I spent hours putting this list of movies and TV shows based on books together and I bet it takes you less than minute to read it! A work in progress it will probably be out of date by the end of the day! Got changes, additions? Put ‘em in the comments section or tweet me @simcarter and I’ll be adding them to my Movies Based on Books 2016 page. Thanks to @ireneaction386 for reminding me about Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Allegiant and Bridget Jones Baby What do you have to add?
January: War and Peace
Already having made its debut in the UK via the BBC, War and Peace is a sprawling multi-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic saga of love, life and strife in Russia during the Napoleonic Wars. Directed by Tom Harper and scripted by Andrew Davies, War and Peace debuts in the US on January 18th in a simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel. I’m reading the novel and highlighting the key characters daily. The mini-series stars Lily James as Natasha, Paul Dano as Pierre, James Norton as Prince Andrei, as well as Gillian Anderson, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea and many others.
Jane Austen's classic tale pits Elizabeth Bennett against new challenges—an army of zombies. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s mash-up, PP&Z stars Lily James, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Douglas Booth, Matt Smith & Suki Waterhouse. Written and directed by Burr Steers, a mainly television director who is known for a couple of Zac Ephron movies, Charlie St. Cloud and 17 Again. Fingers crossed, eh?
February 12: How to Be Single
This looks like good fun: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Based on Liz Tuccillo’s best-seller How to Be Single stars Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann. Doubt that I’ll read it so if you have a review or comments about the book, I’d be happy to share them. Originally acquired by Flower Films for Drew Barrymore to direct, Barrymore & parter Nancy Juvonen (Jimmy Fallon’s wife) still produce.
Emilia Clarke is Loisa, caretaker to Sam Claflin as Will, former master of the universe, major mover & shaker, now suicidal wheelchair-confined invalid who hates his life.Directed by Thea Sharrock from a screenplay adaptation by Michael H. Weber & Scott Neustadter the writers who brought you (500)Days of Summer, Fault in Our Stars,The Spectacular Now and the upcoming Where’d You Go, Bernadette.Read my take on the book here.
March 18: Allegiant (Divergent series)
Shailene Woodley and Theo James are back in the third installment of the Divergent series based on the books by Veronica Roth. Miles Teller, Beatrice Prior and Tobias Eaton venture into the world outside of the fence and are taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare. Joining Woodley and James, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz & Maggie Q are back with Jeff Daniels joining the cast. The fourth installment of the series, Ascendant,has just been announced.
April 15: The Jungle Book
An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther. Directed by Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book based on the Rudyard Kipling classic stars the voice talent of Lupita Nyongo as Raksha, Scarlett Johanson as Kaa, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Christopher Walken as King Louie and young Neel Sethi as Mowgli. The animation is incredibly realistic, in fact maybe too realistic for sensitive young children. Or big babies.
April 22: Despite the Falling Snow * (UK)
Based on her own novel, Shamim Sarif wrote and directed the Cold War thriller set in Moscow and Boston. Rebecca Ferguson plays Katya, a woman, a spy, who steals secrets from a politician and falls in love with him. The cast includes Sam Reid (Belle, The Railway Man); German Ante Traue (Woman in Gold); and fast-rising Brit actor Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who US fans might know from NBC’s Dracula. I’m excited to see a film written and directed by, and starring a woman. Putting on my TBR list.
US, the film is being released in Germany on April 27th and May 8th in Sweden so we should get something around the same time. The film is written and directed by Tom Twyker who Tom Hanks worked with on Cloud Atlas. Tom Skerrit also stars which must have made for a pretty fun set, what with all those Toms around. On my list.
2016: The Circle
Tom Hanks stars in another Dave Eggers adaptation, this one is being directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now). Initially Alicia Vikander was supposed to play the role of the woman who lands a job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, where she becomes involved with a mysterious man. She was replaced due to scheduling difficulties by Emma Watson. The film also stars John Boyega (Star Wars) Bill Paxton and Patton Oswalt. Also need to read.
An adaptation of a Nebula award-winning short story by Ted Chiang. Amy Adams plays Dr. Louise Banks, a linguist recruited by the military to determine whether a slew of alien crafts landing around the world come in peace. Or not. Renner plays Ian Donnelly, a physics professor who pairs up with Banks to help communicate with the aliens. Also stars Forrest Whitaker. While I haven’t seen an official release date, director Denis Villeneuve has said he expects the film to come out this fall.
September 16: Bridget Jones Baby *
At this point the Bridget Jones saga is a bit of a guilty pleasure. The 3rd in the series, this isn’t really based on a book but it does feature Helen Fielding’s characters. With Colin Firth back I won’t complain. Bridget is having a baby but whose is it? Firth’s or hunky new addition to the cast, Patrick Dempsey.
On the plus side, it’s directed by Sharon Maguire, a real live woman director. Hurrah!
October 7: The Girl on the Train
One of my favorite fun fast reads of the year. Emily Blunt stars as Rachel, a woman with a drinking problem who sees some-thing out the window of the train she takes into London (NYC in the film) she shouldn’t see. Also starring Justin Theroux as Rachel’s ex, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Jared Leto & Luke Evans. Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) from a screenplay adaptation by Erin Cressida Wilson. Here’s what I loved about Paula Hawkins’ book.
October 21: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher in this adaption of another adventure by Lee Child’s best selling Jack Reacher character. 'Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he's now accused of a 16-year-old homicide.” Cobie Smulders is rumored to take on the role of Danika.
November 9: The History of Love (France)
The story of a long-lost book that mysteriously reappears and connects an old man searching for his son with a girl seeking a cure for her mother's loneliness. Based on the NY Times bestselling novel by Nicole Krauss, the film stars Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovary)Derek Jacobi, Elliot Gould and Sophie Nelisse. The film is slated to be come to our movie screens sometime in 2016 but to date only France has an actual release date. I’m loving the book cover so I definitely want to know more about the project. Directed by Radu Mihaileanu.
