From 'Handmaid's Tale' to 'Dark Tower': 15 Books Being Adapted for the Screen This Year

8:18 AM 4/20/2017

by Lexy Perez

This year, a new roster of books are flying off shelves and into theaters and on streaming services.

'The Dark Tower'
'The Dark Tower'
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

With a new year comes a new chapter. Many of the most successful films and franchises — such as The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Da Vinci Code, etc. — have derived from popular novels popular. Whether it's a retelling of a 1925 classic (The Great Gatsby) or a modern take on a romance between two cancer-stricken teens (The Fault in Our Stars), some of the most well-known films and television series have been adapted from books. 

This year, a new roster of books have already been adapted for the screen, which included the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Hidden Figures, Live by Night with Ben Affleck, Before I Fall and Fifty Shades Darker.  

Below are several other books flying off the shelves and onto screens big and small.

  • 'The Zookeeper's Wife' by Diane Ackerman

    March 31

    Published in 2007, Ackerman’s nonfiction book originated from the unpublished diary of Antonina Żabińska, in which she details how she and her husband made efforts to protect more than 300 Jews from the Nazis in World War II. Being that the couple were keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, they hid Jews inside empty cages. The recently released film adaptation stars Jessica Chastain and Daniel Brühl. The film has grossed $11.5 million at the worldwide box office so far.


  • 'The Lost City of Z' by David Grann

    April 21

    Aidan Monaghan

    In his 2009 novel, Gran tells the true story of British explorer Percival (Percy) Fawcett’s disappearance, with his son, after searching for a ancient lost Amazon city in the 1920s. The novel ranked as a New York Times bestseller and has won countless awards, including Indies Choice Book Award (2010), New York Times Notable Book of the Year (2009) and ALA Notable Books for Adults (2010). The film adaptation will star Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett, Spiderman’s Tom Holland as his son Jack, Robert Pattinson as Henry Costin and Sienna Miller as Fawcett’s wife. 

  • 'Girlboss' by Sophia Amoruso

    April 21

    Screengrab/Netflix US & Canada

    In her memoir, Nasty Gal founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso reflects on her journey from being a struggling female entrepreneur to running a multimillion-dollar company. Amoruso wrote her book to inspire girls trying to find their own success stories. Netflix will release its miniseries based on the best-selling novel starring Brit Robertson on April 21. Amoruso and Charlize Theron are executive producers of the 13-episode comedy series.


  • 'The Handmaid's Tale' by Margaret Atwood

    April 26

    Courtesy of Hulu

    Atwood’s classic fiction novel is set in a future New England where a totalitarian theocracy has undertaken the United States government. The dystopian novel follows Ofred and other handmaids, who are forced into sexual slavery for wealthy men. Although released in 1985, Atwood’s book has continued to be a success. It has won countless awards, such as the 1985 Governor General’s Award, the first Arthur C. Clarke Award and the 1986 Booker Price. The novel’s onscreen adaptation will premiere April 26 on the streaming service Hulu. The 10-episode miniseries will star Alexis Bledel, Samira Wiley, Elisabeth Moss, Ann Dowd and Joseph Fiennes. 

  • 'The Circle' by Dave Eggers

    April 28

    Courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival

    In Eggers’ novel, Mae Holland is a recent college graduate who lands a job at an Internet company. As she climbs the corporate ladder, Mae realizes that things may not always be so simple and rewarding. The 2013 film adaptation will be released April 28 and stars Emma Watson as Mae along with Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane and John Boyega. 

  • 'Everything Everything' by Nicola Yoon

    May 19

    Yoon’s best-selling YA novel tells the story of 18-year-old Madeline Whittier, who suffers from a rare disease in which she is allergic to almost everything. Despite being barricaded in her home to remain protected, she soon meets her new neighbor who shows her a new life she never knew she could live. The novel’s feature film adaptation stars The Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg in the leading role with The 5th Wave’s Nick Robinson as Olly. 

