Round-Up: Alan Rickman, Philip Pullman’s OLF Resignation, and Literary Oscar Nominees


Black and white picture of the Paramount Theater, OmahaFrom the loss of the beloved Harry Potter actor Alan Rickman to a particularly strong year for literary film adaptations in the 2016 Oscar nominations, a look at the latest headlines from the literary world:

  • British actor Alan Rickman, age 69, passed away on January 14. Rickman is well-known for his portrayal of the infamous Harry Potter character Severus Snape. Author J.K. Rowling paid tribute to the author in a statement on Twitter: “There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman’s death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.” Throughout his career, Rickman starred in several other literary film adaptations, including Sense and Sensibility, in which he played Colonel Brandon, and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, in which he played Sheriff of Nottingham. 
  • Writer Philip Pullman announced his resignation as the Oxford Literary Festival patron via Twitter. Pullman decided to take a stance against the festival’s decision not to pay speakers: “Expecting authors to work (because it is work) for nothing is iniquitous, it always has been, and I’ve had enough of it.” Director Sally Dunsmore expressed sadness about Pullman’s resignation but noted that as a registered charity, the festival relies solely on sponsorships and donations. 
  • Oscar nominees were announced on Thursday, with many literary adaptations included. Seven out of the eight films nominated for Best Picture were adapted from booksBridge of Spies (inspired by Bridge of Spies by Giles Whittell and Strangers on a Bridge by James Donovan), Spotlight (based on the Boston Globe book Betrayal), Room (based on Emma Donoghue’s Room), The Big Short (based on The Big Short by Michael Lewis), Brooklyn (based on Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn), The Martian (based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name), and The Revenant (based on Michael Punke‘s The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge).

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