Happy 2016! Earlier this week I wrote about 100 films that we have to look forward to this year, but now I want to look at which of these films are being adapted from novels. I always love to read a book before it is adapted into a film, so if you do too, then this is what you should be reading this year.
The following book adaptations are listed in release date order and have been updated halfway through the year to ensure that all information is correct.
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Release date: 1st January
The Danish Girl is a fictitious account of the life of Danish artist Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. The film adaptation is a love story inspired by the lives of Lili (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife, Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander). The film follows their marriage and work as their lives evolve around Lili’s ground-breaking journey as a transgender pioneer. Directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), the film also stars Matthias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Release date: 15th January
Room is told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy, Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who is being held captive in a small room along with his mother (Brie Larson). Ma has created a whole universe in ‘Room’, where they have both lived for Jack’s whole life. But when Ma decides they have to escape, she risks everything to give Jack the chance to make a thrilling discovery: the outside world. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, the film adaptation has a screenplay written by the author herself.
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Release date: 22nd January
The 5th Wave is a young adult dystopia which begins when four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. Directed by J Blakeson, the film also stars Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maggie Siff, Alex Roe, Maria Bello, Maika Monroe, and Liev Schreiber.
The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Release date: 22nd January
The Big Short tells the true story about the financial crisis of 2007–2010 by the build-up of the housing and credit bubble, and follows four outsiders in the world of high-finance, who predicted the collapse and decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed. Directed and co-written by Adam McKay, the film stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.
13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi by Mitchell Zuckoff
Release date: 29th January
13 Hours is based on the true story of the six members of a security team who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, after a terrorist attack on 11th September 2012. Directed by Michael Bay, the film stars James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Toby Stephens, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Demetrius Grosse and Freddie Stroma.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
Release date: 11th February
We all know Jane Austen‘s classic tale that is Pride and Prejudice, but this parody has zombies. Based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, which credits Austen as co-author, this story combines Austen’s classic 1813 novel with elements of modern zombie fiction. The film stars Lily James, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Jack Huston, Matt Smith, Douglas Booth, Sam Riley.
The Finest Hours by Casey Sherman and Michael J. Tougias
Release date: 19th February
This story is loosely based on the true story of the Pendleton rescue mission attempt in 1952 off the Cape Cod coast by Coast Guard ships, wherein two oil tankers, SS Fort Mercer and SS Pendleton, destroyed by treacherous winter winds and waves. The crew of a motor life boat and a surfboat heroically rescued nearly all the tankers’ crewmen. Directed by Craig Gillespie, the film stars Chris Pine, Holliday Grainger, Eric Bana, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster.
How To Be Single by Liz Tuccillo
Release date: 19th February
From the author of the self-help book He’s Just Not That into You, which was also adapted into a film, How to Be Single follows a group of young singletons in New York City who need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Directed by Christian Ditter, the film stars Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie and Leslie Mann.
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Release date: 4th March
The latest from romance-expert Nicholas Sparks, The Choice follows two neighbours, Travis and Gabby (Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer), in a small coastal town who fall in love at their first meeting. But their relationship is tested by life’s most defining events. Directed by Ross Katz, the film also stars Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Welling, and Tom Wilkinson.
The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker
Release date: 4th March
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on the memoirs of journalist Kim Barker (Tina Fey), who recounts her wartime coverage in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the film also stars Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Christopher Abbott, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina, Nicholas Braun, and Sheila Vand.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
Release date: 11th March
As with most book adaptations at the minute, the final book in Veronica Roth‘s The Divergent Series is being split into two films. This fist part of the final book adaptation, Allegiant, will be followed by a fourth film instalment, titled Ascendant, next year. Directed by Robert Schwentke, Allegiant sees reprised roles from Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Naomi Watts, and introduces a new character played by Jeff Daniels. This first part will follow Beatrice (Woodley) and Tobias (James) as they 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.
High-Rise by J.G. Ballard
Release date: 18th March
High-Rise takes place in an ultra-modern, luxury high-rise building cut off from the rest of society, and follows the life of a number of the residents as a dangerous social situation develops and the high-rise eventually fragments into violent tribes. Directed by Ben Wheatley, the film stars Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and Elisabeth Moss.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Release date: 15th April
We’re all fans of the 1967 Disney adaptation, but this year Jon Favreau is taking on the classic story to create a live-animation adventure. Following an orphan boy who is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther, the film stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli, with the voices of Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken.
Hank Williams: The Biography by Colin Escott, George Merritt, and William MacEwen
Release date: 6th May
Based on the memoirs of the country-western singer Hank Williams (Tom Hiddleston), this musical drama chronicles Williams’ rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life. Directed by Marc Abraham, the film also stars Elizabeth Olsen as his first wife, Audrey Williams. The musical performances in this certainly look something to look forward to.
The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding
Release date: 12th May
Snowden tells the true story of CIA employee Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), an American computer professional who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) to The Guardian in June 2013. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film also stars Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Melissa Leo, Timothy Olyphant, Zachary Quinto, Nicolas Cage and Tom Wilkinson.
