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Movies Based on Books 2016

UPDATED 12/22/2017

Over 30 films and television shows based on books slated for release in 2016 and the list kept growing. Check out my updated post of books made into movies 2016, with reviews.

Projects marked with an * are directed by women

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.

February 5: Pride and Prejudice & Zombies 
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.

February 15: 11.22.63
James Franco stars in the original Hulu mini-series based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. Franco plays a time-traveling high school teacher who goes back to 1960 to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His mission, the movie’s imdb page warns, “is threatened by Lee Harvey Oswald, falling in love, and the past itself, which doesn't want to be changed.” 11.22.63 also stars Chris Cooper, Sarah Gadon and Joshu Duhamell and appropriately enough makes its debut on President’s Day. Click here for the trailer.

March 13 & 14: And Then There Were None
I shared this back January but forgot to post the TV series based on the Agatha Christie classic here! Aidan Turner who swept many of us away as Poldark stars along with Charles Dance, Douglas Booth, Miranda Richardson, Sam Neil and some fine British talent not quite known here in the US yet. You likely know the story of ten strangers lured to a mysterious island, only to be killed off one by one. One of them is the killer but which one? I’m less than thrilled it’s on Lifetime because they’ll fill it chockablock w commercials like they did War and Peace. Click this link for more info and the trailer.
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. 

April15 US/ April 22 UK : The Adderall Diaries * 
James Franco, Ed Harris, Amber Heard, Chritian Slater & Cynthia Nixon star in this adaptation of Stephen Elliott’s disturbing memoir of murder and self-centered obsession. The controversial film was scripted and directed by Pamela Romanowsky. My post includes a review from IndieWire. Follow the True Deception link to read it & watch the trailer.

April 19: The Night Manager *
Tom Hiddleston & Hugh Laurie headline this six part television adaptation of John leCarre’s 1993 best seller. While the world has changed, our fascination with the inner workings of the criminal underworld have not. The series also stars Elizabeth Debicki, Tom Hollander and Olivia Coleman who many of my fellow Americans know from Broadchurch where she costars with David Tennant. A veteran in the UK, she’s a fresh face here. Watch  The Night Manager trailer.

April 22: A Hologram for the King
Tom Hanks stars as a failed American businessman looking to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch. The film is written and directed by Tom Twyker who Tom Hanks worked with on Cloud Atlas. Sarita Choudhury (Homeland) is the attractive Saudi-based doctor. And Tom Skerrit also stars which must have made for a pretty fun set, what with all those Toms around. On my list. Watch the Hologram for the King trailer Hologram for the King trailer

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. I read and LOVED this book: my take on Despite the Falling Snow

May 27: Alice Through the Looking Glass
Tim Burton has gathered the usual subjects for a trip with Alice Through the Looking Glass. Mia Wasikowska as Alice seems to be an escapee from an insane asylum, and watching the trailer is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel like you’ve lost your mind or maybe just dropped a half a tab of acid. Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Michael Sheen as the voice of the White Rabbit, Stephen Fry as the voice of the Cheshire Cat and the glorious voice of the late Alan Rickman as the voice of the Blue Caterpillar. Watch the trailer for Alice Through the Looking Glass 

2016: The Circle (Moved to April 28, 2017)
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. Reading, and loving this book now.

June 3: Me Before You *
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
June 10:  Cell (internet) July 11
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).
The movie is available to stream on Amazon NOW with a release date here in the US set for July 7th. Ok, it's probably not gonna be an Oscar contender but it looks like a fun summer flick imo.

July 1: Our Kind of Traitor * (May 13 UK)
Makes its debut May 1st at the San Francisco Film Festival. So excited about this movie. Directed by Susanna White Our Kind of Traitor is based on the John Le Carré spy novel. His sons, Simon & Stephen, produce. A couple who find themselves lured into a Russian oligarch's plans to defect are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Harris star in a cast that includes Damian Lewis, Saskia Reeves and Stellan Saarsgård. Meet the characters & watch the Our Kind of Traitor trailer.
July 1: The BFG
It looks like Steven Spielberg has pulled out all the magic for this adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl classic. Melissa Mathison who brought the magic for Spielberg in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial scripted. Mark Rylance, who won his Best Supporting Actor for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies IS the BFG with newbie Ruby Barnhill as young orphan Sophie. The legendary John Williams composes. Watch the trailer for The BFG.

