if I didn’t have other ways of making money, I’d be like, ‘OK, I guess I’m doing the bathing-suit-girl role.’ You really have to prove yourself in this industry and I’m very much up for the challenge. It takes a really long time to not only prove yourself, but also prove that you’re more dynamic than just this one part of you that they see.”

The issue seems to be personal to Ratajkowski as while on the cover of the August issue of Harper’s Baazar she mentioned issues with people dismissing her because her boobs were ‘too big.’

Although she rose to public prominence as a model and ‘girl in Blurred Lines video’ she actually enjoyed some success as a teen actress including a stint on iCarly as Tasha, Gibby’s girlfriend.

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This is your irrelevant bit of pop culture knowledge for the day, enjoy!

But after a slew of smaller roles in ‘We are Your Friends’ and ‘The Spoils before Dying’ Ratajkowski looks to be taking over the silver screen in the next year with starring roles in ‘In Darkness’ ‘I Feel Pretty’ and ‘Cruise’ alongside a host famous actors Emily Ratajkowski looks well on her way to the acting A-List.

Netflix ‘Okja’ Review

A ‘super pig’ discovery inspires a farming competition headed by the glorious Mirando corporation as 26 of these new animals are shipped across the world to see who can raise the best one.

★★★★☆

Cut to ten years later and the South Korean super pig Okja is living her best life in the mountains with Mija, a wily girl who loves Okja and wants to keep her in the mountains away from the competition.

But when Johnny Wilcox comes to the small remote farm and takes Okja anyway the race is on to rescue her from the evil corporation’s hand.

Mija forms an uneasy alliance with the Animal Liberation Forces, led by the kind hearted Jay, who want to expose the Mirando corporation and their unethical practices.

Okja is everything a movie should be, it feels like a Disney movie for the 21st century. The plot of a girl and animal being ripped apart has happened several times but usually, it’s a dog or a horse here we have a CGI superpig whose character comes through with enough charm and charisma to make the whole thing work.

Seo-Hyun Ahn is completely refreshing as farm-girl Mija who breaks out of the safety of her mountain life in order to save her best friend. And Tilda Swinton is perfectly jarring as the American CEO using the whole situation to pretend her company is eco-friendly.

It’s beautifully shot and very funny, Okja is uncynical in its execution, surprising and ultimately heartbreaking Okja is what you want to watch again and again….