This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival revealed the first 62 films that will screen at this year’s event, which takes place Sept. 6–16.
Although the festival is widely known as a Hollywood fan-fest, literature has always held a high-profile position at TIFF. Bookish entries for this year include filmmaker Deepa Mehta’s long-awaited adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize–winning allegorical novel Midnight’s Children and Rust and Bone, adapted from two short stories from the collection of the same name by Canadian writer Craig Davidson. The film is directed by Jacques Audiard (A Prophet).
One of the most anticipated adaptations is Joss Whedon’s modern-day take on the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing. For those who prefer their classics with corsets and lush scenery, Keira Knightley and director Joe Wright (Atonement) team up once again for an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and South Korean director Hur Jin-ho puts a twist on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s 18th-century French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by setting it in 1930s Shanghai.
Mike Newell’s (Four Weddings and a Funeral) new film may be the third cinematic version of Charles Dickens’ epic Great Expectations (it was also adapted for film in 1946 and 1998), but it’s the first starring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. Dickens’ novel also inspired Mr. Pip, a drama set during the Papa New Guinean civil war, starring Hugh Laurie as an eccentric schoolteacher, adapted from Lloyd Jones’ Commonwealth Writers’ Prize–winning book of the same name.
In more contemporary fare, award-winning French director Laurent Cantet shot the adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang in Peterborough, Ontario. Mira Nair’s adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist stars Kiefer Sutherland, Liev Schreiber, Kate Hudson, and Riz Ahmed as a young Pakistani man pursuing corporate success on Wall Street. YA author Stephen Chbosky directs the film version of his own novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Emma Watson and Degrassi alum Nina Dobrev.
Although it’s not an adaptation, an author’s life comes under scrutiny in the drama Writers, starring Greg Kinnear as a novelist obsessed with his ex-wife (Jennifer Connelly).
Details on the announced films are available on TIFF’s website.