November 11: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
An infantryman recounts the final hours before he and his fellow soldiers return to Iraq. Another amazing book! The film, being directed by Ang Lee (Life of Pi) is in super fast 3D and set mainly in a humungous football stadium and featuring a big splashy halftime show, it should be something to see. Starring newcomer Joe Alwyn, Garret Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel & Deirdre Lovejoy as Billy’s mom. Great book!
November 18: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Based on J.K. Rowling’s Potteresque book, this is the story of the adventures of writer Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Also starring Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Katherine Waterston, Ron Perlman & Jon Voight. Directed by David Yates.
I bought this book for my son years and years ago. I wonder if he still has it?
December 25: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars
Ah, yes, Lovely Christmas fare for the kiddies. Jacob (Asa Butterfield) follows clues that take him to a mysterious island, where he discovers the ruins of Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways, he discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar; they possessed incredible powers. And they may still be alive. Based on Ransom Riggs novel and directed by Tim Burton, the film also stars Eva Green as Miss Peregrine, Allison Janney, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Stamp and Rupert Everett.
December: The Light Between Oceans
Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander costar in story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who a find a baby when a boat shipwrecks off the coast of Western Australia. Directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) the film also stars Rachel Weisz. In the UK the date is set for a January 6 2017 release so expect The Light Between Oceans in December for an Academy Award qualifying run.
Also coming sometime this year ...
2016: American PastoralEwan McGregor makes his directorial debut with his adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. ‘Set in postwar America, a man watches his seemingly perfect life fall apart as his daughter's new political affiliation threatens to destroy their family.’ McGregor plays Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov with Dakota Fanning as his daughter, Merry. The cast includes Jennifer Connelly, Uzo Aduba and David Straitharn. To be honest, McGregor is one of those actors I could watch no matter what so I’m really looking forward to this. Best read the book first!
2016: Big Little Lies
Things take a dark turn for a group of moms whose perfect lives begin to unravel. Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman produce and also star along with Shailene Woodley in this black comedy originally set in Australia. Headed to HBO sometime this year Jean Marc-Vallee who directed Witherspoon directs with writing credit for the adaptation based on Liane Moriarty’s book going to David E. Kelly.
I absolutely loved this book; it got me started on a Liane Moriarty jag, followed by a contemporary Australian writers jag. So excited for this series. but not sure when we’ll get to see it. No specific date.
2016: Tulip Fever
An artist falls for a young married woman while he's commissioned to paint her portrait during the tulip mania of 17th century Am-sterdam. Stars Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Dane DeHaan & Jack O’Connell. Directed by Justin Chadwick from a script by the acclaimed Tom Stoppard. Here’s my take on the book. No date yet.
The long awaited Martin Scorsese adaptation ofSilence by Shûsaku Endô. Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, and Andrew Garfield star. In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity. Rodrigo Prieto, Scorese’s cinematographer for The Wolf of Wall Streetlenses. Very much influenced by his Catholic upbringing, the Scorsese passion project has been shot and is now in the hands of director’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker.
Based on Austin Wright’s thriller, Tony & Susan, Nocturnal Animals is about a woman whose ex-husband sends her a book manuscript for her constructive criticism. Drawn into the fictional lives of her ex’s characters and pushed back to the past, Susan has to face the darkness inside herself. Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams play Tony & Susan. The cast includes Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer and Michael Shannon star. Tom Ford adapted Wright’s book and directs. Sounds like one I’d like to read.
2016: The Secret Scripture
'A woman keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental institute.’ This was on my list last year but sadly the movie got caught up in Relativity’s bankruptcy so at this point it’s unsure if and when The Secret Scripture will be released. Reading the book I got caught in the historical weeds a bit but was looking forward to the film which boasts a richly talented cast: Rooney Mara, Vanessa Redgrave, Theo James, Aiden Turner, Eric Bana and Jack Reynor. Read my take on the book. I’ve gotsome photos as well. Directed by Jim Sheridan from a script by Irish TV writer Johnny Ferguson.
Black Dog Red Dog is a feature-length project that follows the life of poet Stephen Dobyns as he deals with his relationships with women and with mortality, from his childhood to his time as a young journalist and then his transition to poetry. Dobyns is played by Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus) with a cast that includes Olivia Wilde, James Franco, Chloe Sevigny, Whoopi Goldberg and Tim Blake-Edwards. Directed by James Franco & 8 others, including four females. It sounds like each one would have had his or her own storyline to direct.
When a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos, an artist is determined to reunite with his young son in New England. John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson star in the film based on the Stephen King novel. Directed by Tod Williams (Paranormal Activity 2)
2016: The Girl with All the Gifts
A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie. Based on his own book, Mike Carey wrote the screenplay. Colm McCarthy a British TV director known for Peaky Blinders, and an episode here and there of Sherlock, Ripper Street, Dr. Who and more helms. The Girl with all the Gifts stars Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine and Dominique Tipper.
2016: Wait ‘Till Helen Comes
A 12-year-old girl is haunted by the tormented ghost of a little girl, but forms an intimate though dangerous friendship with her seven year old step-sister. The horror film stars Maria Bellow, Sophie Nélisse and her real life sister Isabelle Nélisse.
A young actor arrives in Hollywood in 1969 during a transitional time in the Industry. Based on the novel by Steve Erickson, the uber busy James Franco directs himself and friends including Will Ferrell, Megan Fox, Danny McBride, Seth Rogan, Horatio Sanz, his brother Dave Franco and renowned Aussie actress (Silver Linings Playbook) Jackie Weaver.