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Release date: 27th May
Based on the short novel Lady Susan, Love and Friendship is set in the 1790’s and centres on the beautiful widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale), who seeks refuge at her in-laws estate while rumours about her private life circulate through society. While there, she decides to find a husband for both herself and her reluctant daughter. Directed by Whit Stillman, the film is also set to star Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel and Stephen Fry.
Alice Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Release date: 27th May
Following the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Directed by James Bobin, and produced by Tim Burton, the film also stars Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Release date: 3rd June
With a screenplay written by the author, Me Before You follows a girl in a small town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently paralysed man she’s taking care of. Directed by Thea Sharrock, the film stars Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance, Matthew Lewis, Ben Lloyd-Hughes and Janet McTeer.
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
Release date: 24th June
The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving follows a man suffering from an incredible amount of loss, who enrols in a class about caregiving that changes his perspective on life. Directed and written by Rob Burnett, the film is set to star Paul Rudd, Selena Gomez, and Craig Roberts.
The Legend of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Release date: 8th July
Another Disney adaptation that we all know well, based on the character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, The Legend of Tarzan is a sort-of-sequel as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård), having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment. Directed by David Yates, the film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou and Christoph Waltz.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Release date: 22nd July
Based on the classic children’s novel, The BFG follows a girl named Sophie who encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because unlike his peers refuses to eat boys and girls. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film stars Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance and Bill Hader.
Cell by Stephen King
Release date: 26th August
The latest Stephen King novel to get the big screen treatment, Cell follows an artist who is determined to reunite with his young son in New England when a mysterious cell phone signal causes apocalyptic chaos. Directed by Tod Williams, the film will star John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, and Isabelle Fuhrman.
The 9th Life of Louis Drax
Release date: 9th September
The 9th Life of Louis Drax follows a psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall, who finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality. Directed by Alexandre Aja, the film is set to star Jamie Dornan, Sarah Gadon and Aaron Paul.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars by Ransom Riggs
Release date: 30th September
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the tale of a boy, Jacob (Asa Butterfield) who, following a horrific family tragedy, follows clues that take him to an abandoned orphanage on a mysterious Welsh island. 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. Directed by Tim Burton, the film also stars Eva Green, Ella Purnell, Chris O’Dowd, Allison Janney, Terence Stamp, Kim Dickens, Rupert Everett, Judi Dench and Samuel L. Jackson.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Release date: 7th October
Based on one of last year’s best novels, The Girl On The Train follows the story of Rachel (Emily Blunt), an alcoholic troubled woman whose husband left her for his mistress, who witnesses a murder and starts to realise that she may have been involved in the crime. Directed by Tate Taylor, the film also stars Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, and Édgar Ramírez.
Inferno by Dan Brown
Release date: 14th October
Sequel to Angels & Demons, Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon, who finds himself the target of a manhunt after waking up in a hospital with no memory of the last few days. With the help of Dr Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) and his knowledge of symbology, Langdon will try to escape while solving the most intricate riddle he’s ever faced. Directed by Ron Howard, the film also stars Omar Sy, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Foster, and Irrfan Khan.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Release date: 14th October
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain follows an infantryman who recounts the final hours before he and his fellow soldiers return to Iraq. Directed by Ang Lee and written by Simon Beaufoy and Jean-Christophe Castelli, the film is set to star Joe Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, and Chris Tucker.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Release date: 4th November
I read this novel last year hoping that this adaptation would have been released sooner, but it’s now got a release date for this year. The novel quickly became one of my favourites, as it follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife living off the coast of Western Australia, who raise a baby that they rescue from an adrift rowboat. The film is set to star the equally beautiful Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in the leads, with Rachel Weisz supporting. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, it’s set to be directed by Blue Valentine director, Derek Cianfrance, so this is bound to become one of my favourite films, too.
American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Release Date: 11th November
American Pastoral follows a fictional story set in postwar American, centred on Seymour “Swede” Levov, a successful Jewish-American businessman and former high school star athlete, whose happy and conventional upper-middle-class life is ruined by the domestic social and political turmoil of the 1960’s during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson. He must now watch his seemingly perfect life fall apart as his daughter’s new political affiliation threatens to destroy their family. Directed by Ewan McGregor, making his directorial debut, the film stars McGregor alongside Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Connelly, Rupert Evans, and Valorie Curry.
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J. K. Rowling
Release date: 18th November
Spinning off from the incredible Harry Potter franchise, and from the creator of it all, J. K. Rowling, the film follows 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. Directed by David Yates, the film also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight and Ron Perlman.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Release Date: Only Available on Netflix
Based on my favourite novel of all time, The Little Prince is the first animated feature film adaptation of the novel, which uses both stop motion and computer animation. But it’s not a direct adaptation of the novel; it only uses elements of the narrative. Starring the voices of Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Paul Rudd, Marion Cotillard, James Franco, Benicio del Toro, Ricky Gervais, Bud Cort, Paul Giamatti, Albert Brooks, Riley Osborne and Mackenzie Foy, the film tells the story of a young girl who befriends the story’s now elderly narrator, as she deals with her overbearing mother.