You might have guessed that we love a good book here at LoveReading, and when books are optioned to get a screen makeover, we adore it! However we firmly, absolutely, well and truly have to read the book first. If it's coming to a screen near us, the book moves right up to the top of our to-be-read pile! More books are currently being optioned for film and TV series due to an explosion of demand from streaming services, with Netflix saying that the chance of a book being adapted has “never been higher”.
Books are now often being optioned at the same time publishers acquire them as competition ramps up from firms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Disney+, with companies becoming more willing to take risks on early drafts, agents say.
It is estimated that 60% of the biggest projects on TV at the moment are based on books.
Book adaptations slated for book to movie or TV releases for 2024 are starting to set release dates although there could be some changes due to the writer's strikes happening in the US. Here are some of the adaptations we have been bingeing and some we are super excited about hitting the screen for 2024.
3 Body Problem
Based on The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu this award-winning, critically acclaimed, multi-million-copy-selling science-fiction phenomenon is soon to be a Netflix Original Series from the creators of Game of Thrones. Buy the book, read it first, check out the trailer and keep a look out for the release date. We are just a tinsy bit excited about this one.
Fool Me Once
The prolific Harlan Coben signed a deal back with Netflix back in 2018, which was subsequently renewed in 2022, that has adapted many of his novels into Netflix Original productions. As of November 2023, there are 7 Harlan Coben shows on Netflix, with lots more on the way. Fool Me Once joins the collection in January 2024, and we are reminded of Liz Robinson's words after she read it in 2016: "Powerful and addictive, clever and memorable, Fool Me Once is a brilliantly escapist read, the story whips along, and I just had to read it in one sitting."
Adapted from the bestselling book The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee Prime Video has now set a release date of 26th January for Nicole Kidman's upcoming limited series Expats. Please, we implore you to read the book first. Lee writes with an exquisite, startling intensity, she provokes thoughts and feelings into exploring identity, grief and a fluttering of possibilities. Hong Kong is breathtaking, with the mix of East and West acting as a vibrant backdrop to the intimate story of these women. There is a real depth and energy to the writing, yet the thread of compassion that weaves through the pages ensures a delicate balance.
A Gentleman in Moscow
Ewan McGregor is to lead the hugely anticipated adaptation of the bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles joined by his real life wife Mary Elizabeth Winstead. One of our books of the year in 2017, our reviewer Maxim Jakubowski "loved it", it's about a Russian Count exiled to the confines of a hotel in Moscow throughout the revolution on fear of execution. Long but wonderfully rewarding, this will make you laugh, cry and smile, an epic that never even moves outside the hotel's lobby! Mooted to be reaching us some point later in 2024, you will find it on Paramount+. Plenty of time to enjoy the book first!
Another one of our absolute faves, Kate Winslet is set to star in a limited series in 2024 based on Hernan Diaz’s novel Trust. One of our Books of the Year in 2022, it's set around the 1920s Wall Street boom and crash, and is a moving literary puzzle which packs personal and cerebral punch through stories within stories that unpack the nature of truth, power, and our relationship to money.
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen also becomes a TV series in 2024, and sources tell us it is likely to be aired on Sky Atlantic. Here's hoping! Maxim Jakobowski described the bookm as "pretty impressive" when we reviewed it for us, and it's firmly on our TBR pile in preparation for the show. Following the fall of Saigon to the communists and the end of the Vietnam war, a Vietcong spy manages to smuggle his way to America and reflects wryly on his life of contradictions and betrayal, alongside ironic asides on the Hollywood community he now lives in and the foibles of US life.
It Ends With Us
If you're a fan of CoHo, you'll have been screaming since mid-2023 when it was announced that It Ends With Us was officially getting made into a movie. The book of TikTok last year Blake Lively, of Gossip Girl fame, will star as Lily, the film’s lead and the central character in Hoover’s chart-topping book. Apparently it'll reach us in February, and we'll be there! We might have to re-read It Ends With Us again first..
