The way books are adapted is simply magical. While we all visualise stories in our minds, seeing another person’s interpretation of our favourite stories come to life is a different experience altogether. Every book adaptation can be a hit or miss and it can be tough to predict how readers will respond to an adaptation. But this fear does not make us any less excited for the upcoming these book-to-screen adaptations.
A Man Called Otto
Tom Hanks is set to play Otto Anderson, the protagonist of a film based on the novel, A Man Called Ove (Simon and Schuster, 2012) by Fredrick Backman. Otto is an old man who lives alone in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Despite being a stickler for standards and his daily routine, he is not one of the friendliest guys on the block. After losing his wife, and while still mourning her demise, the character is often misunderstood by those around him. The film witnesses the story of a new family who tries to integrate Otto into their lives. This is the second adaptation of the book, the first being a Swedish film which was released in 2015. For people who have not read the book, this movie will offer an uplifting tale about how families emerge from the most unexpected places.
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The film was released in theatres in January 2023.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson’s bestselling book of the same name took the reading world by storm when it was published by HarperOne five years ago. The author skilfully distorted content that readers are accustomed to finding in self-help books. Instead of motivating readers to chase the sun, he offered a reality check, reminding how minute and mundane peoples’ lives are. The film is set with a similar tone, exploring society’s obsessions with the pursuit of happiness, and will be narrated by Manson alongside Disappointment Panda, a character from the book whose job is to tell people the harsh truth.
Director Nathan Price has further added some creative animation, newsreels, pop culture, and historical material to liven up the action. The documentary features the author as the lead and was shot in New Zealand during the pandemic.
The film was released in theatres in January 2023.
Following Anne Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches trilogy, this is the second series based on the author’s Immortal Universe, following the other recent adaptation of her writings on the network, Interview with the Vampire. Mayfair Witches focuses on the first book in the series, The Witching Hour (Knopf, 1990), and follows Dr. Rowan Fielding, a neurosurgeon who discovers she is the heir and descendant of a powerful family of witches who appear to be possessed by a sinister ghost. As she analyses her family tree, each twisted root seems to branch off into even more intricate webs, creating a story that spans hundreds of years and thousands of miles, full of tragedy and magic.
The eight-episode horror fantasy series has been created by Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford and is currently streaming on AMC+.
Daisy Jones & The Six
This Prime Video series will be based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel of the same name, published by Random House Publishing Group in 2020. The live-action rock series follows the rise of a rock band through the 1970s Los Angeles music scene as they embark on a quest for worldwide fame. It narrates the story of Daisy Jones, a young singer who pairs up with a rock band, The Six.
It has been revealed that the story takes inspiration from the real-life relationship between Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. The series will witness Riley Keough take the lead role as Daisy and also see Sam Claflin as Billy, another pivotal character.
The show releases on Amazon Prime Video on March 3, 2023.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid are going to have a great year as two of her books are expected to witness screen adaptations. The Netflix film adaptation of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Atria Books, 2017) is set to chronicle the fascinating and scandalous life of Hollywood’s most well-known actress, Evelyn Hugo. During an interview with an unknown magazine reporter named Monique Grant, Evelyn opens up about her story, from her ascent to fame to what caused her to vanish from the public eye. She talks about her life off screen and the seven marriages, and stuns everyone with her dark secrets and facades. Liz Tigelaar would be adapting the story for Netflix, and has previously served as the creator, showrunner, and executive producer for Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere, a successful novel adaptation of Celeste Ng’s work.
The film is expected to release on Netflix in March 2023.
Tobe Hooper transformed Stephen King’s book, Salem’s Lot (Doubleday, 1975), into a TV mini-series in 1979. This year, the book is set to scare the audience once again with a brand new adaptation directed by Gary Dauberman. The story revolves around an author, Ben Mears, who travels back to Jerusalem’s Lot, where he grew up, in order to write a book about the sinister-looking Marsten House, which has troubled him ever since he was a child. There are rumours that the mansion is haunted because a serial killer once lived there. These rumours were confirmed to be accurate, but when Mears investigates, he learns that the old house is actually inhabited by a vampire rather than a paranormal entity. Now, in order to save his hometown, Mears must initiate a battle against the fast-growing army of vampires.
The film will arrive in theatres in April 2023.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Kelly Fremon Craig’s coming-of-age comedy-drama, which is based on Judy Blume’s iconic 1970 book of the same name, will explore the psychological crises of sixth-grader Margaret Simon as her family leaves New York City to settle in the suburbs of New Jersey. Margaret, played by Abby Ryder Fortson, and Barbara, played by Rachel McAdams, are the two main characters of the film. The story narrates how the protagonist has a conflict of beliefs in her daily life due to being born in a mixed-faith family, and has to simultaneously go through the ups and downs of adolescence in a new setting.
In this quest of discovering her religious identity, Margaret navigates new friendships and feelings. For older readers, this film will be reminiscent of their childhood as presented in the book. For younger readers, it will be a sneak peek into what adolescence awaits.
The film will be released in theatres in April 2023.
One of the most eagerly awaited movies of 2023 is Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. The film is not just adapted from a novel—it also picks up fragments of information from real history, based on J Robert Oppenheimer, a pivotal figure in the Manhattan Project during World War II. His research greatly helped the US develop atomic bombs and nuclear weapons; the film is set to explore his life, his studies, the making of the bomb, and its after effects. The biography, American Prometheus (Knopf, 2005), written by Kai Bird and Martin J Sherwin, serves as the source material which inspired the character of Oppenheimer. The film will star Cillian Murphy as the lead alongside Emily Blunt, Matt Damon, Florence Pugh and Robert Downey Jr.
The film will reach theatres in July 2023.
Maisha Islam Monamee is a student of IBA, DU, and a freelance journalist who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging. Follow @monameereads on Instagram.