Say what you will about the neverending stream of Twilight-esque YA sagas, comic book sequels, and gritty fairy tale reboots — at least they’re working off of actual narratives. Thanks to the success of He’s Just Not That Into You, the really irritating new trend in Hollywood is adapting plotless advice books. That film may not have been the first to take inspiration from a self-help tome, but it’s likely responsible for the recent rash of similarly themed entertainments like Think Like a Man and What to Expect When You’re Expecting.

And the next relationship guide to make it to theaters could be the biggest one yet. An adaptation of John Gray‘s 1992 bestseller Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus has been in the works at Summit since 2010, and now it’s picking up speed as star Reese Witherspoon and commercial directing whiz Bryan Buckley join the project. More details after the jump.

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We’ve entered a new frontier, so desperate for preexisting properties on which to base films that any semblance of an actual narrative has become strictly optional. The latest up-and-coming trend: self-help books. After the box office success of He’s Just Not That Into You, studios have been actively scrounging up other self-improvement books to make into movies, one of the more recent examples being How to Talk to Girls (which Date Night director Shawn Levy is in the process of developing).

Now there’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, based on the enormously relationship book by John Gray that, since its release in 1992, has sold over 50 million books and even spawned a board game and a short-lived talk show. Summit Entertainment has hired Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, the writing-directing team behind Can’t Hardly Wait and Josie and the Pussycats, to adapt and direct. Learn more after the break. Read More »

marsbook

Summit Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to the popular/famous relationship book franchise Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

The book series Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus assesses marital and relationship problems in terms of distinct and pervasive gender differences. The Mars-Venus series has sold over 50 million books in 45 territories worldwide. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is the #1 bestselling book of the last decade and the #1 relationship book of all time. It was on The New York Times Bestseller List for nearly seven years and is #6 on USA Today’s list of the 25 Most Influential Books. In addition to his publishing success, Dr. Gray’s video/DVD lecture series has earned over $100 million.

Summit has teamed with producers Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun (Mercy, Accidentally On Purpose, and Is She Really Going Out With Him?) to develop the books into both a film and television franchise. I would love to make fun of this decision, but honestly, for once it actually makes complete sense. What better non-narrative book to adapt into a romantic comedy than this one? Read the full press release after the jump.

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