Can the Adaptation Be Better Than the Book? 18 New Ones We Can’t Wait to Watch

‘The Woman in the Window,’ ‘Little Women’ and season 2 of ‘Big Little Lies’ top our list of 2019’s most-anticipated movie and television adaptations

by
Actors Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Reese Witherspoon attend the premiere of HBO's "Big Little Lies" at TCL Chinese Theatre on February 7, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The Big Little Lies cast at the season 1 premiere (Photo: Getty)

Movies and TV shows based on books for 2019 include adaptations of classics—like the star-studded Catch-22 series and Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Little Women remake—as well as plenty of thrillers, superhero sagas and fantasy flicks. If you’re looking for something new to read this year, check out this list and pick up the book before watching the adaptation.

Movies based on books for 2019

The Rhythm Section (February 22)

Blake Lively and Jude Law star in this thriller, based on the first book in Mark Burnell’s Stephanie Patrick series. The film adaptation is by the producers behind the James Bond franchise and follows Patrick (Lively) as she searches for the truth behind a plane crash that killed her family.

The bookThe Rhythm Section, Mark Burnell

Chaos Walking (TBC)

If you love YA sci-fi series, you’ll probably want to check out this movie based on the first book in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series. Starring Daisy Ridley and Joe Jonas, it’s set on a distant planetwhere everyone can hear each other’s thoughts.

The bookThe Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (March 1, Netflix)

This Netflix movie is based on William Kamkwamba memoir. At age 13, Kamkwamba, came up with a plan to save his family—and his Malawian village—from famine.

The bookThe Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William Kamkwamba

Where’d You Go, Bernadette (August 9)

Richard Linklater (Boyhood) directs the adaptation of Maria Semple’s delightful novel centred on the quirky and creative Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) who goes missing from her Seattle home. Her husband and daughter travel to the end of the earth to find her.

The bookWhere’d You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple

Pet Sematary (April 5)

Just like It (and It 2, which is also due out this year), this Stephen King novel was filmed here in Canada—in and around Montreal, to be exact. If you’re an ardent cat lover, you might want to skip this horror movie.

The bookPet Sematary, Stephen King

The Woman in the Window (October 4)

In a bit of perfect casting, Amy Adams plays agoraphobic child psychologist Anna Fox in this slowly enfolding thriller based on A.J. Finn’s engrossing novel of the same name. Julianne Moore and Gary Oldman star alongside Adams.

The bookThe Woman in the Window, A.J. Finn

The Goldfinch (October 11)

Nicole Kidman, Sarah Poulson, Ansel Elgort and Canadian Finn Wolfhard make up the star-studded cast bringing Donna Tartt’s sweeping Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to life.

The book: The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Little Women (December 25, of course)

Greta Gerwig directs the latest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, which stars Soairse Ronan (Jo), Emma Watson (Meg), Eliza Scanlen (Beth), Florence Pugh (Amy), Timothy Chalamet (Laurie), Meryl Streep (Aunt March) and Laura Durn (Marmee)—talk about a stacked cast. To say we’re excited for this one would be an understatement.

The bookLittle Women, Louisa May Alcott

TV shows based on books for 2019

The Passage (January 14, FOX)

Fans of The Walking Dead take note. This news series, loosely based on Justin Cronin’s The Passage, is about science tinkering with a virus that could cure every disease—or wipe out the entire human race.

The bookThe Passage, Justin Cronin

A Discovery of Witches (January 17, Sundance Now/Shudder)

This British TV series is based on Deborah Harkness’s All Souls trilogy about the unlikely friendship between a witch and a vampire at the centre of a “supernatural battle.” It’s been out in the U.K. for a year, but it’s finally making its way across the pond.

The bookAll Souls trilogy, Deborah Harkness

The Umbrella Academy (February 15, Netflix)

Yes, this is a superhero show, but it’s set in an alternate universe outside of the Marvel and DC empires. It’s based on a graphic novel series by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way about, according to Netflix, “a dysfunctional family of superheroes who come together to solve the mystery of their father’s death, the threat of the apocalypse and more.” Canadian Ellen Page stars.

The book: The Umbrella Academy, Gerard Way

Shrill (March 15, Hulu)

Aidy Bryant stars in this adaption of writer Lindy West’s memoir. Expect the comedy series to touch on body positivity as it delivers a lot of laughs.

The book: Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman, Lindy West

Game of Thrones season 8 (April 14, HBO)

Game of Thrones is finally back, but its return to the small screen is bittersweet—it’s the final season for this blockbuster show. But if you don’t watch, this is the last time you’ll ever have to hear about Dany and her dragons on Monday morning.

The book: At this point, the show’s long outpaced George R.R. Martin’s fantasy series.

Big Little Lies season 2 (TBD, HBO)

Head back to Monterey for season two of this binge-worthy show loosely based on Liane Moriarty’s best-seller. Thanks to a sneak peek released during the Golden Globes, it looks like the upcoming season picks up right where the last one left off. But this time around, expect an appearance from Meryl Streep, who’s joining the already star-studded cast.

The book: Liane Moriarty penned the new season, but it’s different than her sequel to the original Big Little Lies book.

His Dark Materials (TBD, HBO)

Philip Pullman’s fantasy series is coming to the small screen thanks to the BBC (with worldwide distribution courtesy of HBO). Dafne Keen stars as Lyra; she’s joined by big names like James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The bookHis Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman

Watchmen (TBD, HBO)

Sure, there’s a glut of superhero shows right now, but what’s one more? Especially one that’s based on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ comic book series. The show, from HBO, is apparently set 10 years after the events in the graphic novels.

The bookWatchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Catch-22 (TBD, Hulu)

George Clooney stars in and directs this mini-series based on Joseph Heller’s classic novel. You can also expect appearances from Hugh Laurie, Christopher Abbott and Kyle Chandler.

The bookCatch-22, Joseph Heller

Bard of Blood (TBD, Netflix)

A spy-turned-Shakespeare professor in Mumbai gets called back into a career of espionage in this series based on Indian author Bilal Siddiqi’s debut thriller novel of the same name.

The bookBard of Blood, Bilal Siddiqi

Related:
What’s Coming—And Going—to Netflix in January 2019
All the Best Riverdale Season 3 Fan Theories
How to Stream The Bachelor in Canada

Filed under:

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

FLARE - Newsletter Signup

Subscribe to FLARE Need to Know for smart, sassy, no-filter takes on everything you're interested in—including style, culture & current events, plus special offers—sent straight to your inbox each day. Sign up here.