Discovering—well, getting used to—ebooks has been one of the single biggest disasters to productivity in my life (only beaten out by Tumblr.) It’s just so easy to grab my phone and read a chapter or two or five, which has led me to check off more books on my to-read list than usual. In the past few weeks while I’ve been researching movie/tv adaptations of books, I added a lot of novels to my list of must-reads. With the convenience of ebooks I was able to read a couple books whose adaptations will be coming out this year or in the next few years. So this list ended up being longer than I originally planned, but that can’t be helped since there are so many upcoming movie and television versions of good books.
This Friday, one of the biggest book-to-film adaptations of the year will hit theaters: Baz Luhrmann’s, The Great Gatsby. I have to admit I haven’t read Gatsby since sophomore year of high school, but I’m rereading the book in preparation of seeing the movie this weekend. Given my limited ability to comment on the book, it hasn’t officially made the list because I am again restricting myself to books I’ve read, or at least read recently enough that I can remember major plot points. Unfortunately, that means the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is out (though I’m trying to get to it before the movie premieres later this year.) There is still a rather large pool of possibilities, which I’ve narrowed down as best I could. Here are my top six book-to-screen adaptations that I absolutely cannot wait to see.
It might be evident from its lack of presence on my favorite adaptations list that I was not a huge fan of the movie version for Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. However, I am optimistic about the sequel, Catching Fire, because this is the part in the series where everything in Panem really goes to hell. I’m also looking forward to the additions of Sam Clafin as Finnick Odair (one of my favorite characters) and Jena Malone as Johanna Mason to the cast. One thing I’m hesitant about, though, is that Suzanne Collins didn’t have as much of a hand in the script for Catching Fire as The Hunger Games. Her additions to the first movie—scenes outside of the arena that weren’t included in the book—were one of my favorite aspects and I worry that Catching Fire might suffer from Collins’ lack of involvement. No matter what, though, I’ll be a happy camper as long as I get to see Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen yell, “Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!”
Delirium (Possibly coming to Fox)
I wasn’t interested in Delirium by Lauren Oliver until a friend of mine told me about the symptoms of Amor Deliria Nervosa, or what we simply call: love. For anyone who’s been in love, had a crush, or basically existed, the symptoms will sound familiar. I read the book last summer and loved it. However, I’m not quite sure how the story of Lena Holoway will translate to film, especially television. I don’t have as much experience with books I’ve read being turned into television series—I never read the Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, or Sex and the City books, but they turned into very popular shows. It’s possible that Delirium will be wildly successful, but I wonder how true it will stay to the book. From what I’ve heard, Pretty Little Liars has followed the book series closely, whereas Gossip Girl diverged from its source material since the beginning. Of course, this discussion might be moot since Fox hasn’t officially picked up Delirium. When the pilot was turned over to the network for review on April 30th fans of the book took to Twitter to show their support. Hopefully, Fox executives will see the devoted following Delirium already has and green light the series for this fall.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
How could I not get behind a movie adaptation that actually encourages viewers to read the book? In the trailer it says: “To join the phenomenon read The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Available wherever books are sold.” This plug in the movie trailer for the book written by Cassandra Clare is something I’ve never really seen before. I like it because it promotes the idea that the movie adaptation is worthy of the book. I’d really like to see more of this in the movie industry, possibly because I love books so much, but also because it gives the movie a level of accountability to fans of the book. You can’t tell people to read the book and the, defend a movie adaptation of said book for being bad. (Well, you can, but that’s silly.) From what I’ve seen in trailers for City of Bones, it seems that some things were changed, but I have complete faith in the screenplay writer, Jessica Postigo, the director, Harald Zwart. The cast as well looks fantastic: Lily Collins, Lena Headey, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Robert Sheehan just to name a few. I think this is going to be a really great adaptation of a fantastic book and I cannot wait until it hits theaters this summer.
The Maze Runner
As I said in the first installment of my From Print to Screen series, I became interested in James Dashner’s The Maze Runner when it was announced that Dylan O’Brien had been cast as the lead, Thomas. I have since read the book (seriously, ebooks are dangerous to my productivity.) I am, obviously, looking forward to seeing Dylan O’Brien on the big screen since he is a fantastic actor, but I am also excited to see the setting of The Maze Runner come to life. There are so many almost-fantastical elements to the story–a giant maze, terrifying creatures, a bottomless pit at the edge of the maze–that were hard to imagine while reading the book. It will be a thrill just to see the Glade and the Maze. Dashner’s novel is also full of many lovable and complex characters who exist in this insane landscape. The other Gladers–Chuck, Minho, and Newt–will come to life in the film and I’m very excited by the casting choices: Blake Cooper, Ki Hong Lee, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster respectively. From the choices made so far, and Dashner working on the screenplay, it seems The Maze Runner is in good hands.
The Selection (Possibly coming to The CW)
I somehow managed to read The Selection by Kiera Cass in a single day; I just couldn’t put it down. It was originally not going to be on this list because I hadn’t read it when I mapped out my From Print to Screen series. But since reading the book, I cannot wait for the television series. For a young adult book with a plot that sounds like a bad reality television show, it was a good story about a girl growing up and deciding who she wants to be. There is also an underlying storyline about the politics of the country, Illea, as well as some social commentary from the main character, America Singer. However, I’ve read some conflicting reports online about the casting that are confusing—some sites say Anthony Stewart Head will be playing King Clarkson, while the IMDB page says Martin Donovan will play the king. Since this is the second year The Selection pilot has been green lit, and has since been rewritten and reshot, that might have something to do with the casting inconsistencies. Hopefully this year the pilot will be picked up because I would really love to see America Singer (played by Yael Grobglas) on my television each week.
I have been following every piece of Divergent movie news since I first read the book last summer, which was when the movie was in very, very early development. It was especially easy get updates about the movie by following author, Veronica Roth, on Tumblr. (It’s also a great source for updates on the final book in the trilogy, Allegiant.) When I first heard about the casting choices for Divergent, I wasn’t sure how to feel. Most of the cast are relatively unknown to me. Shailene Woodley, who was cast in the lead as Tris, is known for her part on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, but I’ve never seen it. I’d never even heard of the actor cast as Four: Theo James. I’ll reserve judgement on the cast in general until after I’ve seen the movie, but I am excited to see Tori portrayed by Maggie Q, who is fantastic on The CW’s Nikita. Besides the cast, I can’t wait to see the world of Divergent, and all the factions, come to life in the futuristic city setting. Divergent is by far the adaptation I am looking forward to the most, and it’s also the last of all the films on this list to be released. At least it gives me enough time to reread the series before seeing the movie.
Any particular adaptations you’re eagerly anticipating that I’ve left off the list? Or do you disagree with any of the movies/shows I’m looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!