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ADAPT THIS: “Beast” by Marian Churchland

ADAPT THIS: “Beast” by Marian Churchland (photo)

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With Hollywood turning more of its attention to the world of graphic novels for inspiration, I’ll cast the spotlight on a new comic book each week that has the potential to pack a theater or keep you glued to your television screens. At the end of some “Adapt This” columns, you’ll also find thoughts from the industry’s top comic creators about the books they’d like to see make the jump from page to screen.

This Week’s Book: Beast by Marian Churchland

The Premise: The classic tale of Beauty and the Beast gets a modern-day spin in this story about a young sculptor who agrees to carve the likeness of a mysterious client out of marble. As the project begins to consume more and more of her time, she discovers that her client is more than he seems — and she’s faced with a tough decision about her life and future.

The Pitch: While I’m not the typical audience for romance movies or younger-skewing drama, it’s not difficult to see the appeal of a story like Beast for adaptation. As I mentioned earlier, Churchland’s graphic novel is based on the well-worn Beauty and the Beast, but gives the entire tale a fresh coat of paint — and a more modern aesthetic.

In the comic, Colette is a young, independent artist with which female readers — and in this case, audiences — should find a lot in common. The events that lead to her taking the sculpting job with the mysterious new client make sense in the context of the story, and it’s this sense of realism that makes the more unusual elements of the story stand out.

In Beast, Churchland manages to offer a mix of love story, mystery, and supernatural adventure, all told from her young, attractive main character’s point of view. There’s an artsy, hip feel to Beast that carries through the story and gives it a softer tone, but still allows you to see a bit of yourself in the main character. Given the recent popularity of projects that mix young-adult drama with supernatural elements, it’s easy to see why a movie based on “Beast” could develop some traction in Hollywood — heck, it practically screams for a cast of 20-something, up-and-coming actors.

As far as effects go, there would be little needed to bring the aforementioned supernatural elements of Beast to life on the screen. The character of the “beast” is revealed incrementally as the story progresses, so any major effects would be reserved for the climax of the film and would seem that much more impressive after the long build-up.

With so much of the story told from Colette’s point of view, it’s a role that would serve any young actress well, offering her the chance to carry the film’s dramatic narrative and show a range of emotions as Colette’s character develops. While the story doesn’t require much action, there’s plenty of opportunities for wistful gazes, troubled brows, and piercing stares — and some great monologues (internal or otherwise), too.

The Closing Argument: Attach a well-known, capable young actress to “Beast” and it’s hard to imagine the film not doing well. While the story offers a few unique twists and turns — and an ending that few audience members will expect — it is, after all, a retelling of one of the most popular love stories around.

And when it comes to the classics, why ignore what works?

Would “Beast” make a good movie? Chime in below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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