Universal Studios Partners with Penguin Random House

According to a recent survey conducted by Fandango, the two most highly anticipated films for the fall are The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Gone Girl. The two films are not really in the same genre of film, but they do have one very important thing in common:  they are both film adaptations of wildly popular novels.

Film adaptations of books is one of the ongoing trends in the film industry. Many blockbuster successes, such as this summer’s A Fault In Our Stars, have been based off of books. However, it looks like this trend is only going to grow. It was announced yesterday that Universal Pictures signed a two-year deal with Penguin Random House that will give the studio first-look privileges. This could give Penguin Random House the opportunity to see more of their literary works up on the big screen.

A partnership between a film studio and a publishing house isn’t anything new, but it is interesting. In 2005, Random House launched a co-venture with Focus Features and it definitely affected the type of films that were released. Since 2005, nearly a quarter of all of Focus Features films have been based off of books. Although not every book adapted for film was a Random House production, Random House did publish many of the books. Random House also sold screenplays of some of these films, such as Away We Go (2005).

Universal Studios is not a stranger to film adaptations of books and has released several adaptations in the past. Universal has turned classic novels such as Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dracula into feature films. The partnership seems to have inspired Universal Studios to continue forward with film adaptations, as it already has adaptations of best-selling Penguin Random House books in production. Unbroken, being directed by Angelina Jolie, will be released in December 2014 and 50 Shades of Gray will be released in February 2015.

I think that the partnership is incredibly promising. I have always had the strong desire to “read the book before seeing the movie” and I think that this trend could increase the number of books that people read. Non-readers may have a stronger desire to pick up a book if they know that it’s about to become a movie. I also think that this could greatly benefit the film industry by supplying them with fresh, new ideas.

If you have any opinions on the Universal Studios and Penguin Random House partnership, I would love to hear about them!

Until next week,

Debbie

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