February 24, 2017:  Tulip Fever (moved from 2016)
An artist falls for a young married woman he’s hired to paint during the tulip mania of 17th century Holland. Stars Alicia Vikander, Christoph Waltz, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell and Cara Delivigne. Directed by Justin Chadwick from a script by the acclaimed Tom Stoppard. Here’s my take on the book, Tulip Fever, by Deborah Moggach. Spoiler Alert: I didn't much care for the book but the movie looks great. Watch the Tulip Fever trailer.

July 22: Into the Forest* (Wbere'd It Go?}
Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page star in this post-apocalyptic thriller based on the book by Jean Hegland. After a massive power outage, two sisters learn to survive on their own in their isolated woodland home. Notice the * indicating this is a movie directed by a woman—they're few and far between so I like to note 'em, in this case Canadian filmmaker Patricia Nozema. Watch the trailer for Into the Forest here.

July 29: Indignation
This is being called Logan Lerman's break-out role. That's saying something considering Lerman has been acting since 2000 and he's only 24. I know because he got the part in 3:10 to Yuma that my son auditioned for! You know him as well for last year's Fury with Brad Pitt, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the Percy Jackson movies. Indignation is based on Philip Roth's novel and also stars Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold). Check out the Indignation trailer. This is Philip Roth's year, watch for American Pastoral coming October 21st.
September 2: 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. LOVED the book. Here’s The Light Between Oceans trailer.
Critics were not kind to the film but I really enjoyed it.

September 9: Sully
Based on real life incident known as Miracle on the Hudson, Sully stars Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger, the American pilot who landed a plane full of passengers on the Hudson River. The film directed by Clint Eastwood also stars Aaron Eckhart as Sully's copilot and Laura Linney as Sully's wife.
The film hits American theaters on September 9th and the Oscar buzz has already begun. The movie is based on the book Highest Duty co-written by 'Sully' and Jeffrey Zaslow. Watch the trailer for Sully
September 9: A United Kingdom *
A United Kingdom is based on the true story of an African Prince who turns the world upside down when he marries a white Englishwoman. Based on the nonfiction book Color Bar, A United Kingdom starring Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo is set to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Score one for diversity and women in film. Amma Assante, the black female director who gave us Belle helms. Watch the trailer for A United Kingdom.
September 9: Ithaca *
Ithaca is based on the book, The Human Comedy by William Saroyan. Marking Meg Ryan's directorial debut, the film is about a young teen who works as a bicycle messenger during World War II and stars Alex Neustaedter, Sam Shepherd, Ryan and her son Jack Quaid. Old friend and rom-com co star Tom Hanks lent a helping hand as a producer and he took a small part. Watch the Ithaca trailer.
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 isnt really based on a book but it does feature Helen Fieldings characters. With Colin Firth back I wont complain. Bridget is having a baby but whose is it? Firths or hunky new addition to the cast, Patrick Dempsey. 
On the plus side, its directed by Sharon Maguire, a real live woman director. Hurrah!

September 23: 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.
I don't know a thing about the book or the movie. Clue me in?

September 30: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
When Ransom Riggs book was optioned in 2011 Tim Burton was his top choice for director. But Eva Green wasn't his first choice for Miss P. Tilda Swinton was! "When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that spans different worlds and times, he finds Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. But the mystery and danger deepen as he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers." Miss Peregrine stars Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench,Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Terence Stamp, Kim Dickens, and Rupert Everett.
2016: Queen of Katwe *
Lupita Nyongo & David Oyelowo star in this film about a young girl in Uganda training to become a world chess champion. Based on the nonfiction book by Tim Crothers about the real life Phiona Mutesi, born in the slums of Uganda, where finding food is more important than getting an education, the young girl discovers chess, and her way out of a life of abject poverty. Directed by the highly regarded international filmmaker Mira Nair.

