Get ready for a wild ride through weird and wonderful worlds. Action kicks off with the release of Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters soon. Mini Anthikad-Chhibber has the details

In the beginning, there was fantasy fiction — clubbed for some strange reason with sci-fi, which dedicated geeks followed zealously. Then came Peter Jackson and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, based on JRR Tolkien’s work. Suddenly everyone was talking about hobbits, Mordor, Sauron, orcs, the mines of Moria and Rivendell. Simultaneously, there was the Harry Potter revolution based on J.K. Rowling’s humongous bestsellers, which made witches and wizards the coolest beings on earth. Quidditch became the global game of choice while white owls were all the rage for pets. The movies were gargantuan hits and suddenly fantasy was mainstream. The Twilight series based on Stephanie Meyer’s bestsellers, despite incredibly bad acting, made vampires perfectly acceptable boyfriend material. Thanks to the advances made in visual effects and 3D, it was easy to actualise the weird and wonderful worlds the writers had conjured. Other popular fantasy series have been made into films and have met with varying degrees of success. With Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters coming out shortly, here are some fantasy movies based on bestselling books to look out for

Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

Based (‘loosely’, Wiki warns!) on Rick Riordan’s novel of the same name, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters is a sequel to Chris Columbus’ Percy Jackson And The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010). Riordan’s books are a fun way of learning about Greek myth with Percy being half god, hanging out with his protector, a satyr and Athena’s daughter, Annabeth. Directed by Thor Freudenthal, the movie finds Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends haring it to the Sea of Monsters to get the magic fleece and save Camp Half-Blood. Pierce Brosnan who played Chiron, the centaur activities director in the first movie, has been replaced by Anthony Head and Stanley Tucci plays Dionysus and the director of the Camp. The film is in 3D.

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones

Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instrument series of books tells the story of Clarissa Fray, a New York teenager who believes she is a Mundane till she learns she comes from an illustrious family of demon hunters. The books are incredible fun and fast paced (that motorbike ride through the rooftops of NYC was something else). There is the uncertain origin of the protagonist, the hunt for a mysterious object of incredible power, attractive moody boys who may or may not be on the side of the angels and of the mandatory wise wizard. The film, based on the first book of the series City Of Bones, is set to release in a couple of weeks. Directed by Harald Zwart (The Pink Panther 2, The Karate Kid), the film stars Lily Collins as Clary. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who was Joe, the coach in Bend It Like Beckham, plays the chief antagonist Valentine Morgenstern. The promos look awesome, hopefully the movie will measure up.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy has the disturbing central conceit of children fighting each other to death on television. Set in a dystopian world, the trilogy tells of feisty Katniss Everdeen who becomes the symbol of the revolt against President Snow. The Hunger Games (2012) directed by Gary Ross based on the first book was pitch perfect. The sequel, Catching Fire, directed by Francis Lawrence (Constantine, I Am Legend) has Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Katniss. Woody Harrelson as the only winner from District 12, Lenny Kravitz as the stylist Cinna, Stanley Tucci as the talk show host and Donald Sutherland as the positively creepy President Snow also return. The movie, set for a November release, tells of Katniss’ return to District 12 in victory and the revolt catching fire in the districts against the capital Panem. Let the games begin!

The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Et tu Peter Jackson! J.R.R. Tolkien’s slight and charming The Hobbit was never ever meant to be a trilogy. The shouts of joy at the news of Peter Jackson directing The Hobbit quickly changed to cries of despair at the news of the story being presented as a trilogy. The first film, last year’s An Unexpected Journey already had a feeling of being extraordinarily stretched. Seeing Gandalf and Galadriel, Elrond and Frodo gave off a feeling of reheating leftovers; and we all know what happens when we eat leftovers — we feel bloated and queasy. Though Martin Freeman makes for a convincing Bilbo and the face-off with Gollum was sheer magic, the film already felt too long. Get ready for more of the same in December when Bilbo and Gandalf fight the evil dragon Smaug (this year’s designated naughty hottie, Benedict Cumberbatch).

The Subtle Knife

This movie is truly a fantasy as there is no concrete information of sequel to The Golden Compass (2007). Based on the first of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights, The Golden Compass was a sumptuously laid out feast. With dazzling special effects and scintillating star cast including Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman, the film suffered for its uneven pacing. As the film didn’t do as well as expected, the talk of a sequel died out. We, however, live in hope that Lyra Belacqua will go in search of her father and try and learn more about Dust, helped in her quest by Will and Iorek Byrnison.