  • 'My Cousin Rachel' by Daphne du Maurier

    July 14

    The classic 1951 novel is about Philip whom falls in love with his cousin Rachel, only to discover that she may be guilty of murdering one of their own family members. Maurier’s tale has been previously adapted by a Dublin Theatre and BBC Radio 4 and will now be adapted into a feature film that will star The Bourne Legacy actress Rachel Weisz and Me Before You's Sam Claflin in the starring roles. 

  • 'The Dark Tower' by Stephen King

    Aug. 4


    While best-selling author Stephen King has myriad successful books under his belt, his Dark Tower series has been carried on throughout seven books (plus a stand-alone novel published after the series) and tells the story of Roland Deschain venturing into a magical society in search for the mysterious Dark Tower. Idris Elba and Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey will star in the feature film adaptation.


  • 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls

    Aug. 11

    Brie Larson
    Brie Larson
    Kevin Mazur/Getty

    Walls pens a memoir detailing her upbringing in her dysfunctional family. With an alcoholic father and an artistic mother, Walls was encouraged to depend on her imagination to distract her from the poverty they endured on a day-to-day basis. Academy Award winner Brie Larson will lead the film adaptation, with Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson as her parents. 

  • 'It' by Stephen King

    Sept. 8

    Courtesy of Warner Bros.

    Stephen King’s frightening tale of Pennywise the Clown has become a cult horror classic. The evil taking the form of the clown terrorizes a group of children and follows them into adulthood. Newcomer Bill Skarsgard will portray the evil clown in the feature film adaptation, which is planned as a duology. The book was previously adapted into a 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise.

  • 'The Mountain Between Us' by Charles Martin

    Oct. 20

    Idris Elba and Kate Winslet
    Idris Elba and Kate Winslet
    Getty Images

    Dr. Ben Payne and writer Ashely Knox are two strangers aboard a plane when it crashes after the pilot suffers a heart attack. Both travelers are left injured and stranded into the High Uintas Wilderness. Having only each other, the two strangers have to rely on each other to survive and find love along the way. Idris Elba and Kate Winslet will star in the feature film adaption set to hit theaters Oct. 20. 

  • 'Thank You for Your Service' by David Finkel

    Oct. 27

    Miles Teller and Amy Schumer
    Miles Teller and Amy Schumer
    Getty Images

    American journalist Finkel pens a follow up to the nonfiction book The Good Soldiers, where he chronicles the lives of the soldiers from the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during 2007 and 2008. His follow-up book examines the PTSD and psychological struggles the soldiers endure after coming home. Miles Teller and Amy Schumer are confirmed to star in the feature film adaptation. 

  • 'Wonder' by R.J. Palacio

    Nov. 17

    Dale Robinette/Lionsgate

    The story revolves around Auggie Pullman, a young boy born with a facial deformity. Struggling to feel accepted and normal, readers followed along with Auggie’s journey from being homeschooled to entering middle school. Palacio’s 2012 nove, received high remarks from critics and continues to be a success among young readers. The film, set for a Nov. 17 release, stars Room’s Jacob Tremblay as Auggie and Julia Roberts as his mother.


  • 'Murder on the Orient Express' by Agatha Christie

    Nov. 22

    Johnny Depp
    Johnny Depp
    Getty Images

    Agatha Christie’s classic mystery tells the tale of a murder on a train under investigation by detective Hercule Poirot. The novel was adapted into a feature film in 1974, which starred Albert Finney as Poirot and Ingrid Bergman, who won an Academy Award for her role as Great Ohlsson. A new adaptation is set to be released and will star Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Star Wars: The Force Awaken breakout actress Daisy Ridley, Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. and Penelope Cruz as Ohlsson.  

  • 'Annihilation' by Jeff Vandermeer


    Natalie Portman
    Natalie Portman
    Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

    The first in a trilogy called the Southern Reach, VanderMeer writes a story revolving around a biologist who ventures into a mysterious area to investigate why her husband died there. The book won the 2014 Nebula Award for best novel and the Shirly Jackson Award for best novel. Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson are set to star in the upcoming film adaptation. 

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