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Booked for the big screen: Book-to-film adaptations to look forward to

Here’s a peek at a few interesting upcoming book-to-film adaptations on World Book Day, today, dear bibliophiles! The list includes thrillers, romance novels, sci-fi fantasy reads and even a comic book.

books Updated: Apr 23, 2019 13:12 IST
Dipti Mudaliar
Dipti Mudaliar
Hindustan Times
Tom Hanks,Elisabeth Shue,Stephen Graham
Popular literary works are being made into Hollywood movies featuring top artists.

Although many bibliophiles may — most of the time — feel that a book is any day better than its 70mm adaptation, nevertheless there are a majority of book lovers who agree that there’s something absolutely fascinating about seeing characters you picture in your head come to life through their fave actors. Which is why we have compiled this list of popular literary works — thrillers, sweet romance novels, fantasy reads and even a comic book — being made into Hollywood movies. So, get set, read, watch and enjoy!


The Good Shepherd is being made as Greyhound starring Tom Hanks as Navy commander George Krause. ( Photo: Ryan Pflugere/The New York Times )

Being made as: Greyhound
Who’s in it: Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo
Premise: Forester’s 1955 book follows a US Navy commander, George Krause, in the early days of World War II, as he tries to lead his warship past a group of German U-boats. The story is told in the third person in the book, entirely from Krause’s point of view, details his drastic mood swings, fatigue and depression due to constant combat, and how his self-perceived inferiority and inexperience to the other captains under his command troubles him.
Release: Pushed to May 2020
Quotable quotes: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.


Emma Watson is joined by Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Florence Pugh in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s seminal novel. ( Photo: Instagram/EmmaWatson )

Who’s in it: Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh
Premise: Following the lives of the four March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — this Alcott’s classic details the journey of these sisters from childhood to womanhood. It is said to be loosely based on the author and her three sisters’ real lives. As far as its adaption is concerned, this won’t be a first for this 1868 novel. In fact, it has been adapted five times in the past including silent versions released in 1917 and 1918, a 1933 George Cukor-directed release, a 1949 adaptation by Mervyn LeRoy, and in 1994, director Gillian Armstrong converted this literary work into a movie. It even got the lead actor, Winona Ryder an Oscar nomination in the lead actor category, besides getting two more Oscar nominations.
Release: December 25
Quotable quotes: I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.


Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Goldfinch is being adapted into a film starring Nicole Kidman. ( Photo: Ryan Pfluger/The New York Times )

Who’s in it:Nicole Kidman, Sarah Paulson, Finn Wolfhard, Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson
Premise: Published in 2013 to critical acclaim, the book follows the story of Theo Decker, a teenager who survives a terror attack at an art museum that claims the life of his mum. Following the incident and a split-second decision in its aftermath, Theo’s life is unalterably changed. He finds himself immersed in a world of crime, deception, and second chances. Tartt’s first book in 11 years, The Goldfinch became an instant bestseller upon its release, and even got the author a Pulitzer Prize.
Release: September 13
Quotable quotes: I had the epiphany that laughter was light, and light was laughter, and that this was the secret of the universe.


Psychological thriller The Woman in the Window is being adapted by director Joe Wright and it stars Amy Adams and Gary Oldman in lead roles. ( Photo: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters )

Who’s in it: Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Wyatt Russell
Premise: Anna Fox, an agoraphobic New Yorker spends her time drinking wine, browsing TV, taking baths, and watching her neighbours until she sees more than she expected. What did she witness? Who is in danger? Was it for real? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one — and nothing — is what it seems.
Release: October 4
Quotable quotes: Watching is like nature photography: You don’t interfere with the wildlife.


Where’d You Go, Bernadette is based on the 2012 novel by Maria Semple, which follows Bernadette Fox played by Cate Blanchett, who goes missing just prior to a family vacation . ( Photo:Valerie Macon/AFP )

Who’s in it: Cate Blanchett, Emma Nelson, Kristen Wiig, and Judy Greer
Premise: Semple’s delightfully funny novel with a non-traditional narrative includes many different formats – e-mails, letters, FBI docs, correspondence with a psychiatrist and even an emergency-room bill – to unveil the story of Bernadette, a hands-on mum, who’s almost always busy with her 15-year-old daughter Bee’s school activities but suddenly disappears in thin air one day. What follows is Bee’s part road trip part tech-filled adventure where she discovers all about her mum’s past secrets.
Release: August 9
Quotable quotes: Life is a stew, and pot is poop. If someone stirred even a teeny-bit of poop in the stew, would you really want to eat it?


