17 books to read before they become films in 2018

Category: Reading

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.

2. Annihilation

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.

8. Wonderstruck

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.

Where'd You Go Bernadette Cover
 

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.

Small Chesil Beach

11. Ophelia

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.

Production shot from Ophelia

12. Disobedience

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.

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.

Subscribe to our monthly e-updates for book lovers