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 as his new wife, Haley Bennett & Luke Evans as the golden couple Rachel watches from the train. Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) from a screenplay by Erin Cressida Wilson. Here’s what I loved about Paula Hawkin’s best seller. Watch the trailer for The Girl on the Train.

October 14: Certain Women*
Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams & Laura Dern star in this Kelly Riechardt directed film based on three stories by Maile Meloy. Stewart’s story is based on Travis, B., Williams is Native Sandstone and Derns is Tome. Visit link to listen.

October 21: American Pastoral
Ewan 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 was really looking forward to this. The novel was too unwieldy for me & sadly the film is getting mixed reviews.

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 also stars, watch the Never Go Back trailer here.

October 28: Inferno
When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot.Ron Howard directs this latest follow-up to The DaVinci Code with Tom Hanks back as religious iconographer Rober Langdon. Felicity Jones—fabulous in The Theory of Everything—is onboard as Dr. Sienna Brooks. Ben Foster stars as an eccentric billionaire who has created a plague while Omar Sy plays the head of the SRS. Watch the trailer for Inferno.

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! Kristen Stewart fans will love the picture of Billy Lynn, his sister (Stewart) and mom (Deirdre Lovejoy just relaxing between takes. Here's the trailer for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.

November 11:  Arrival 
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. I absolutely loved this story, not entirely clear how faithful the movie is to it. Watch the trailer for Arrival here.

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 9: Nocturnal Animals 
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. Tore through this book quickly. A real nailbiter!  Watch the Nocturnal Animals trailer here.

December 25: Live by Night
The Ben Aflleck-starring adaptation of Dennis Lehane's crime thriller is getting a December release to qualify for 2016 Academy Award consideration. Ben Affleck directs and stars, playing Joe Coughlin, the son of a policeman who finds himself succeeding in a life of organized crime. Set in the 1920’s era of prohibition, the film was shot by renowned Robert Richardson, with music by Harry Gregson Williams who most recently did the music for The Martian. One of my favorite movies, the music was an integral part of its' success. That and Affleck's buddy Matt Damon. But I digress.
 Check out the trailer for Live By Night

Also coming sometime this year ... or next

Autumn: The Lost City of Z (moved to 2017)
The Lost City of Z stars Charlie Hunnam as British explorer Percy Fawcett who set off into the Amazon jungle searching for the Lost City and never returned. Based on the book by David Grann, the cast includes Robert Pattinson as Fawcett’s fellow explorer Henry Costin with Sienna Miller as his wife Nina. Tom Holland, getting lots of attention as the new Spiderman, plays his brother Jack with the adorable young Daniel Huttlestone as his son. Watch The Lost City of Z trailer.

January 2017: Silence 
The long awaited Martin Scorsese adaptation of Silence 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 Street lenses. 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.

2016: The Secret Scripture (TIFF)
'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 got some photos as well. Directed by Jim Sheridan from a script by Irish TV writer Johnny Ferguson.

2017: Black Dog, Red Dog 
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. 

2016: London Fields (No Date Yet)
Based on the book by Martin Amis. Clairvoyant femme fatale Nicola Six has been living with a dark premonition of her impending death by murder. She begins a tangled love affair with three uniquely different men: one of whom she knows will be her murderer. To be honest, I've heard this is a bit of a mess — could the thirty one producers have anything to do with that? Or the fact that this is the first real movie director Matthew Cullen has made?— but it’s a great cast if that means anything: Amber Heard stars as Nicola Six with Theo James, Billy Bob Thornton and Jim Sturgess as the men in her life. Maybe the most interesting thing about London Fields is the rumor that Amber Heard's chemistry with Billy Bob Thornton caused Johnny Depp to fly into a rage, & possibly caused the divorce. Oh you Hollywood bad boys.

2016/17: 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.

2016: Zeroville (no date)
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. 
This is one I know little about, the movie looks like it's still waiting for a distribution deal.

February 2017: 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. Originally set for 2016, it’s been moved to February 2017 according to the imdb listing. Pretty sure the poster isn’t right either. Can’t imagine they’d shoot something without including Nicole Kidman. Here's the Big Little Lies trailer.