Friday, August 19, 2011

Movies from Books

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of children's novels (or novellas) by Lemony Snicket (the nom de plume of American author Daniel Handler) which follows the turbulent lives of Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire after their parents' death in an arsonous house fire. The children are placed in the custody of their distant cousin Count Olaf, who begins to abuse them and openly plots to embezzle their inheritance. After the Baudelaires are removed from his care by their parents' estate executor, Arthur Poe, Olaf begins to doggedly hunt the children down, bringing about the serial slaughter and demise of a multitude of characters.

The entire series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice. Both Snicket and Beatrice play roles in the story along with Snicket's family members, all of whom are part of an overarching conspiracy known to the children only as "V.F.D."

Since the release of the first novel, The Bad Beginning, in September 1999, the books have gained significant popularity, critical acclaim, and commercial success worldwide, spawning a film, video game, and assorted merchandise. The thirteen books in the series (or "tridecalogy") have collectively sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 41 languages.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 2004 film directed by Brad Silberling. It is an adaptation of the The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, and The Wide Window, being the first three books in A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. The film stars Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning, Timothy Spall, Billy Connolly, and Meryl Streep, with narration by Jude Law and cameos by Catherine O'Hara and Dustin Hoffman. The film tells the story of three orphans who are adopted by a mysterious theater troupe actor named Count Olaf as he attempts to steal their late parents' fortune.

Nickelodeon Movies purchased the film rights to Daniel Handler's book series in May 2000 and soon began development of a film. Barry Sonnenfeld signed on to direct in June 2002. He hired Handler to adapt the screenplay and courted Jim Carrey for Count Olaf. Sonnenfeld eventually left over budget concerns in January 2003 and Brad Silberling took over. Robert Gordon rewrote Handler's script, and principal photography started in November 2003. A Series of Unfortunate Events was entirely shot using sound stages and backlots at Paramount Pictures and Downey Studios. The film received generally favorable reviews from critics, grossed approximately $209 million worldwide, and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.

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