Described as "gruesome, terrifying and pulse-pounding by Stephen King, Cold Storage by David Koepp is set to also hit the big screen in 2024. Shortlisted for the CWA Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller of the Year in 2020, this one is not to be missed!
They thought it was contained. They were wrong. After decades underground in a forgotten sub-basement, a highly mutative organism – capable of extinction-level destruction – has found its way out. Only Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz can stop it. With the help of two unwitting security guards, he has one night to quarantine this horror, before it destroys all of humanity.
Some of our 2022 and 2023 favourite screen adaptations have been absolute corkers, and we can't help but shout about these again, just in case you missed them. And there are a few still to hit so take note!
All The Light We Cannot See
If you haven't dived into it yet...do!
The Pulitzer Prize–winning bestseller All the Light We Cannot See follows Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a 6-year-old blind girl, as she takes refuge with her uncle in Saint-Malo when Nazis invade Paris. Simultaneously, Werner Pfennig, an intelligent German boy, is brought to an academy for the Hitler Youth for his expertise in radio technology. He ends up traveling to Saint-Malo, the heart of the war, where he and Marie-Laure’s lives converge. It's an absolute favourite of ours and the TV show starring Aria Mia Loberti, Mark Ruffalo, and Hugh Laurie, is streaming on Netflix now. Go!
The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Continuing the huge success of Suzanne Collins’ smash Hunger Games series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s mission to survive. At the tenth annual Hunger Games, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is far from the tyrannical dictator we now know him to be. Hitting a big screen near you this week, my tickets are booked!
Leave The World Behind
This LoveReading Star Book Leave The World Behind by Rumaan Alam is a chilling, penetrating, and beautifully eloquent apocalyptic thriller set in the USA. Hitting the small screen this December as a Netflix Original the series stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke, and judging by the trailer and how much we love the book, you do not want to miss it!
And we can't miss out on two big screen adaptations coming to us before the end of the year for the little kid in us all.
If you love Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as much as we do, you won't want to miss the big screen adaptation this December featuring Hugh Grant as an OOmpa Loompa to Timothée Chalamet's Willy Wonka.
And of course Rick Riordan's beloved Percy Jackson sees the eponymous 12-year-old boy premiere on Disney+ on 20th December. Percy discovers he’s a modern demigod and enters the world of Greek mythology. Here, unbelievable monsters and the Olympian gods come alive around him. Thrown into this world, he’s accused of stealing Zeus’s master lightning bolt. To prove himself innocent, he’s tasked with returning Zeus’s stolen property and restoring peace to Mount Olympus.
Some more to look out for on AppleTV+ are:
Lessons in Chemistry
Fizzing with feminist humour and romance, this radiant, life-affirming novel by Bonnie Garmus sees a brilliant chemist and single mother switch to presenting a hit TV cooking show that challenges 1960s social norms. Now strreaming on AppleTV+, Lessons in Chemistry had us roaring with laughter, weeping in empathy, and fist-pumping the sheer joy of Elizabeth’s indomitable spirit, and we adored the TV too. What viewing pleasure.
And Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale finally made the jump to the big screen. Book lovers had been clamouring for this adaptation for so long and it did not disappoint. Real-life sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning play on-screen sisters in the coming-of-age story adapted from Kristin Hannah’s international bestseller. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women. The story was inspired by the courageous women of the French Resistance who helped downed Allied airmen escape Nazi-occupied territory and hid Jewish children.
If Netflix is your platform of choice, you have tons of book to screen adaptations to dive into. Just check out their TV shows based on books section.
Where the Crawdads Sing
The highly-anticipated movie adaptation of the runaway success debut novel by Delia Owens did not disappoint. Still available on Netflix, the film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya and if you haven't read the book or seen the film yet, what are you waiting for? Where The Crawdads Sing is an absolutely stunning book. An exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder, Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Fans of the regency romance series Bridgerton have season 3 to look forward to at some point in 2024. Not following the order of the books, this third season will adapt Julia Quinn's fourth book, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. Viewers will get to see Colin and Penelope's story, and from the reaction to the first images released from filming there's rather a large crowd of us that can't wait. And of course don't forget, Queen Charlotte too, that it took every ounce of willpower to wait for when the book was published in the same week the TV show aired earlier this year.