In TS Eliot’s collection of poems, a tribe of cats must make ‘the Jellicle choice’ . The movie is multi-starrer and will feature Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench among others. ( Photos: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP; Instagram/idriselba; Alastair Grant/AP; Instagram/Iamjhud; )

Being made as: Cats
Who’s in it: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden, Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, and Judi Dench
Premise: Eliot originally composed this collection of whimsical poems for his godchildren, with Eliot posing as Old Possum himself. Based on feline psychology and sociology, the poems are told over the course of an evening, wherein a tribe of cats, Jellicles, gather together to make the Jellicle choice, which decides what cat is lucky enough to ascend to a heavenly place and come back to a new life.
Release: December 20
Quotable quotes: With cats, some say, one rule is true: Don’t speak till you are spoken to.


Bill Condon will direct the book-to-movie adaptation of The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. ( Photos: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; Andrew Medichini/AP )

Who’s in it: Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren
Premise: Octogenarian Roy Courtnay is aiming for the last big payday of his life when he lays eyes on Betty, a wealthy widow, on a dating site. He’s confident that his scheme to swindle her will be a success. After all, he’s done this before. In no time, the veteran conman, moves into Betty home and also prepares to accompany her on a romantic sojourn to Europe. While it may come across like he knows what he’s doing, but is Betty the woman she’s claiming to be? And maybe Roy has more layers to him than he’s letting on. The the final revelations of who Roy is like opening a Pandora’s Box of dark secrets.
Release: November 15
Quotable quotes: One of the things that I dislike intensely is dishonesty.


Anne Hathaway will play Elena McMahon, a Washington Post reporter in the movie adaptation of The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion. She’ll star with Ben Affleck and Willem Dafoe. ( Photos: Instagram/annehathaway; Instagram/benaffleck )

Who’s in it: Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, and Willem Dafoe
Premise: Didion’s novel, published in 1996, is set in 1984. The provocative thriller follows Elena McMahon, a Washington Post reporter, who leaves her job after covering the 1984 US presidential campaign, in order to care for her dad. But in return, she inherits his position as an arms dealer caught in the middle of an international security conflict. McMahon struggles to cope with the spies, American military personnel, and the consequences of her father’s errors that are waiting for her on a small island off the coast of Costa Rica.
Release: Netflix release
Quotable quotes: The most terrifying verse I know merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream.


Doug Liman’s live-action adaptation of the Patrick Ness’s novel stars Tom Holland in the lead. ( Photo: Instagram/tomholland2013 )

Being made as: Chaos Walking
Who’s in it: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Nick Jonas, and David Oyelowo
Premise: In a dystopian world where women are nonexistent, the sole teenage boy, Todd Hewitt, is the only boy in a town of men. He has to deal with an unpleasant wake of “the Noise germ” that infiltrated the world: He can hear everyone’s thoughts, and everyone else can hear his. As a result, he overhears an outrageously evil plan that the townspeople are pursuing and flees with his dog to save himself. And, surprise, he encounters a girl while on the run! Now they’re both running, hiding, and trying to discover who they truly are.
Release: Pushed to 2020
Quotable quotes: But a knife ain’t just a thing, is it? It’s a choice, it’s something you do. A knife says yes or no, cut or not, die or don’t. A knife takes a decision out of your hand and puts it in the world and it never goes back again.


The movie is currently released in the USA. Taraji P Henson plays an African-American civil rights activist who takes on a local Ku Klux Klan leader played by Sam Rockwell. ( Photo: Instagram/tarajiphenson )

Who’s in it: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell
Release: India release awaited
Premise: A black civil-rights activist named Ann Atwater and a white Ku Klux Klan leader named CP Ellis frequently cross paths in North Carolina in the ’60s when they protested against the other’s stance on school integration. However, when 1971 came around and schools were legally required to desegregate in the US, the duo met again and when forced to co-chair a few open forums in their hometown of Raleigh —they become great friends.
Release: India release awaited
Quotable quotes: Peace without justice and equal opportunity is no peace


New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood will see Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss joining hands in the comic book’s movie adaptation. ( Photos: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP; Instagram/elisabethmossofficial )

Who’s in it: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss
Premise: Based on the Vertigo comic book series of the same name, it follows the lives of Irish mobsters’ wives - Kath, Raven and Angie - who team up to take over running the business after their husbands are arrested and sent to prison. The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighbourhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew were the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but after they’re all put in prison, their wives – Kath, Raven and Angie – decide to keep running their rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.
Release: August 9
Quotable quotes: Just to be clear, now we run the neighbourhood.

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First Published: Apr 23, 2019 13:12 IST