17 books to read before they become films in 2018
Whether you are a book first or film first kind of reader, we wanted to give you advance warning of the books receiving the silver screen treatment in 2018.
Seeing your favourite books turned into movies can be a mixed experience. Translating an authors words into a movie in your own imagination leaves one with such personal-to-us interpretations, directors really can't hope to match them.
Nevertheless, the unique pleasure of seeing how others have interpreted a text will surely keep book lovers from flocking to big screen adaptations for years to come.
Is there a big screen adaptation we've missed? Tell us in the comments. We deserve to know.
1. Black Panther
Adapted from: Marvel’s Blank Panther series
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
Directed by: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay by: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
UK Release Date: 13 Feb
Our next stop in the Marvel universe is Black Panther. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966, Black Panther was the first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics. In fact, the 13-part Black Panther storyline is considered the first-ever graphic novel, too. T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
Adapted from: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Starring: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Directed by: Alex Garland
Screenplay by: Alex Garland
UK Release Date: 23 February
Following the success of his directorial debut Ex Machina, hopes are high for The Beach author Alex Garland’s second directorial outing. A group of soldiers enters an environmental disaster zone. Only one injured soldier comes out alive. His biologist wife, in an effort to save him, volunteers for a new expedition into the perilous zone to piece together what happened to her husband.
3. Red Sparrow
Adapted from: Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Charlotte Rampling
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay by: Justin Haythe
UK Release Date: 1 March
Interesting that this tale of a Russian spy (Jennifer Lawrence) drawn to becoming a double agent, after falling in love with a CIA agent, should come out in 2018. The source novel was written by Jason Matthews, a former CIA operative himself. Published in 2013, it scooped Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.
4. You Were Never Really Here
Adapted from: You Were Never Really Here (novella) by Jonathan Ames
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov
Directed by: Lynne Ramsay
Screenplay by: Lynne Ramsay
UK Release Date: 9 March
Glasgow-born Napier University graduate Lynne Ramsay has already proven herself a dab hand at literary adaptations, gaining huge critical acclaim for ‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ and ‘Morvern Callar’. Ramsay adapted Jonathan Ames’s tale of a traumatized veteran, unafraid of violence, who tracks down missing girls for a living received a seven-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, winning the director the Best Screenplay Award. We can’t wait!
5. A Wrinkle in Time
Adapted from: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon
Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Screenplay by: Jennifer Lee
UK Release Date: 23 March
Millions of inner and current children hold this novel close to their hearts. Oprah Winfrey takes time out of her nascent presidential bid to star as Mrs. Which in this epic fantasy adventure.
6. Ready Player One
Adapted from: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
UK Release Date: 30 March
Ernest Cline’s debut new adult novel has gradually built its audience and now counts Steven Spielberg as one of its fans. Set in a near-future dystopia, Earth’s population spends most of its time in an interconnected virtual space called the OASIS. When its founder dies, he bequeaths OASIS’s ownership to the first person to find hidden treasure within it by solving a series of puzzles, and playing games.
7. Love, Simon
Adapted from: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford
Directed by: Greg Berlanti
UK Release Date: 6 April
Anyone with a soft spot for US teen comedy will pop a guilty wee circle around ‘Love, Simon’. Based on Becky Albertalli’s YA bestseller, it tells the tale of Simon, a closeted teenager delicately balancing his family, social life, email pen pal and the boy threating to out him to the school.
Adapted from: Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Starring: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore
Directed by: Todd Haynes
Screenplay by: Brian Selznick
UK Release Date: 6 April
Author Brian Selznick adapts his own 2011 mystery drama novel for screen for the darling of American indie cinema Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven, Carol). The story interweaves two stories with half a century between them. In 1927, Rose runs away to find her mother and idol, the actress Lillian Mayhew. In 1977, recently orphaned Ben runs away in search of his father.
9. Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Adapted from: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Screenplay by: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent, Vincent Palmo Jr., Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter
UK Release Date: 11 May
With a stellar cast and a heavyweight director at the helm, this adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2012 comedy novel is a mouthwatering prospect. The plot revolves around an agoraphobic architect and mother named Bernadette Fox, who goes missing prior to a family trip to Antarctica. When she does, it’s her 15-year-old daughter Bee’s mission to find out where she is, and what really happened to her.
10. On Chesil Beach
Adapted from: On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Starring: Saorsie Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson
Directed by: Dominic Cooke
Screenplay by: Ian McEwan
UK Release Date: 15 June
Ian McEwan is set to have a bumper year at the talkies with The Children Act and this, his 2007 novella, set to hit screens. In 1962, newlyweds and virgins Edward and Florence, both in their early 20s, spend their honeymoon preoccupied and terrified by the upcoming consummation of their marriage with life altering consequences.
Adapted from: Ophelia by Lisa Klein
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen
Directed by: Claire McCarthy
Screenplay by: Semi Chellas
UK Release Date: TBC
She is young, beautiful, and desperately in love with a man who cannot return her affections without arousing suspicion. And so they meet in secret-embracing in stairwells and castle turrets, murmuring each other's names in hushed voices, reaching passionately for each other under the cover of darkness. His name is Hamlet; her name is Ophelia. And if you think you know their story, think again. This adaptation of Lisa Klein’s 2010 novel has yet to find a distributor following its premier at Sundance but it won’t be long before it hits our screens.
Adapted from: Disobedience by Naomi Alderman
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams
Directed by: Sebastián Lelio
Screenplay by: Sebastián Lelio, Rebecca Lenkiewicz
UK Release Date: 24 August
The Power author’s 2006 debut receives the big screen treatment in 2018. A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend.
13. Bel Canto
Adapted from: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Starring: Julianne Moore, Christopher Lambert
Directed by: Paul Weitz
Screenplay by: Anthony Weintraub
UK Release Date: TBC
Bel Canto’s journey to screen has been a long one but 2018 is the year when Ann Patchett’s 2001 bestseller will finally make it to the movies. Julianne Moore is set to star in the story of diva opera singer Roxanne Cross who gets stuck in a hostage situation with a fascinating cast of characters, and forced to discover a whole new world.
14. Mary Queen of Scots
Based on: My Heart Is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy
Starring: Saorsie Ronan, Margot Robbie, David Tennant
Directed by: Josie Rourke
Screenplay by: Beau Willimon
UK Release Date: 14 September
Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. Her attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution. Scottish interest will be high in this feature film adaptation of John Guy’s 2004 Whitbread Biography Award-winning book My Heart is My Own: the Life of Mary Queen of Scots.
15. The Jungle Book
Adapted from: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Starring: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by: Andy Serkis
Screenplay by: Callie Kloves
UK Release Date: 19 October
It has been almost two years since we had a live-action/motion capture adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale. Originally called Mowgli, this version is motion capture character specialist Andy Serkis’s second directorial feature. How it will differ from Disney’s 2016 version adds a layer of intrigue to an otherwise puzzling release.
16. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
Adapted from: The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Starring: Scott Rudin, Amy Pascal,
Directed by: Fede Álvarez
Screenplay by: Steven Knight
UK Release Date: 26 October
In 2013, the Swedish publisher of this series announced plans for a fourth Millenium series book. Such caution was taken with its development that author David Lagercrantz wrote the novel on a computer with no internet connection – fearing a cyber-attack from someone with Lisbeth Salander’s skillset.
17. Mary Poppins Returns
Adapted from: Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
Starring: Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Ben Wishaw
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Screenplay by: David Magee
UK Release Date: 21 December
Audiences have had to “wait” 54 years for a sequel to Walt Disney’s enduring classic. Set 25 years after the original film, Jane and Michael Banks are now grown up, with Michael still living at Cherry Tree Lane. A father of three, Michael suffers a personal lose prompting Mary Poppins to return with lamplighter Jack, and eccentric cousin Topsy, in tow.
Update your to-watch list with our preview of 2017's book-to-film adaptations.