The Lincoln Lawyer
It's been confirmed for all fans of crime fiction that another series of The Lincoln Lawyer is coming. Named after the first book of the Mickey Haller Series by Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer sees Manuel Garcia-Rulfo star as the Los Angeles Lawyer as the Netflix series adapted from the books continue. It was announced in August that the show had been renewed for another 10 episodes, but we're still waiting for a confirmed release date.
Call the Midwife
The adaptation of Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth has had an impressive run, with 12 seasons so far of the period drama series adapted by the BBC. Following a group of nurse midwives working in the east end of London in the late 1950s and 1960s, this show was beloved by many. Still available on iPlayer, re-watch ready for the return of the landmark 13th season in early 2024.
We didn't think we could love Henry Cavill more, then he stepped into the role of Geralt in Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher. Adapted from Andrzej Sapkowski's series of six fantasy novels and 15 short stories, this isn't the first new guise for Geralt of Rivia, having also been animated into three main standalone video games with a number of expansions and spinoffs. As for the TV show, you can watch Cavill's Witcher in season one to three on Netflix now, with the latest news that season 4 with Liam Hemsworth should begin filming at some point next year. I know right, could it get any better?
With the namesake book adapted in its entirety in season one, Good Omens fans had a whole new story to look forward to when it was released in July 2023. Watch how Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's beloved Angel and Demon pairing Crowley and Aziraphale try to stop the antichrist from coming. This is a witty series with brilliant main characters you can't help but fall in love with. Although fans are crying out for a season 3 after a dramatic ending to season 2, Amazon has yet to announce a renewal of the show, although Neil Gaiman has promised that he will conclude Crowley and Aziraphale's story, even if it ends up being in novel form.
In the mood for a re-watch while you wait? Here are some adaptations that we've loved and although in some cases they may be over sooner than we'd like, we'll still enjoy watching again and again.
Anne with An 'E'
Based on Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, part of the Anne of Green Gables Series of books, the Canadian television series, Anne with An 'E' is a coming-of-age series telling the story of Anne Shirley who is adopted into a small family of Prince Edward Island bringing the classic tale to life with a modern twist to appeal to fans both old and new. There are three seasons currently available on Netflix, but unfortunately there is no fourth on the horizon.
The Queen's Gambit
Released in 2020 and leading to a chess boom not seen for decades The Queen's Gambit mini-series was a roaring success. Based on the series of the same name by Walter Trevis, The Queen's Gambit saw Anya Taylor Joy play Beth Harmon on her quest to become the greatest chess player in the world. If you haven't seen it, where have you been? If you have, this is your sign to watch it again.
Tiny Pretty Things
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in Tiny Pretty Things. The book by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra follows three perfect girls who will do anything to become prima ballerina at their elite New York ballet school. The Netflix adaptation burned fast and bright, coming to our screens for just the one season in 2020.
Based on the book series by Luke Jennings, Killing Eve brought to life the chaotic assassin Villanelle and Eve Polastri, a bored, whip-smart security services operative whose job doesn't meet her fantasies of becoming a spy. A bloody, funny thriller about two women who are lethally obsessed with each other, all 4 seasons of the adaptations are available on iPlayer now.
Shadow & Bone
Fans of the Grishaverse were devastated when the news broke that Netflix would not be making a season three of Shadow & Bone. The adaptation from Leigh Bardugo's books sees dark forces conspire against Alina Starkov, an orphaned mapmaker, when she unleashes a power that could forever change the fate of her war-torn world. Those missing their fix can re-watch the series on Netflix or get your hands on the epic Shadow & Bone trilogy and enjoy the whole story in its original form.
Let us know in the comments which adaptations you've watched, which ones you've loved and which ones are firmly on your new-year watch list.