Transforming transfixing genre fiction into memorable cinema is no simple task. Just ask Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis, whose polarizing adaptation of David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas arrives Friday. Next comes the first of Peter Jackson's films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's immortal fantasy novel The Hobbit, which you're probably obsessively anticipating (unless you live under a hill).
Will these projects leave a lasting impression on cinema the way 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy did? The road from page to screen is littered with botch jobs and ambitious failures, but sometimes a director pulls it off, turning a beloved sci-fi or fantasy book into a surprisingly effective film.
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