20 Adaptations to Get Excited About
Every year dozens of best-selling books get snapped up by directors and production companies to make their way to the big screen. This year’s slate of books becoming movies features childhood favorites (The Jungle Book and The BFG), franchise installments (Allegiant), and thrillers fit to rival Gone Girl (hello, Girl on the Train). Here are the ones we can’t wait to see.
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Emily Blunt stars as Rachel in director Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling 2015 thriller, a divorced alcoholic who becomes obsessed with a couple she spies out the window on her morning commute. When Rachel witnesses a betrayal shortly before the woman goes missing, she gets herself dangerously involved in the police investigation. The thriller hits the big screen on Oct. 7.
For more on The Girl On The Train‘s journey to the big screen, see EW’s first look.
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
JoJo Moyes’ heartbreaking and hilarious best-selling tale about Louisa Clark, a British working-class woman who takes a job caring for paralyzed high-powered banker Will Traynor, will come to life this year when Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin co-star. Thea Sharrock directs, and the film is expected to hit theaters June 3.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
In the conclusion to Veronica Roth’s best-selling Divergent trilogy, Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) finally venture beyond the fence — only to be met with surprises they couldn’t possibly have seen coming.
For more on the film version of Allegiant, which opens March 18, see all of EW’s coverage.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Those seeking an even feistier version of Jane Austen’s classic Bennett sisters may be drawn to this film starring Lily James, in which the 19th century society ladies fight for love — while fighting the undead. (Based on Quirk Books’ Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.)
For more on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in theaters Feb. 5, see all of EW’s coverage.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Featuring a cast of misfit kids with amazing powers, Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s series has been ripe for the big screen from the start — and with Tim Burton adapting it, we can be sure it’ll be just as quirky as it is creepy.
See the teaser for Miss Peregrine, scheduled to release March 4.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Philip Roth has long been lauded as one of the best American authors of the 20th century, but few of his works have made it to the big screen. That’s about to change with Ewan McGregor’s adaptation of American Pastoral. Based on one of Roth’s best-loved works, the film follows Seymour “Swede” Levov and his wife Dawn, former high school superstars who must reckon with their daughter’s act of political terrorism (and what it signifies about the broken promise of 20th century America). McGregor directs and stars as Swede. The film does not yet have a release date.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
Though only loosely based on J.K. Rowling’s 128-page “textbook,” Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is sure to be a thrilling new addition to the Harry Potter film cannon, with Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne starring as Newt Scamander on a romp through 1926 New York.
For more on Fantastic Beasts, due out Nov. 18, head over to EW’s cover story.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
When Roald Dahl’s classic Big Friendly Giant finally comes to screens on July 1, a new generation will meet young Sophie and her oversized pal, a rare giant who doesn’t eat boys and girls.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Ben Fountain’s best-selling novel about 19-year-old Billy Lynn who survives the Iraq war won the prestigious National Books Critic Circle Award in March 2013, and was soon thereafter scooped up by Ang Lee, who will shoot the film in native 2D high resolution. Starring newcomer Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, and Chris Tucker, Billy Lynn will hit theaters on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11.
Silence by Shûsaku Endô
With an all-star cast — Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver — the Martin Scorsese-directed adaptation of Shûsaku Endô’s 1966 Japanese classic will chronicle the journey of two Jesuit priests traveling through Japan amidst terrible persecution of Christians. Silence is slated to premiere later this year.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
While the Disney cartoon may be more familiar to some audiences than Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 classic, the tale remains the same: A loving group of animals raises a young orphan, Mowgli, in the jungle. Expect a bit more action in the 2016 version, helmed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau.
For more on The Jungle Book, which bows April 15, see all of EW’s coverage.
A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
Tom Hanks is set to star in two different Dave Eggers adaptations this year. A Hologram for the King finds him playing Alan Clay, a down-and-out American salesman trying to secure a lucrative IT contract with the king of Saudi Arabia. Clay hopes that this will somehow absolve him of his midlife crisis and family problems, with Hanks once again standing in for beleaguered American middle men everywhere. The film is due out this year.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
Tom Hanks and Emma Watson star in film adaption of The Circle, Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel about a giant tech company, the millennials who work there, surveillance, and transparency on the web. The Circle does not yet have a release date but is due out later this year.
For more on The Circle, see EW’s review.
Inferno by Robert Langdon
Tom Hanks apparently isn’t busy enough with the two Dave Eggers adaptations he’s lined up for 2016; he’ll also be bringing Robert Langdon back to the big screen. Having solved the mysteries of Leonardo Da Vinci, Langdon’s latest case pits everyone’s favorite investigative cryptologist against the work of Dante. Inferno is set to debut Oct. 14.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones, and Sigourney Weaver star in J.A. Bayona’s adaptation of Patrick Ness’ acclaimed book, in which a 13-year-old boy dealing with his single mother’s terminal illness meets a strange, ancient monster.
A Monster Calls hits theaters Oct. 14.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in the film adaption of M.L. Stedman’s story about a couple who find a baby and a dead body in a rowboat in post-World War I Australia. Helmed by Derek Cianfrance, The Light Between Oceans is due out in theaters later this year.
The Lost City of Z by David Grann
Sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. David Grann’s epic book traced the real-life story of explorer Percy Fawcett, who disappeared into the Amazon jungle in 1925 searching for the fantasy kingdom of El Dorado. The film version will star Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett, future Spider-Man Tom Holland as his son Jack, and Robert Pattinson as fellow explorer Henry Costin. The Lost City of Z is due out later this year.
How to Be Single by Liz Tuccillo
This Rebel Wilson / Dakota Johnson romp was inspired by Liz Tuccillo’s book, but isn’t exactly based on it: In the book, Julie, a single book publicist, organizes a girl’s night out for her friend Georgia after Georgia’s husband leaves her, but the event propels Julie to travel across the world and figure out how women in other cultures cope with singlehood.
Check out EW’s first look at How To Be Single before it hits theaters on Feb. 12.
Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
The lesser-known sequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland sees our curious heroine slipping not down a rabbit hole, but through to the other side of the mirror, landing in a topsy-turvy new world. Mia Wasikowska reprises her role in Tim Burton’s remake.
For more on Alice, which comes out May 27, see all of EW’s coverage.